Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NH:Armed Citizen Confronted at Starbucks

Photo by Dave Workman

A mother needed to use the Internet to order items required by a minor emergency on the road.   Naturally, she turned to Starbucks.

Starbucks has become known nationally for its neutral policy on the carry of firearms.  If you are following the law, Starbucks is willing to take your money in exchange for their product.  Here is what happened in a New Hampshire Starbucks as written by the mother it happened to, Riana, on opencarry.org:

Here I am, minding my own business, sitting with my husband and son in the Starbucks on Main Street. I had several things to take care of, as our vacation plans have been drastically altered by a broken-down vehicle, and needed internet access to handle them.

A man came up to me, pointed at my holstered sidearm, and asked rather indignantly, "What is that?"

I replied, "That is my defensive sidearm, sir."

"Well, I'm glad you feel safer, but I don't." he said.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, sir," I said calmly.

The complainer then went immediately (and loudly) went to the staff, demanding they "do something" about me. The staff simply responded that I was well within my rights, and they would do nothing. He told them he didn't feel safe, and another customer piped in that he indeed felt safer with me carrying a sidearm. The complainer then left the store in a huff, hollering that he would never come back to this store, because of the policy.

Later the customer who piped up came by and thanked me for carrying. The staff never made any comment to me. My son did note, however, that the complainer drove off in a car with Massachusetts plates, so that explains a lot.
This is an unusual experience for people who openly carry firearms.  I have openly carried firearms for many years, and the number of negative encounters, all milder than the one above, can be numbered on the fingers of one hand.   It might help that I have been told that I have a mild and inoffensive appearance.  I have also been told that I look like a policeman.  Fortunately, I have never had another person loudly complain to management that I was allowed to carry a firearm. 

 ©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


Anonymous said...

This is why I do not advocate carrying openly if possible. I am a very pro-2A person who has been teaching Basic Handgun courses for FREE for over 12-years. These are the courses people must complete before they can apply for a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP).

Personally, I think all law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry concealed without having to obtain a permit. But that is something beyond my control.

I applaud you for taking responsibility for your family's safety. However, carrying openly just does not make tactical sense. Not only does it bring unwanted attention to yourself (as in this incident); it also tells the most violent criminals whose skull they should put a bullet into first.

Wireless.Phil said...

Guns are allowed in Oberlin parks, reluctant city officials decide

John Caniglia The Plain Dealer

Anonymous said...

Figures...a Masshole

Unknown said...

I am the mother in the above-quoted story, which I posted OpenCarry.org.

I live in VA, and we travel to NH frequently, and I carry wherever it's legal to do so - sometimes openly, as I was the morning of this encounter, and sometimes with a loose cover shirt over my sidearm (not well-concealed, but less obvious). On this occasion, we had just left a nice brunch, and the whole family was nicely dressed.

As for open carry drawing unwanted attention, 90% of the time, no one even notices my sidearm. Probably 9% of the time, I end up having a positive and/or educational conversation with the questioner. This encounter fell in the 1% remaining. In VA, I have had a couple of interesting conversations, and have been asked to put my gun in the car (I opted to leave the store instead) once or twice. But never have I had an encounter such as this one. It took us all by surprise.

Dean Weingarten said...

Carrying openly has advantages and disadvantages, just as carrying concealed does.

Open carry has tactical deterrence: The vast majority of criminals do not want to confront an armed person

Concealed carry has tactical surprise: An attacker will probably not know you are armed, this gives you an advantage if you can use it.

I believe that each person should be able to decide which mode of carry is most advantageous to them at any particular time.

Dean Weingarten said...


Thank you so much for coming to the site and commenting. Your experience is very similar to mine. The type of rude behaviour that you experienced is far outside of the norm.

Wireless.Phil said...

No more guns in Starbucks.

Starbucks Seeks to Keep Guns Out of Its Coffee Shops

New York Times - ‎14 minutes ago‎