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Guns and coffee


State Representative holds event in wake of Starbucks stance on open carry

A local legislator has responded to last week’s request by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that gun owners know no longer bring their weapons into their shops.

State Representative Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, urged customers to take their business to other coffee shops and diners who haven’t made such statements.

His “Guns and Coffee” event at the Chick Fil A restaurant in Bossier City Tuesday morning saw him provide free coffee for supporters of the Second Amendment.

“I enjoy buying Bossier residents a cup of coffee and discussing the current battle to defend our right to protect our families,” said Thompson.

Second Amendment supporters were able to stop by the restaurant during the event for a free cup of coffee.

Keith McMellon of Shreveport was one of the event goers who stopped by for a cup of coffee.

“If we lose our Second Amendment rights, we lose everything. They can make the decisions they want, but I’m trying to avoid places who have anti-gun policies in place. I’m much more aware of where I spend my money now,” he said.

Visitors were also able to register for a giveaway of a limited edition, engraved 200 years of Louisiana statehood commemorative 12 gauge Browning. The collectable shotgun will be given away the opening day of the 2014 Louisiana legislative session.

Thompson is no stranger to standing up for gun rights.

He founded Defend Louisiana earlier this year to promote gun safety and strengthen current Second Amendment laws in the state legislature. He held state-wide rallies that allowed gun owners to sign a banner stating their support as well as giving them an opportunity to share their views.

Starbucks initially made the request for “open carry” users to leave their guns behind in an open letter. According to Schultz, the reasoning was due to more people recently bringing guns into Starbucks which caused confusion and concern among patrons and employees.

“Our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life,” the letter said.

Schultz added that the request is not a ban and that employees will continue to serve patrons with guns.

For more information on Defend Louisiana and the Coffee and Guns events, info@defendla.org.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.