by: Graham Johnson Updated:
On Friday Starbucks found itself in the middle of the national debate over guns.
People who openly carry guns staged a Starbucks Appreciation Day, taking photos of themselves drinking coffee while armed.
The company does not prevent openly carried firearms inside stores and instead follows local laws.
This was the first major demonstration at Starbucks by gun rights groups since the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Gun control advocates want Starbucks to change the gun policy.
"They're a great company and it just doesn't make sense that they're taking this stand that you can open carry in stores," said Kate Beck of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which formed after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Gun rights groups have embraced Starbucks. There's a whole line of merchandise called "I love guns and coffee."
Activists on both sides of the gun control debate intended to gather at the Starbucks in Newtown, Conn., on Friday. But Starbucks closed the store early "out of respect for the community."