"A couple of them bring handguns every day, no matter what shift it is," said owner Sara Chapel, who encouraged her staff to lock and load on their way to work. "There is always a gun here now."
According to the New York Daily News, thieves made three attempts on the store last month; security cameras caught the latest attempt last Sunday, when a suspect holding what appears to be a weapon tried to squeeze in through the drive-thru window. Employees managed to chase her off, but Chapel vowed that next time they'd be ready to defend themselves.
Now, she tries to schedule at least one armed worker per shift. In a video from NBC News, a gun can be seen in plain sight, lying next to a cash register. Barista Krystal Cogswell wears a .38 Special Lavender lady on her hip.
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"Before I never never felt an immediate threat, so I would just have it off to the side or somewhere hidden," Cogswell told KXLY. "But now I feel like if someone can see it, maybe it will just deter it right then and there and I won't ever have to use it."
Customers have been largely supportive of the change in policy. "This isn't a corporation. I encourage them to get guns under each window and shoot first," said Sharon Wells.
However, not everyone's so keen on the idea of potentially getting a bullet with their espresso shots. "I simply can't risk having my head blown off over a cup of coffee," wrote one Yelp reviewer. "Accidentally or on purpose. Not worth it."
Spokane Police have said that the Jitterz workers are within their rights, as long as they're over 18 and don't have any prior convictions restricting the use of firearms. It's also not the only barista-related trial by fire of late. For now, though, the store stands to be the biggest thing in novelty coffee since Dumb Starbucks.
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