Coffee Store Boss Tells Baristas To Wear Guns On The Job

Leave the gun, take the low-fat breakfast pastry

The baristas at a Spokane coffee shop are packing heat, and we're not talking about a steamy cappuccino. After a spate of robberies, the employees at Jitterz Java are now wearing firearms on the job, telling Washington's KXLY TV that they refuse to be victimized anymore.

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"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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Mack Gelber

Mack Gelber

Associate Programming Manager

Mack Gelber is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who has covered entertainment for AOL TV, and contributed fiction to Joyland Magazine and the Bushwick Review. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he studied creative writing. Twitter: @mackgelber

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Those who are afraid of getting shot accidentally may actually get involved in doing something about crime. As long as someone else was getting robbed, raped, or kidnapped, no one would do much of anything. If resistance to crime provides additional risk to innocent bystanders, maybe the bystanders out to stop planning of standing by.

March 26 2014 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good. Glad to hear it. Maybe if more law abiding folks carried a gun, there would be less crime.

March 21 2014 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A store was robbed a few times, so they put up a sign that stopped the robberies. The sign read:

"This store is guarded 4 days per week, by off duty policemen with sawed-off shotguns. You figure out which days".

March 21 2014 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to resnetwk's comment

...And if the robbers know anything about firearms, they will know that the federal govt banned sawed-offs decades ago... even cops can't have them. So, your sign wouldn't deter the discerning crime afficionado.

March 26 2014 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to deckameter's comment
welcome eric

They're not "sawed off" shotguns that is just a slang street term, they are short barreled shotguns which the barrels are usually about 18 inches long. That is the shortest length a shotgun barrel can be in compliance with Federal law without special licensing being necessary.

March 27 2014 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Dear Bobby,
I have known too many people walking around with guns who had absolutely no business touching a gun much less carrying them around. I have seen them pull their guns out of anger and stick it in someone's face. I am sorry but I don't think I trust the public at large to have enough maturity. It not about rights it's about does the person know what they are doing? and are they in control. or are they some bad but feeling big with a gun?

March 21 2014 at 3:21 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to phillomoc's comment
George Butler

Phillomoc, go put your head back in the sand. Its time we stop being victims. This has nothing to do with being big with a gun.

March 21 2014 at 4:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to George Butler's comment

A man was returning a movie at the Red Box near a McDonald's on the North Freeway in Houston, TX last year.

He was approached by two men who demanded his phone and wallet. Unbeknownst to them, he had a concealed carry license. He shot one dead, and severely wounded the other. The third man, the driver, drove the wounded man to a town over a hundred miles away before dumping him at an emergency room. That's how frightened he was to stop.

It is only when these criminals are killed that we find out who they are. When they get away the crime is never solved. When they are killed, all their relatives start marching in the streets protesting that their civil rights have been violated, so identifying the dead criminal is never a problem.

March 26 2014 at 1:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

WOW-EEE I wish all AMERICANS could have that PRIVILAGE. All the GOOD PEOPLE. I don't think that this will ever happen in California. To many LIBS and NUTS.

March 21 2014 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bobby's comment

Well they 9th Circuit court just struck down the "may issue" requirement in Kalifornia's concealed carry permitting process, as that effectively denies the right to "bear arms" since the state also prohibits open carry. And it's not a privilege, it's a right that people (subjects) in Kalifornia have allowed their state government to take away from them.

March 21 2014 at 4:59 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

depending upon the Spokane regulations, the woman needs to hire off-duty cops (one a shift ought to be sufficient). they might be uniformed, they might be under cover. let the professionals do the job and save innocent lives.
it would be unfortunate if ms chapel can't dip into the profits to responsibly protect her employees.
i suspect some of these employees feel too empowered while packing heat.
corporate america is out of control. make sure the workers do their job, pay a decent wage and stay out of their personal life.

March 21 2014 at 12:41 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sunon's comment

Get a grip. Open carry in the state of Washington is LEGAL. There's no "Spokane regulations" that can countermand that state law. All the owner did was make it a company policy that their employees could be armed and be able to defend themselves. When you say that you "suspect some of these employees feel too empowered while packing heat" are you insinuating that the employees are going to rob or in some other way assault the customers? If so, I think you are REAL paranoid.

March 21 2014 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Baristas packing heat! Be still my heart!

March 21 2014 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gee, since states have become enlightened and passed legislation to allow LAW-ABIDING citizens to carry concealed weapons, the violent crime rates HAVE DROPPED to levels not seen in 45 years! Cause and effect, cause and effect! Dial 911. Wait. Ten minutes? Twenty minutes? Pull your gun, case closed. In 70% of cases where LAW-ABIDING citizens used a firearm to thwart a crime, NO SHOTS were fired. In Florida, the State Police widely announced a free program for training WOMEN in handgun safety, use, etc. It was highly publicized in newspapers and on TV news reports. Guess what? RAPE dropped by 75% immediately after the program was announced.

March 21 2014 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sharpsguy's comment

that's total BS where do you get your facts?

March 21 2014 at 3:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to phillomoc's comment

If you'd do some research instead of just waving the anti-gunner BS flag, you might learn, let me help you:

March 21 2014 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Sounds like the place I work at

March 21 2014 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately in my state you need a documented reason before being permitted to conceal carry...why, for the life of me, do I have to be shot at, robbed, raped or the like before I (a citizen with absolutely no brushes with the law) am allowed to protect myself?

March 21 2014 at 10:17 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pam's comment

You have a couple choices...either join with other gun owners and work for laws that respect and recognize your rights and vote out the politicians that deny the same. Or...more someplace where that's not an issue.

March 21 2014 at 10:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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