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(CBS)  At a Starbucks in Cupertino, Calif., a group of guys had coffee in hand and handguns on their hips. Recently, gun rights advocates have been testing the limits of state laws allowing them to openly carry handguns.

The coffee house showdown has gun control supporters steaming, and Starbucks has been forced to take a stand. Though it could legally ban guns in its shops, the company decided to allow them where local laws permit. It says in a statement if it banned guns “we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores.” That could get dangerous.

But this isn’t really about Starbucks, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. It’s about the larger battle over gun control. In much of the country it’s simply getting easier to carry a handgun.

In 2008 and 2009, 24 states, mostly in the South and the West, have passed 47 new laws loosening gun restrictions.

(CBS) At a Starbucks in Cupertino, Calif., a group of guys had coffee in hand and handguns on their hips. Recently, gun rights advocates have been testing the limits of state laws allowing them to openly carry handguns.

The coffee house showdown has gun control supporters steaming, and Starbucks has been forced to take a stand. Though it could legally ban guns in its shops, the company decided to allow them where local laws permit. It says in a statement if it banned guns “we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores.” That could get dangerous.

But this isn’t really about Starbucks, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. It’s about the larger battle over gun control. In much of the country it’s simply getting easier to carry a handgun.

In 2008 and 2009, 24 states, mostly in the South and the West, have passed 47 new laws loosening gun restrictions.

(retrived from www.cbsnews.com)