Starbucks Appreciation Day AAR: The BUYcott and "Counterfeit" $2 Bills - ITS Tactical

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Starbucks Appreciation Day AAR: The BUYcott and “Counterfeit” $2 Bills

By Bryan Black

We had a fantastic turnout at our ITS organized BUYcott event at Starbucks this morning! It was great to see so many people come out to support the 2nd Amendment and have a cup of coffee with us. Our peaceful hang out even had the Hurst Police Department come by to see how things were going.

When we first showed up at Starbucks this morning (with our Guns and Coffee Patches on of course), they weren’t all that receptive to our presence as you’ll see in the video below. They marked all of our $2 bills to see if they were counterfeit and wouldn’t accept the majority of them. As you can also see in our photos, our bills were perfectly legit, even verified as such by the officers that showed up.

It’s tough to support a company that seems to not want to be supported, at least at the Starbucks on Pipeline and 820 in Ft. Worth, TX. As mentioned, the Police showed up with a report that we were “demonstrating” outside, when all of the roughly 20 of us were doing is standing around talking and drinking coffee.

The officer also laughed when we showed him the $2 bills the improperly trained Starbucks employees had marked up. They tried to say that the ink smears on fake $2 bills, as it was on our “newly printed” $2 bills. Despite me trying to say that it’s smearing because it’s new ink and that it turns black when a counterfeit detector pen is used to mark on it. Starbucks obviously needs to train these employees better at this location.

It was great to have the support of the local Police and they all enjoyed the ITS patches and stickers we handed them; the first officer that walked up gave us a triumphant fist in the air and a “I’m with you guys.”

Thanks to everyone that showed up to support the BUYcott, including the guys from Chosen Tactical and Lone Star Medics. Even if the employees didn’t seem to want the support, they’ll at least remember why we were there. I’m continuously humbled by all the awesome people who have helped ITS grow into all that it is and I can’t wait for the next meet up (that may be misinterpreted as a demonstration!)

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  • Lance Owens

    …uuhhhmmm…they had monkeys on the first NASA flights…reckon one day they’ll teach them to make coffee?…

  • Josh R

    Ink smears have nothing to do with the counterfeit detection. The pens work because bills are linen which don’t react with the iodine solution in the pens. Wood pulp (like normal paper) reacts with iodine and turns black.

    • Bergman

      Actually, it’s not the paper at all. Well, not directly. The iodine pens turn black when they encounter starch, and only medium-quality paper is starched. The top quality linen paper you see in both money and legal documents typically isn’t starched, nor is the lowest quality (such as newspapers).

      You can cause a false positive in genuine money by spraying it with laundry starch.

      Professional counterfeiters are well aware of this, which is why they almost always bleach low denomination bills to reprint, or acquire high quality paper to do their printing. In other words, any counterfeit bill that turns black when tested with the pen almost certainly lacks all the other anti-counterfeiting features as well.

  • Thanks for putting this local gathering together, ITS Tactical. We hope everyone had as much fun as we did. Only down fall is that we’re all jacked up on caffine now and are awaiting the “crash” this evening. Till next time… cheers!

    • Tim

      On a totally unrelated topic I took the Dynamics First Aid course you taught at KR Training and really enjoyed it. I hope you come back out in the fall for another class.


  • Kenny

    Definitely a training issue. Counterfeit detection pens are supposed to be swiped on a clear area of the bill. They are not intended to test the ink, they are intended to the “paper” of the bill. The pen contains an iodine solution that reacts with the starch in wood-based paper to create a black stain.

    The blonde-haired barista with glasses, seen in the background of the video was very appreciative of us being there. But, she is also a gun owner and CFL holder too.

    I wish I had gotten there sooner to have more time to hang out. Sorry I missed most of it.

    • Appreciate the insight and support Kenny! I’m glad you got a chance to chat with her. She definitely seemed nervous when we were ordering and the overall vibe we got there wasn’t warm and fuzzy at all. You can see in the background where the dark haired girl with glasses goes to tell the manager that we’re filming. She was mainly the one that seemed to have a big issue with us being there and the one that turned down our $2 bills due to improper training.

    • Zander Froelich

      That’s so funny they thought they were counterfeit when I bought a cup of coffee with a 2 dollor bill the cashier looked at me funny

    • Bergman

      Ironic that you went there to honor them for not discriminating against rights…and their employee immediately had a problem with you exercising your rights…

  • Classic day… Maybe we could buy Starbucks a couple dozen bill pens and a training DVD on how to use them. Maybe we could rent a bus and ship the employees out to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in North Fort Worth for some lessons on how paper money is made and counterfeited.

    Bill Pen info:

  • Shane

    The pens do nothing for “washed” counterfeit bills. My bank doesn’t use the pens anymore. You have to check the watermark to be sure. I guess the folks at SB didn’t get that memo.

  • Stephen Stetz

    I’m glad ITS Tactical hung in there for the Buycott supporting the 2nd Amendment. I used my $2 bills today without issue in Ohio. Can’t wait for the next anti-gun demonstration attempt so we can show up in numbers to squash their pathetic attempt to impede on our gun and gun carry rights. GUNS AND COFFEE!!

  • Doc

    I had a handful of sacajawea dollars I got at a casino and tried to buy a cup of coffee at a Wawa a few years ago on a roadtrip. They just happened to be in my pocket so why not? Lady behind counter said, “What’s that?” me “A dollar coin.” her, “I’m not taking it.” me- “Why not it’s a legal U.S. coin?”
    Thank god for plastic.

    • Bergman

      Businesses have the right to do that. Where it gets sticky legally is when you pay a bill for something you’ve already used/consumed. And the area isn’t gray at all when it comes to paying off longer term debts. Refusing a payment offered in legal tender discharges the debt on the spot.

  • All over Austin we’ve been slamming our Starbucks locations and, despite a few odd looks from some of the obvious liberal patrons that circulate largely in Austin, we were very well received. And I’m glad to report I had several happy head nods as I posed for pictures with a very large hot pink sign thanking Starbucks! I also had on hand brand new $2 bills and the clerk had no issue with them and didn’t mark them up even. I think over all this has been a positive boost to our movement. Thanks so much to your group(s) for helping the whole support our rights and our freedoms! I love how there hasn’t seemed to be a response yet from the very underwhelming anti-gun boycotters! So despite your troubles with some nincompoops I say this was a WIN!

    • Jonathan

      Yea, Jennifer, I think many forget that Austin is probably one (of the few?) of the only liberal, and THE most liberal city in Texas.

      People here will literally say to your face, “I wish all guns were banned so people couldn’t kill people so easily”.

      God bless Texas. God bless America.

    • Bergman

      Yeah, people have this image of Texas, of cowboys in hats too big for most doorways, with six-shooters on every belt, and spurs on every boot.

      When in reality, Texas is one of the less permissive states when it comes to keeping and bearing arms, especially when compared to, say, Arizona.

      As for those idiots in Austin, I’d counter by asking “So you believe that criminals are called that because of their profound respect for the law and refusal to ever violate it? Why would a gun ban stop a criminal from having a gun?”

  • Andrew

    Some people just don’t understand what legal tender is. If you’ve never seen it before, sure – question it. But EVERYONE has seen a $2 bill. Guys, due to my work schedule, I’ve not been able to participate here in Virginia, but I appreciate what you guys are doing.

    • Bergman

      Apparently not everybody.

  • Zippo

    I couldn’t make it to TX but I made sure to buy a cup in WA today. Representing the guns and coffee movement from the pacific NW.

  • TDubb

    As several of you guys have said, the pens test for starch on/in the paper which genuine Federal Reserve Notes (that’s U.S. Dollars for you lay folk) do not have given they are made of linen and not wood. That said there are many ways to prevent the the pens from working (good counterfeiters know this). Also genuine bills could still test “positive” if they have been washed/dry cleaned. The pen’s should be discontinued/banned as they give people a false sense of security and they rely on those instead of scrutinizing the bills for the actual security features built in to the design.

  • Kenny

    There is one more thing I would love to be able to say to all these anti-gun commies: You give up your First Amendment rights and I’ll give up my Second Amendment rights.

  • Looks like you guys had a good turnout! Houston to Fort Worth was a little too far to drive, so I had to settle for my local Starbucks haha.

  • Raven

    *Sigh* Starbucks… (The majority of this comment has been edited for violent profanity against stupid ass employees and piss poor training)…makes tasty coffee.

  • Jackel

    I bought my coffee today at about 5:30 at the local Starbucks, when I handed the girl the $2 bill, she grabbed a stack of them out of the register about 1/2 inch thick and said, “what is with all the $2 bills today?” I tried to explain it but I think the concept of a buycott was a little too deep for her. But it was great to see that he word was out as evidenced by the fist full of $2’s she had there!

  • Brian

    If I lived near by I would have joined you all. However I would have bought my coffee ells where.
    Star”bucks” says it in it’s name. They are a Corporate franchise that only cares about how many more “bucks” they can put in their pockets. Starbucks does not care about local business nor do they care for any charity work. Most of their employes are snobbish and unfriendly. The coffee also isn’t worth the ten dollars a cup.

    I like what ITS does. Keep up the good work!

  • Wow, I didn’t know that ITS was DFW based. Here I am in Euless like a bump on a log…

  • Gene

    No problems up here in Iowa…didn’t have any $2 bills but my NRA cap got a nod from a fellow patron.

  • Ryan

    Hey, the guy in the ranger hoodie w/ the starbucks patch. Hit me up, I’d like that patch for my ranger hoodie.


      Got mine in the mail today.

  • far zero

    At least you guys had some $2 bills. My bank attendant looked at me like I had no clue what I was talking about. After explanation, her manager came over and said it would take 25 mins to recover them from the safe….
    That didn’t deter me from making a Starbucks purchase though and even writing corporate a positive message!

  • Cody Schilke

    Had a great time, nice to meetup with a few ITS locals. I am thinking we should do this a bit more often. I am thinking weekly Friday afternoon range days! PM me on the forum or email me at ctschilke(at)gmail(dot)com if you are local to the metro mess and interested. And no I am not talking about your typical range lanes and paper killing either…

  • Yakman

    Most Excellent ITS! I made my own little stop at Starbucks yesterday for some hot chocolate (don’t drink coffee/caffeine) carrying as I have a Cali CCW. Unfortunately I was alone in my buycott. Oddly enough though, the best Starbucks I have ever been to was a Starbucks attached to a Chevron in South San Francisco a few miles north of the International SFO.

  • Bryan the counterfeit detection fail ranks up there with the dipstick that tried to burn the one inch hemp rope at Home Depot.

    • Hah! That was definitely classic brother, this ranks up there for sure!

  • Chris

    I ha fun meeting y’all out there. I got there right as the first officer showed up. Definitely a good time. Nothing says dangerous demonstration like a bunch of guys standing around drinking $5 lattes and one guy with a stroller. Lol.

  • Tactical Tom

    Most of the above comments are why I buy my coffee drinks from Panera Bread!
    Mmm…. Chai Latte!!!
    Also, the baristas are much prettier and more friendly.

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