Another day, another controversy over an officer spurned at a chain restaurant: This time, a soldier with the National Guard tried to eat at a Kentucky Waffle House while carrying his handgun in uniform and was told the weapon needed to stay outside. Waffle House has long had a “no firearms” policy in place nationwide, probably because Waffle Houses attract their fair share of drunks and violence, and the ban has occasioned plenty of drama, and numerous boycotts and petitions.
Kentucky’s governor actually issued an executive order this summer that allows National Guard soldiers to be armed any time they’re on duty. This particular man, named Billy Welch, handled the situation admirably, saying he didn’t think much of it. A waitress told him about the policy, so he says he replied: “You know, if I can’t have my firearm, then I can’t be here,” adding, “Thank you, but no thank you, ma’am. I’m gonna have to leave.” But a nearby diner from a military family posted about this “disrespect” on Facebook, and from here, of course, it wasn’t long before concerned citizens were up in arms, writing online comments like, “Waffle House is apparently run by idiots.”
The owner of the Waffle House released a statement saying, “For many years we have had a ‘No Firearms’ policy in place in our restaurants. We continue to believe this is the best police for the safety of our customers and associates.”