Guns & the Law

Should members of our military be required to leave their guns outside when they go into a restaurant to have a meal? A Kentucky Waffle House thinks so, and refused to serve a National Guardsman who was in uniform.

Billy Welch thought nothing of going into the Nicholasville Waffle House for some breakfast. He was in his Army National Guard uniform with his gun holstered to his side. After ordering his breakfast, he says one of the waitresses motioned for him to come to the counter, where she told him he would have to leave his gun outside.

Welch said he was shocked at the request; many companies don’t allow firearms inside their businesses with the exception of police officers. Welch told the waitress, “I don’t feel comfortable taking my firearm away from me. I always keep it with me.” The employee told him that it was against company policy.

Welch told the waitress, “You know, if I can’t have my firearm, then I can’t be here. Thank you, but I’m going to have to leave.”

Open-carry remains an issue across the country in many public places such as restaurants. Many cities and states ban guns from dining establishments.

The Waffle House franchise owner released a statement saying, “For many years we have had a ‘No Firearms’ policy in our restaurants. We continue to believe that this is the best policy for the safety of our customers and associates.”

It didn’t take long for Welch’s experience to go viral on social media. People are angry that a U.S. soldier was treated this way, saying that it was disrespectful and shameful. One Facebook poster commented, “I can’t believe you would refuse service to a member of our military who was armed! He has not only a right, but a responsibility to carry that firearm safely.”

What do you think? Should members of the military be able to carry their weapons with them at all times just like police officers?

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