Waffle House refuses to serve uniformed soldier carrying gun

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — A social media post about an armed soldier who was refused service at a Kentucky restaurant is going viral.

According to WLEX, Billy Welch is an Army National Guard soldier. Welch says he always keeps his gun holstered to his side for safety reasons. But that gun was the source of an issue on Sunday.

Welch says around 1:30 a.m. he stopped at the Waffle House in Nicholsville wearing his military uniform with his gun by his side.

After ordering his food, he said a waitress signaled for him to come over.

“I got up and I walked over to them, asked them how they were doing and stuff, and they said I’d have to take my firearm outside,” Welch told WLEX. “I don’t feel comfortable taking my firearm away from me. I always keep it with me and they said, ‘it’s one of our policies.’”

At that point, Welch told the waitress he was going to leave.

One witness at the restaurant posted the details of the event on Facebook, and it has since gone viral.

“I have a bunch of family members and friends who have been active military and in the military and retired and it hurts my feelings when people disrespect them,” said Micaela Shaw, who was sitting in a booth nearby. “I just wanted to stand up for him.”

The owner of the Nicholasville Waffle House released this statement:

“For many years we have had a ‘No Firearms’ policy in place in our restaurants. We continue to believe this is the best policy for the safety of our customers and associates.”

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  • Nicholas

    The place has a policy. Military, or otherwise, there should be no exceptions. I served for 8 years as a Marine and went to combat. I don’t expect any special treatment and neither should he. Find a place that accepts firearms or be willing to lock it up, or leave it elsewhere before you go. There are plenty, yes plenty, of service members looking to gain special treatment in the public venue by wearing uniforms when not on duty. Whether he was doing that, I don’t know. But as a service member, he should have the respect and maturity to comply with local owners’ establishments and regulations.

  • Scott Lucas

    At 1:30 am I would guess that it was his personal firearm, which is not in regulation with AR-30-1 the Army’s regulation on the wear and appearance of the Army uniform. So in this case I do not have not problem with him being refused and he should be brought up on charges from the military for having a personal firearm while in uniform.