A Waffle House near Nicholasville, Kentucky, told a National Guardsman that he was not allowed to have his gun inside the restaurant in late September, which has spurred a call for a boycott (video below).
Billy Welch, who claimed to be wearing his uniform and his gun in a holster, told LEX 18 soon after the incident:
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. 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."
You know, if I can't have my firearm, then I can't be here. I walked inside to the other waitress. I said, "Thank you, but no thank you ma'am. I'm gonna have to leave."
The story went viral on the web per another customer, but the Waffle House stood its ground in a 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.”
According to Eater, the Waffle House also claimed in a statement, which has since been removed, that Welch "was an active participant in a fight on the premises several weeks prior to September 27th. He was restrained and taken off the premises by off-duty police officers that were eating in the restaurant at the time ... We are highly supportive of all our military branches and especially supportive of our veterans."
However, the Oath Keepers, an organization that claims to defend the U.S. Constitution, called for a boycott of Waffle House on Oct. 3: "Obviously, it would be difficult to know all the companies to refuse to patronize, although having a 'No Guns' sign posted merits an immediate 'No Business' response. Waffle House seems a pretty good candidate."
"...Waffle House would actually be a great candidate to single out and make an example of. If they dig their heels in and go belly-up, who cares? And if they end up doing the right thing, it will be an in-your-face victory that’ll cause a very public Demanding MILM hysterical meltdown."