A National Guard soldier says he was asked to leave his gun outside of a waffle house or he would not be served.
Billy Welch was having breakfast at Nicholasville Waffle House in Kentucky on Sept. 26, WLEX reported. He was donning his Army National Guard uniform and had his gun holstered to his side.
When Welch finished ordering his food, 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 [with them] taking my firearm away from me. I always keep it with me and they said, ‘it’s one of our policies.’”
Welch told the waitress he could not leave his weapon outside.
“You know, if I can't have my firearm, then I can't be here,” Welch said. “I walked inside to the other waitress. I said, ‘thank you, but no thank you ma’am. I'm gonna have to leave.’”
Micaela Shaw was also dining at the waffle house that morning and gave a detailed account of the situation on Facebook.
“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,” Shaw said. “I just wanted to stand up for him.”
The post went viral and Welch said he was grateful for her support.
The owner of the Nicholasville Waffle House issued the following statement, according to WTHR: “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.”