Waffle House kicked a Texas Public Safety Trooper out of the restaurant for openly carrying his duty weapon. The Grapevine Waffle House manager reportedly yelled across the restaurant at DPS Trooper Jeff Evans as he entered the establishment. Trooper Evans attempted to tell the manager that he was indeed in uniform and in compliance with the Waffle House gun policy, but the military Navy veteran’s explanation was thoroughly ignored.
Texas DPS Trooper Jeff Evans is a helicopter pilot for the state law enforcement agency and was in the town of Grapevine on official business. He was wearing the approved pilot field uniform which consisted of a DPS polo shirt, tan slacks, and his badge and gun attached to his belt. The Waffle House manager told Trooper Evans to leave the restaurant and not to return.
When Breitbart Texas contacted the Texas DPS Trooper via his Facebook page, Evan stated that he could not comment to the media directly about the Waffle House incident. Posting on Jeff Evans’ Facebook page made prior to the Waffle House gun incident gaining nationwide attention indicate that the DPS Trooper was on his way to begin a work shift when he stopped at the Grapevine restaurant.
While standing near the cash register waiting to be seated and served, the Waffle House manager reportedly appeared in the doorway of the kitchen and yelled at him from across the restaurant, instructing him to leave the premises. “SO I just got asked to leave the Waffle House in Grapevine. Apparently my department approved DPS Aircraft uniform is now welcome there,” Trooper Evans posted on the social network. The DPS staffer went on to say, “They said it was because I was wearing a gun. I was in uniform… I explained to the manager that I am a state trooper and he said I still wasn’t allowed to have a gun in the restaurant.”
The CBS Dallas Fort Worth affiliate reported that the Waffle House manager allegedly “missed seeing” the DPS Trooper’s badge on his belt. The restaurant chain admitted that it was not appropriate for the Grapevine Waffle House manager to “chastise” Trooper Evans in front of the other customers.
Waffle House representative Pat Warner issued a press release pertaining to the gun incident with DPS Trooper Jeff Evans, “It is Waffle House policy to allow police officers to bring weapons into our restaurants. In this incident, the manager did not initially see the officer’s badge and should have handled the issue with more discretion. We apologize to the officer for any embarrassment we may have caused him.” The restaurant chain’s corporate security director also reportedly reached out to Trooper Evans and apologized to him and noted that the company has “couched” staffers on how to “better handle” such situations in the future.
In the wake of the Waffle House DPS Trooper controversy, Second Amendment supporters have voiced their displeasure about the chain’s concealed carry policy. My final visit to a Waffle House occurred last summer at a restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina. The “no guns allowed” sign was not posted visibly at the door when my family entered, so we had already been seated and the kids had ordered their food when I finally noticed the policy.
I asked the waitress why the restaurant would not want law-abiding citizens to carry a gun in the restaurant. Ironically, both the woman and the female manager also had their concealed carry license and did not personally agree with the no guns policy, but were bound to enforce it if they wanted to keep their jobs. According to the North Carolina Waffle House staffers, gangs were becoming a problem in the Wilmington area and during the late evening hours “young thugs” would come to the restaurant and the men were considered likely armed.
When I sarcastically asked if she felt a “gun free zone” sign would deter the concealed carry of a firearm by the criminal element, she merely smirked in agreement and shook her head. “Wouldn’t you feel safer if a trained law-abiding citizen like my husband was sitting in a booth with a gun in a concealed holster,just in case a gang banger or armed robber came into the restaurant,” I asked the waitress. “I sure would, and wish I could carry my gun beneath my apron as well,” she answered. Just yesterday a shooting occurred at a Mississippi Waffle House, one man took a bullet to the knee during the incident.
Both the waitress and the manager spent so much time at our table talking about the chain’s gun free zone policy, it took twice as long as normal to finish the meal and continue on with our day’s tourism plans. The waitress went so far as to invite me to join a Facebook group for women with concealed carry licenses of which she belongs.
What do you think about the Texas Waffle House kicking the DPS Trooper out of the restaurant? Do you think “gun free zone” signs deter crime?
[Images via: Brietbart Texas/Facebook and Blackberg TV]