Waffle House Refuses To Serve National Guardsman In Kentucky

A Kentucky Waffle House refused service to a National Guard member who came inside the popular breakfast restaurant in Nicholasville. The soldier was told he had to take his gun outside and come back in unarmed before he could be seated and served.

The Waffle House National Guard member incident has now gone viral. Billy Welch said he was in his Army uniform when he ordered his food at the Kentucky restaurant, WTHR News reports.

Welch was openly carrying his handgun when he entered the Nicholasville Waffle House. A waitress motioned for him to come speak with her, the National Guardsman said, according to a LEX 18 News report.

"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," Billy Welch said. "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.' "Welch told local reporters that he did not think to much of the no guns allowed request at first. The National Guard soldier said he simply told the Waffle House waitress that he could not leave his gun outside.

"You know, if I can't have my firearm, then I can't be here," Welch added. "I walked inside to the other waitress. I said, 'thank you, but no thank you ma'am. I'm gonna have to leave.' "

Welch soon started receiving messages from folks all around the country after a fellow customer shared the details of the Kentucky Waffle House gun incident 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," Nicholasville Waffle House customer Micaela Shaw posted on Facebook. Shaw was sitting a booth near where the conversation between the Army National Guard soldier and the waitress took place. "I just wanted to stand up for him.""For many years, we have had a 'No Firearms' policy in place in our restaurants. We continue to believe this is the best police for the safety of our customers and associates," the owner of the Nicholasville Waffle House said in a statement released after the story went viral.

The Billy Welch incident is not the first time that Waffle House has garnered national headlines for the "Gun Free Zone" policy at many restaurants. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Waffle House also kicked out a Texas Public Safety Trooper for openly carrying his duty weapon. The Grapevine Waffle House manager reportedly yelled across at DPS Trooper Jeff Evans when he walked in the door when he saw the firearms at his side.

Trooper Evans reportedly attempted to tell the Grapevine Waffle House manager that he was in uniform and in compliance with the Waffle House gun policy, but the Navy veteran's explanation was thoroughly ignored. Evans is a helicopter pilot for the state law enforcement agency, and was in the town on official business. The Texas trooper 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.

What do you think of the Waffle House National Guard member gun policy incident and the no guns allowed policies posted by the restaurant chain?

[Image via Shutterstock]