Waffle House waitress asks uniformed soldier to leave gun outside in exchange for service

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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.

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

Welch said 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 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.’”

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.

“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.