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Waffle House No Guns Policy Merits Marketplace Response

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What does it tell you about how much a company cares about its customers if it requires them to disarm and then won’t commit to their protection? Why would you give such an establishment your business, especially when there are plenty of competitors who respect your rights?

“[A] soldier with the National Guard was told to leave his gun outside of the Nicholasville Waffle House or he wouldn’t be served,” NBC’s affiliate reported. Billy Welch opted instead to leave.

“For many years we have had a ‘No Firearms’ police [sic] in place in our restaurants,” the franchise  owner stated. “We continue to believe this is the best policy for the safety of our customers and associates.”

Why he believes that is left unsaid. It’s not like Waffle House hasn’t had direct experience with the protective crime-deterrent benefits of lawful carry, such as the time an armed robber threatening the lives of patrons and employees was justifiably shot and killed by an armed customer—prompting demands for making it harder for good people to carry from an indignant cousin of the deceased thug.

Waffle House is now reportedly justifying its actions claiming Welch had been involved in a fight at their restaurant a few weeks prior. Curiously, the report says that statement has been taken down from the Lex18 site where it reportedly was originally posted. The bottom line is, it’s a diversion to mask discrimination against all gun owners.

“Waffle House does have a company-wide policy banning guns, law enforcement is excepted from the rule,” the report continues. “However, the chain’s corporate communications department told Eater yesterday that as a franchise-owned outlet, the location in question may enforce slightly different rules.”

In other words, police are the “Only Ones” trustworthy enough to bear arms at Waffle House.  Everyone recalls how that term originated, right? And Waffle House corporate weasels would evidently rather see you dead than armed.

My friends at The Firearms Coalition have devised an educational card for businesses that post “No Guns” signs on their premises, and recommend handing them out to misguided proprietors. Similarly, groups like Ohioans for Concealed Carry have cards declaring “No Guns = No Money,” and various groups have compiled lists of anti-gun businesses to avoid. There’s even an app for that.

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, as gun owners no doubt make up a significant percentage of its customer base. The profit margins at such places are hardly high enough to give such an advantage to their competitors on a sustained basis, so speaking for myself, I’ll never set foot in one again until they change their policy, publicly apologize, and begin proactively supporting and promoting the right to keep and bear arms.

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.

I also have one other card that you can feel free to hand to businesses, either as is or modified to your liking. It challenges the business owner to sign a contract accepting a legal duty to protect anyone it requires to disarm on their premises, a copy of which is included above in the graphic accompanying this column, and downloadable for printing here.

I encourage you to use it, or one of the other cards, whenever you encounter a “No Guns” sign at a business you would otherwise be likely to patronize.  I know many would rather just avoid speaking out altogether, but unless you tell them why they won’t get your business, you can’t assume they’ll know, and it’s unlikely they’ll change. Figure for everyone who tells them, you probably represent a hundred who agree but just keep quiet.  And don’t forget you can also spread the message via the still underutilized force multiplier power of social media.

By the way, I already sent my card to Waffle House via their Facebook and Twitter pages last month, and of course they ignored it.  If more chose to join in, they would be more attentive proportional to the number of people following suit.

By virtue of the fact that you’re even on this website, you’ve aligned yourself with the ideological leadership in restoring the Constitution and promoting a Bill of Rights culture. I hope you’ll show that same leadership in letting anti-gun companies know they can take their stupid and evil policies and either get on the right side or go broke with them.



David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. “Anyone who seeks to disarm me is not my friend” and, it logically follows, that person or entity does not deserve my friendship, loyalty, patronage, or respect.

  2. No Way. This is absurd. I will not give my business anymore to this company. I urge all Americans to give them a bad review on YELP. This kind of behavior must stop in America.

  3. Agree, boycott large corporations is needed. Support mom and pop shops your neighbors, they just may be able to help your community some day. A tactic long used by those who appose freedom.

  4. Haven’t been in the Waffle House here in Mesa, Az for about a month but there was never a sign there and I carry concealed anyways. My wife and go there weekly after the USPSA shoots and I sit there in my gaudy CZ Team shooting shirt. Some of the waitresses shoot and like to talk guns. I’m hoping nothing has changed here.

  5. How is this not discrimination? It would have benn had he been black, asian, gender specific, gay, transgender etc… Any place that prohibits your second amendment rights should be discrimination….

  6. Just got back from the Waffle House here in Mesa, Az. No signs prohibiting guns just smoking. House rules mention the prohibition of cussing but no mention of guns at all. Probably half the people there carrying concealed. Had the senior special as usual and left without incident. 🙂

  7. Where is this policy posted on their website? I could not find it. I have been to Waffle houses and have not seen it posted on the entrance windows or doors either.

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