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Police Officers Refused Service at Buffalo Wild Wings Because of Guns

The general manager of the establishment, who wasn't there during the officers' visit, issued an apology to the department.

MANASSAS, VA -- Eight police officers were refused service at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday, apparently because they had their weapons displayed.

The Prince William County Police officers were on duty, but were in plain clothes, said Daryl LaClair, a Prince William County resident who wrote a letter to the restaurant chain’s headquarters and started a public awareness campaign regarding the incident.

The group walked into the Buffalo Wild Wings located near Wellington Road and Market Street, but were refused service by an employee who said they had to secure the guns before they would be served.

The officers had their badges displayed but still weren’t served.

Scott Lupton, the general manager of the Manassas Buffalo Wild Wings location, sent an email to LaClair, apologizing for any confusion caused by the incident, which he calls a “huge misunderstanding.”

Patch obtained a copy of the letter and confirmed its validity with Lupton on Monday

Lupton said he wasn’t there on Wednesday, but should have been notified immediately. He learned of the incident on Thursday after returning to work.

“… There is no reason why those officers should have been asked to leave … police officers are always welcome in my establishment and even though we do have a no gun policy, as a company that excludes off duty police officer,” Lupton wrote.  “As a company we are community oriented.  We appreciate everything that police officers do for us.”

Last week he tried to reach out to the officers to apologize, but had not been successful. Lupton said he would reach out to the police department and personally apologize.

“For this to have happened at all is just absurd,” LaClair wrote Friday in an email to Patch.

Lupton said he went down to the Prince William County Police Department with an apology letter, but wasn't able to personally contact the police officers who visited his store.

Tell us in the comments what you think about this incident.

jason wells May 01, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I understand what you meant Levi, which is why you and your family should be, well, you know what i mean.
Owen May 02, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Ask anyone who works there, the cops drink all day "off-duty"
Owen May 02, 2013 at 04:47 PM
The "off duty" cops at my establishment drink all day with guns on their hips
kris johnson May 05, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Wow hope the cops refuse that idiot help next time they are in need of help hope no armed robbers read this article because they just found easy target cause even if cops are there they won't be armed. Never mind a criminal wouldn't rob this place all criminals follow the rules if it states no guns allowed they wouldn't bring a gun hope cops refuse the employee service if they ever need protected
kris johnson May 05, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Levi I totally agree with you. I would like to thank all the brave men & women who protect & serve their communities! Im sure people like that employee would be 1st one begging & pleading for help if a bad person or any bad situation come about were people like you run to the situation. Then after dust settles they would probably bash you all & try acting like they are the hero. Regardless I thank you all for your service
Texas Dave May 06, 2013 at 12:26 AM
I would not go back to that establishment if I was one of the Officers. I would take my business elsewhere where it would be appreceiated.What a sad sad day.
Jesus Lord May 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM
I love that the employee sided with safety. Instinct trumps all laws. Anyone can get a fake badge. No guns means no guns. The officers could easily have gone to a restaurant that allows, but they did not--they are the idiots. Citizens police themselves all the time, and you damn well better let them do it their own way. /thread
Dale Rhoades May 29, 2013 at 03:30 AM
It’s a shame there are really people so stupid as to think police officers should not carry their guns. Do you Einsteins really think that if an armed robber decides to rob the restaurant he’ll check his gun at the door? Stupid people really irk me.
Jackson Tennessee May 29, 2013 at 09:17 AM
If a thug comes into this business and takes these employees hostage the swat team must not show up with guns to rescue them; they can show up with a "pretty please" than leave!
Ericka Jonea May 30, 2013 at 03:01 AM
My father was one of the officers.
Brian July 12, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Folks - read the WHOLE article. Seems that an employee interpreted the policy a little different that management intended. So, I wouldn't jump out and scream BOYCOTT BWW because of one persons actions. It's clear that the manager has clarified the situation and worked to make amends.
Amos Moses July 13, 2013 at 01:30 AM
For those of you that think that you are not going to eat there ever again, good choice, now I do not have to wait for you to get out of my way. If you think that the po-po will not respond to an emergency call there, guess again, if they are not to busy eating donuts, they might. I just wonder why they were not at Dunkin Donuts?
Bryan McConnell August 03, 2013 at 11:18 AM
This is a business I have added to my list of not being a patron of. Making political statements from a private enterprise is risky business and to anger the very people that protect such establishments is a special kind of stupid. If you are going to have firearms related rules your employees must enforce, I think special care should be taken to make sure they know the "details" of the policy.
D Bryan Broome August 13, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Brian learn to read "even though we do have a no gun policy, as a company that excludes off duty police officer,” ................done with them !!!! Period !!!!!
Kari Lineaweaver August 20, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I'm so sick of hearing people generalizing all officers together. There are bad apples in every group! But here's the thing, we need officers and with guns! No officers, no law abiding citizens allowed to carry and that just leaves the schmucks to carry. We don't live in lala land with rainbows and unicorns. We need to make changes to our judicial system. We need to call a criminal a criminal and not a client. They need to lose there rights, we need to make it so they don't want to commit crimes and STOP punishing the victim or the law abiding citizens.
Rodger Higgins August 20, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Kari Lineaweaver -- A good place to begin would be to reverse the laws enacted by liberals that allow "prisoner bill of rights" to those who broke the law and were sentenced to prison. Since when does someone who committed a crime have rights? They lots their rights when they decided to commit a crime and were imprisoned for it. Once you start reversing these soft heart punishments, no more "canteen", hard labor instead of watching TV, playing cards, reading books and sitting around talking all day. There are people that work 2 or more jobs to make ends meet and don't have the meals these inmates get AND COMPLAIN ABOUT.
Tony Lopez September 03, 2013 at 11:59 PM
A bunch of fuss over nothing...
Connie December 30, 2013 at 08:27 AM
For those of you that have stated that you will not patronize the establishment, remember that the decision was made by an employee, not the Manager or owner. Off duty cops have also saved or helped someone simply because they were armed. They are never "off-duty". Be grateful that there are men and women who risk their lives for such low pay and respect. Recently, a Woodbridge store owner was robbed, he handed over the money and was still shot in the head, another employee was on the customer side of the counter and the robber put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Fortunately the gun jammed and the robber fled. Do you think an off duty cop would of helped had he been there and was carrying the weapon he was issued? With the many occurrences of someone entering an event, school, movie theater, shopping mall and opening fire I for one will welcome having an off duty officer that has a weapon on the scene. I may be wrong but I think that because they are law enforcement officers they have a duty to provide aid even if they are off duty. In the even that something happened they wouldn't of been much help if they were not carrying their weapons.
Wayne December 30, 2013 at 08:46 AM
Connie. Good post. There was a manager on duty but not the general manager. The manager was involved in telling them they had to leave. The officers were all on duty and they were clearly indentified as police officers.
Spartan300 December 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM
BY: " dave April 01, 2013 at 09:53 PM- well, the police never want to abide by the law,they always seem to grant themselves special privileges, the law applies to everyone, even to the cops." Lol Civilians always say things like that - especially ones that have had a brush or two with the law. It never fails :)
Audrey Clement, Candidate Arlington County Board December 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM
What is wrong with asking police to secure their firearms when in an eating establishment? The firearms don't lose their ability to discharge just because someone is wearing a badge.
BigAl Barkley December 30, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Audrey Firearms don't discharge themselves. So as a "candidate for Arlington County Board you must be for disarming police.
Wayne December 31, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Wow Audrey. I can understand the dolts that post that apparently have a grudge against the police. But if you are really a candidate for Arlington County Board I hope the voters realize what your thought process is like and they don't vote you in. Of course we are talking about Arlington so you'll likely win by a landslide if common sense is not required.
G.S. Fowler December 31, 2013 at 05:12 AM
As a newly retired police officer of 31 years service, I frequently still carry a concealed firearm for the same reasons the officer above listed for carrying off duty. I am well known in my community as a long serving officer and not all of them know I retired. Some of the criminals I put in jail for years for all kinds of crimes, could care less if I retired and maybe even feel a little more embolden if they did know.As a Task Force Detective I investigated everything from homicide to suicide. I especially prided myself on being able to frequently obtain confessions and even sometimes letters of apolology for what they had done. This saved 98% of my adult and child sexual assault victims from having to take the stand to describe what had happened to them. Although we no longer have a duty to act as our active brother do, I know few of my retired friends who would not act to stop a felony in progresss or act to stop a criminal from shooting any victim. We still qualify annually to the same firearms standards as active officers as mandated under federal LEOSA standards. These standards allow all active and honorably retired officers to carry from state to state. However if the property is posted prohibiting concealed carry, we can't ignor the sign. I usually write a letter to the business objecting to the policy and instruct my family and friends to boycott the location. The business loses our business and "free" armed protection. We all know just how safe gun free school zones protect our children. Criminals will always go after the easy targets first beccause there isn't any risk to them. But to cut this short, I support concealed carry in these locations because if it's concealed properly, no one will know your even carrying a firearm until such time as it becomes necessary to act and that element of suprise could decide the outcome of the crime. A Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all. "Sarge".
johnny n simancas December 31, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Daryl LaClair BACK IN 1880'S SHERIFF WYATT EARP IN DODGE CITY DID NOT ALLOWED ANYBODY TO WEAR A GUN EXCEPT HIM. SO AN OFFICER OF THE LAW CAN WEAR A GUN ASSIGNED TO HIM AT ANY TIME .
Wayne December 31, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Good post GS but there will still be the knuckledraggers here who are clueless.
Santi Lara January 08, 2014 at 03:02 AM
Agree with you Tony, it's a bunch of fuss over nothing. Erica, just get some Buffalo Wings to go and take it to your dad. I am sure these cops are big boys and can understand that some businesses have rules they don't agree with. I can't imagine that these officers are now pouting their lips and sitting in a corner about to cry in disappointment. They are sworn to serve and protect, not to be so sensitive and start boycotting because they didn't get their little wings. Come on officers, there are better issues to deal with, like real crimes. It's the job you chose to do, and just like everyone else that has a job, deal with life as it is.
Celine February 18, 2014 at 04:54 PM
That is ridiculous to refuse service! I agree, Santi Lara, just a bunch of stirring the pot over nothing. This was interesting to hear about! Where can I read another story similar to this? Celine | http://www.northwayglass.ca
Suzie Quzie Wagnr Fostr March 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM
Dear Wake-up, Stupid. Please change your name to "I don't know how to spell ridiculous" As for the incident, it was a misunderstanding. Get over it. My ex was a cop. He would have never taken offense, but instead commended them on taking precautions for the safety of their patrons. Despite the badges being displayed, the worker did what he felt was right. He most likely was young and therefore, please get over it. We all did stupid things when we were youths.
Wayne March 23, 2014 at 04:47 AM
Misunderstanding my a**. The manager on duty could have overridden the young employee but didn't. They kicked out on duty cops who just finished a training session.

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