A police officer, whether in uniform or not, is legally allowed to carry their gun at all times, something this restaurant manager was not aware of when he kicked three parole officers in Franklin, Tennessee, out of a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant because they were armed, WSMV-TV reported.
Johnny Crumby, president of the Tennessee Fraternal Order of Police had this to say:
“The officers are out there to protect the public.If somebody comes in while someone is on their lunch break, they are not off-duty. They are still an officer. They will respond to whatever occurs there.”
The Tennessee Department of Correction confirmed the officers were in uniform and carrying state-issued law enforcement IDs at the time.
The restaurant chain bans customers from carrying guns, but law enforcement officers are allowed to eat in the restaurants while armed.
The incident caused a social media firestorm.
@TGIFridays thanks to your treatment of police officers @ your Franklin, TN loc, I've had my last mediocre meal at any of your restaurants
— Adrian B. (@FoodieAdrian) October 7, 2015
— Big Ben (@BigBenPreds) October 7, 2015
— Jewdolph (@hairmetalhenry) October 7, 2015
I'm sure that @TGIFridays down in Franklin, TN is going to wish they let those officers eat there when a criminal breaks into the place.
— LEVI (@legit_levi) October 7, 2015
Friday’s corporate office interviewed the manager who asked the officers to leave and came to the following conclusion:
The incident at our Franklin, Tennessee restaurant was caused by a manager’s misunderstanding of our company gun policy, and that manager has since been coached on the policy and now knows that police officers are always allowed to carry guns in our restaurants, whether they are in uniform or not. We have reached out to the officers to personally apologize for the unfortunate misunderstanding, and we’ve invited them back in to join us for a free lunch.
The Fraternal Order of Police, which bills itself as the largest police union in the United States, endorsed President-elect Donald Trump, saying that Trump “understands and supports our priorities, and our members believe he will make America safe again.”
They know that Trump will repair the public’s misguided fear of guns that Obama is responsible for instilling in the public.