Whataburger Apologizes After Manager Refuses Service to Armed Detective

AP File Photo: L.M. Otero

Whataburger apologized after a police detective entered a Friendswood, Texas, location Thursday and was denied service.

KTRK reports that the Friendswood Police Department detective entered the Whataburger in plain clothes, carrying his gun on his hip with “a badge clearly visible next to it.”

Police said the detective spoke to the store manager to explain that he was law enforcement “but the manager didn’t budge.” The detective left the restaurant without being served.

On Friday, Whatatburger addressed news:

This was an unfortunate misunderstanding of our open carry policy, and we’ve talked to the detective to make this right. He was understanding, accepted our apology and said he plans to come back to Whataburger. Our company policy allows law enforcement with proper identification to open carry at our restaurants, and we’ll be reinforcing this policy with employees through additional training. We’ve also been in contact with the Friendswood Police Officers Association. We want to make it clear that this detective and all law enforcement are welcome in our restaurants and we’re proud to serve them. 

On July 7, 2015–five months before a law allowing the open carry of handguns in Texas took effect–Breitbart News reported that Whataburger would prohibit the open carry of handguns in their stores. Whataburger President and CEO Preston Atkinson said his company “proudly [served] the gun rights community,” but that the open carry of a firearm by someone “who is not a member of law enforcement” was a step too far for customer comfort.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.