MANASSAS, Va. (WUSA) - Eight plainclothes police officers carrying
guns were asked to leave the Buffalo Wild Wings in Manassas because of
its "no guns" policy.
Now, the restaurant chain has issued an apology and more. Regional
Manager Philip Rossi says the company has a good relationship with the
community and welcomes all law enforcement officers, with or without
Rossi says the manager knew they were officers when he asked them to
leave. The officers were all wearing identification. The problem,
Rossi says, is that the manager didn't realize the company's "no guns"
policy excluded police officers, even plain clothes officers.
The restaurant has put up blue and white balloons in support of
police and has pledged to donate 10 percent of Wednesday's sales to the
non-profit Law Enforcement United which helps the children of fallen
Prince William County Officer Jarad Phelps came to the Buffalo Wild
Wings for lunch on Wednesday, but also to thank them for the donations and
Phelps, speaking as an individual says about the mishap, "Thought it
was a mistake, that's all. It's one of those unfortunate things that
Customers we talked to feel the same way and appreciate the restaurant's pledge of support to Law Enforcement United.
"That's fantastic. I mean that makes sense. That's the way a good
company responds. They knew there was something wrong and they wanted
to make an effort and I think that makes sense."
It used to be illegal for non-law enforcement to carry a gun into a
restaurant in Virginia. In 2010, lawmakers reversed that, requiring
that people carrying guns don't drink alcohol in the establishments.
However, restaurants can have their own "no guns" policy, like Buffalo
Wild Wings does.
Joy Diaz says she likes the no guns policy and wishes more
restaurants would have it. She says it makes her uncomfortable seeing
someone carrying a gun because there's been a lot of crime around and,
"you never know."
However, she's fine if she knows it's a police officer with a gun and now, so is Buffalo Wild Wings.
The company is based in Minneapolis and has about 900 restaurants across the country.