What is Waffle House’s Gun Policy?

Waffle House Gun Policy

Following this Sunday morning's shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee Waffle House many people are wondering if they will be able to defend themselves should another of these establishments be attacked. Well today we are going to take a look at Waffle House's gun policy to see just how you are allowed to defend yourselves once entering their restaurants.


For those of you who haven't heard the story, early Sunday morning a gunman, Travis Reinking entered a Nashville Waffle House and proceeded to open fire with an AR-15 that he was carrying. The carnage was quick and vicious and sadly ended with the shooting of six people and the deaths of four of those innocent civilians.

It took the actions of an unarmed man, 29-year-old James Shaw to wrestle the gun away from Reinking's hands before the shooter ran off into the night. At the time of writing this article Travis Reinking still has not been captured and anyone who has information about him is urged to call the Nashville Police Department at (615) 862-8600.


Now, as morbid as this may sound, this tragedy could have been avoided if Waffle House's stance on firearms was more in line with our founding fathers. If you look at the facts, Waffle House is a predominantly Southern company, rife with locations in the bible belt and more traditionally conservative America. What does that mean? More law-abiding gun owners.

Unfortunately Waffle House has a history of being an anti-gun company. In an interview with Second Amendment Check, a member of Waffle House's corporate office said to them that the company did not agree with citizen's second amendment rights within their restaurants.

She told us they ban firearms in every location, except for law enforcement.  She believes all locations are posted as gun free zones.”

And if that is not enough, in 2015 a Kentucky Waffle House refused to serve an armed National Guardsman in one of their establishments.

How much easier would it have been to stop this senseless massacre if it didn't take an unarmed hero to risk his life to lunge for the gun and rather have a room full of well armed citizens ready with their firearms to handle the situation? Unfortunately we will never know.

What do you think of this story? Do you feel this situation would have been better handled if it didn't take someone with no gun to defend the restaurant? Let us know in the comments below.

About Craig Martin

Craig Martin grew up in the unincorporated town of Lewis, Wisconsin. From a young age, Craig was introduced to guns, as he was tasked with defending his backwood home’s wiring from a scourge of red squirrels.

Ever the animal lover, though; Craig couldn’t let these creatures die needlessly. So he would take his kills and leave them for the foxes, coyotes, and bears to eat at a deer feeder his grandfather built around their home.

His lifestyle made Craig understand that guns are a tool and ever since, has spread the word about how firearms are not a menace, like the red squirrel, but an item to help people. He instils this in every article he writes for USA Firearm Training.


  1. Jay Lacson on April 23, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    I do not care if a private business doesn’t allow the carry of a concealed firearm. Here in Florida it is not against state law to carry a firearm in those so called ‘Gun Free Zone’ businesses so I carry away. With that said if the business some how has x-ray vision and sees my firearm, they ask me to leave than I will leave with a smile on my face. I strongly feel as long as I am following Florida state statute I will carry as may concealed firearms inside a Waffle House and eat as many waffles as I want.

    • Jordan Mamrak on November 5, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      What about States like Ohio where a “NO CARRY” sign isn’t merely a suggestion. It’s a law that carries a punishment. I live in Ky so I can carry in posted no carry zones (with exceptions). But we need to fight for rights of others in other states. Every American deserves CCW everywhere in any state any time.

    • Michael Briley on March 3, 2023 at 10:18 am

      If you are a business owner, who does not allow firearms in your establishment. It is your DUTY to have your own firearm or some form of security.
      If you are guaranteeing my safety, you are LIABLE if something happens, and you disarmed me, and then REFUSE to offer any protection.

      • Vincent on August 26, 2023 at 1:03 pm

        You are right sir and they now should be made to pay.

    • Nathan Freeman on June 11, 2023 at 2:28 pm

      So…what you’re saying is, you’re happy to freely give your money to a company that hates your right to bear arms and does want or trust you in their establishments while armed because you’re too liberal with your cash and lazy with your ideology to cast a vote with your wallet by taking your hard earned money elsewhere? Cool story, bro.

  2. Darkwing on April 24, 2018 at 6:58 am

    As I have always said: Vote with your dollars. I live in western North Carolina, I have informed many businesses that I will not do business with them because of a no gun policy. I do not show my gun. Just tell them and a lot of people I know.

  3. Albert on April 24, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Waffle House will NEVER see my ass walk thru their door. “Gun Free Zone” = KILLING FIELD…..

  4. J. H. Wolf on April 24, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I have always thought that a company that bans guns on the location implies that it will protect those people that can no longer protect themselves. I hope some lawyer will use this idea to help those persons and families harmed in this attack.

    • Richard on September 5, 2019 at 7:37 am

      I live in north Georgia and eat at a lot of waffle houses and none of them are marked gun free zones so I will continue to eat and carry there

  5. Louisiana CCW American on April 24, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Hey, check out the attempted robbery of a Waffle House in New Orleans just a few days ago and you’ll see how things change when a Responsible Armed American with his CCW is present. The anti-gun liberals will surely hate to hear about this. I’m with Darkwing, if I ever go into a Waffle House, my CCW will always be with me. Da!

  6. Louisiana CCW American on April 24, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Here is what the workers said after the attempted robbery at the Waffle House in New Orleans on April 19, 2018…………………
    At that point, worker said a customer standing behind him pulled out his own gun.

    “Just by the grace of God, a good Samaritan who had a concealed weapon permit, who was standing behind me, scared them off,” the worker said.

    Late Friday afternoon, police confirmed that one of the suspected robbers had been shot several times and remained in the hospital.

    Armed American CCW – 1, low life robber 0 !!!!!! Perfect example of what CCW is all about.

  7. Joseph Shahoud on April 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    This article is quite intriguing to me, because I never knew Waffle House had such a stance on concealed firearms in their establishments. I say this because I am in South Carolina and eat a Waffle House locations all throughout the state and I have never seen one with a sign prohibiting firearms on premises. So, as long as that is the case, I imagine I’ll keep eating there, but as soon as I see one sign go up, I’ll never step foot in one again.

    • Jeremy Elkins on May 11, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      I have eaten at a brand new location near my house now many times since they opened late last year. Ironically, today, they asked me if I was law enforcement. When I told them no, they said they have a no guns policy. This, after the multiple times I’ve come in there. When I told the waitress I didn’t see any sign anywhere, they showed me this sign that was 20 feet from the door (outside) on the other end of the building.
      She then tried to explain what there had been a shooting. I told her that I knew about the shooting and if that was going to be WH’s policy….expect many more senseless shootings. I told our usual waitress who stood off to the side, “take care, Sweetie. I don’t envy you doin night shifts in a potential killing box.” Foolish policy.

  8. Dale Lowdermilk on April 27, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Worth watching

    Worth reading

  9. Dale Lowdermilk on April 27, 2018 at 2:32 am


    Excellent comments!

  10. Dale Lowdermilk, Founder NOTSAFE(dot)ORG on May 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Correction to “links” mentioned above..

    June 17, 2004—Fayettteville, NC

    January 21, 2012 Spartanburg, SC

    July 15, 2012 Charleston, SC (but customer carrying CCW illegally saved lives)

    July 29, 2013—Fulton County, GA (Atlanta) but ROBBER is shot by off-duty cop carrying concealed gun.

    November 3, 2013—Lexington, KY

    November 30, 2015—Biloxi, MS (argument over smoking policy)

    August 1, 2016—Charleston, SC

    July 19, 2017—Chester, SC

    Nov 21, 2017 A comedian RANT about Waffle H goes Viral—inspires violence

    Jan 9, 2018—Columbia, MO

    Mar 7, 2018—Norfolk, VA

    Mar 17 2018—Crestview, FL

    April 26, 2018—Valley, AL

    My “theory” is that MILK CAUSES CRIME Abstract

  11. That Guy on May 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    There are no 30.06 or 30.07 signs on the Waffle Houses in Texas.

  12. Mike on September 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    I live in an OPEN CARRY state, and while I have had occasion to carry my sidearm in a few Waffle House locations, without incident, I have discontinued my patronage of this company for their anti-gun stance. In spite of the nearest location being only six miles from where I live, adjacent to a Wal-Mart that I frequently carry my sidearm in.

  13. fred on March 23, 2021 at 6:13 am

    The Waffle House franchises in my area are not as draconian as the article indicates. Although their corporate policy is “no guns” they have yet to display the sign on the doors as required by law. You can me asked to leave but not prosecuted without the signs being posted. Speaking to the employees, they’ve never trespassed an obvious “bulge”, just the obnoxious wierdos.

  14. Lee on April 5, 2023 at 11:40 am

    I think it’s stupid you should be allow to carry I mean what if someone come an start being a threat what do you have to protect yourself and others

  15. WA1GON on April 23, 2023 at 9:48 am

    A friend and I went to a Waffle House in Benton Co, Ark. I left my firearm home after hearing how anti-gun they are. Much to my surprise there weren’t any no-guns signs. In Arkansas, you can carry unless it is clearly marked. I don’t know if the company has changed it’s tune or just this owner.

  16. Ed Byars on October 24, 2023 at 12:53 am

    After church, I parked at the Decatur, Al beltline location. As soon as I got out of the car a young man asked me for money. I told him I didn’t have any money, went inside and had my supper.
    I will have concealed carry next time

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