What started out as a normal restaurant outing took quite a strange turn after five police officers were asked to leave, on account that one of the officers was carrying a firearm — an event that may leave that particular restaurant with a little less business than usual.
The ordeal unfolded on New Year's Day, after five on-duty detectives from Belleville, Illinois were patronizing the local Denny's Restaurant. While in the midst of eating, one of the managers approached the officer who was carrying her weapon and asked her to take the gun outside or leave the restaurant.
After initially thinking that the manager was joking, the officers soon realized that the manager was quite serious about the request.
Despite the fact the all of the officers had displayed their badges and had several police radios sitting on the table, the manager still insisted that the officer oblige his request - citing that Denny's only allows uniformed police officers to carry weapons inside of the restaurant and that another customer had complained about the firearm's presence.
Shortly following the awkward exchange, the restaurant's general manager approached the officers and assured them that they did not have to adhere to the request. A gesture that was a day late and a dollar short, beings that the officers decided to leave the restaurant immediately.
Fortunately, for entertainment's sake, the story doesn't end there.
After catching wind of the story, Captain Don Sax of the Belleville Police Department (BPD) has barred all on-duty Belleville officers from the restaurant, unless they're "responding to an official call for service."
In a statement released to Fox News, Sax also expressed the BPD's disapproval of the disparaging way that the officers were treated and detailed that the ban would take place "until further notice."
Also in the statement released to Fox News, a spokesperson from Denny's said that the manager had made a mistake, but was trying to do the right thing, and that Denny's does permit both plain-clothed and uniformed officers to carry their weapons inside of the restaurant.
Although this strange turn of events does provide some truly entertaining moments, it speaks volumes about America's fear of guns. Granted this did take place in Illinois, where the word "gun" itself may even be banned. However, when patrons don't even feel comfortable when police officers have guns, it makes one wonder: Just how far will America's fear of guns take us?