First, no…this didn’t happen in Austin, which takes a generally relaxed attitude about carried firearms (away from the UT campus, anyway). This little incident happened in The Woodlands, a Houston suburb. That said,

Conroe’s chief of police was asked to leave the Texas Ear Nose and Throat Specialists office in The Woodlands Tuesday afternoon because he was carrying his firearm.

Chief Philip Dupuis told The Courier he was wearing his badge on his belt in plain view next to his handgun, as well as his Conroe PD identification on a lanyard around his neck when he entered the doctor’s office in the 3900 block of Pinecroft Drive around 4 p.m. and started to check in. A receptionist took his driver’s license and insurance card before questioning him about the gun on his hip.

Pointing out that he’s a police officer didn’t seem to sway the receptionist.

Dupuis said she asked him to take his gun out to his car. The 35-year law enforcement veteran, who never has had an accidental discharge, refused to disarm himself, reiterating that he is a police officer.

And that’s when she asked him to leave.

Before the high horse express gets going…private property. Agree with the TENTS docs or not, its their practice, their rules. But this appears to be a case of an inexperienced or overly officious receptionist.

Texas ENT Office Manager Ryan Johnson called Dupuis to apologize. Johnson told The Courier they have the same signage regarding firearms as any other doctor’s office. It was unclear whether that signage prohibits both open and concealed carry.

“Mr. Dupuis identified himself as a police officer,” Johnson said. “This situation simply should not have happened.” …

“This was a mistake,” Johnson said. “All we can do is sincerely apologize for it and will use it to teach our employees how to better handle these situations when they arise.”

As you can imagine, the chief wasn’t pleased. And all feedback is good feedback.

“It’s just bad,” Dupuis said. “My badge is clearly displayed. I have my lanyard on with ‘police’ on my ID card hanging around my neck. I had handcuffs. The lobby was full of people, and they asked me to leave because of who I am.”

It sounds like Chief Dupuis is taking the appropriate course of action in a case like this…he’s finding another doc:

“I will be looking for a new ENT, just asked to leave … because I am wearing my gun, badge, and ID. I have never been so embarrassed … in my 35 years of law enforcement. …”

No reason to patronize a business that treats gun owners — particularly peace officers — this way. Mistake or not. I’m sure there’s no shortage of ENT’s in the Houston area who will be all to happy to have an armed police officer as a patient.

87 Responses to Texas Police Chief Asked to Leave Doctor’s Office Because of His Sidearm

  1. Sounds like an open and shut case of receptionist ineptitude. That said, the Chief needs an attitude adjustment if he thinks he should live under different rules than the rest of us. There’s no reason for LEO to get special treatment in that situation.

    On the broader issue of being armed in health care facilities, it gets a bit more complicated. If the patient needs to disrobe for exam or treatment, or if general anesthesia is in the works, or if there is a chance the patient might be rendered unconscious while at the facility, then there should not be a firearm for the staff to be concerned with.

    • i guess its a matter of whether he was there as a patient or LEO. as a patient, yeah he should have left it outside, if the is there as an LEO, this is beyond stupid.

      • He was there as a patient, and says he will be looking for a new ENT doctor… you know, one that respects his status as a member of the privileged class.

  2. “Before the high horse express gets going…” Oh man, I’m gonna use that line the next chance I get. Probably with an in-law.

  3. This is an example of situational power exercised by an officious, brainless shit.

    The receptionist is low down on the totem pole, but she wields absolute power in situations like this.

    Maybe Chief Dupuis should hire her as a uniformed officer in the Conroe PD. She fits the profile. Because, after all, there’s no point in having power if you can’t abuse it.

    • This is an example of situational power exercised by an officious, brainless shit.

      The receptionist is low down on the totem pole, but she wields absolute power in situations like this.

      Oh! I thought you were talking about the chief there in the first sentence….

  4. “Pointing out that he’s a police officer didn’t seem to sway the receptionist.”

    Aww, did your little blue cop-card not work this time. *sad-face* Welcome to the world the rest of us live in.

  5. So he was refused service for (insert reason here), and simply chose to take his money elsewhere. A perfectly reasonable response. If only the LGBQTXYZ community were equally so civil.

      • Where does it say he did that? I don’t think that photo is related to this incident.

        I fully endorse him telling people about this experience, just like I fully endorse some LGBTXYZ organization putting out information telling people if its members were denied service. I want to know if the place I’m giving business to has viewpoints I find to be a problem.

        It’s when you start suing private businesses that I start to have a problem…

  6. I wonder…

    Should be sending “our” govt money to organizations that require people to forgo one of their enumerated rights before rendering the service we, and incidentally they, were compelled to pay these people for.

    It’s private property until they deliver a service I’m compelled to use. Then, it’s something else.

  7. Is this a repeat post or am I hallucinating again? Whatever…hope they don’t need a cop. Or do…not my problem.

  8. Without some overarching standard, we will always be fighting over unlimited private property authority versus discrimination versus freedom of association.

    Here is the overarching standard that I advocate. Note that this standard is an absolute standard regardless of any government’s official position:
    (A) Some things are WRONG, period.
    (B) Discrimination is WRONG, period.
    (C) It is WRONG when government compels someone to help another person do something that is wrong.
    (D) It is WRONG when government violates freedom of association with respect to family relationships, friendships, and team composition (such as sports teams or a business team).
    (E) It is right when governments compels businesses to exchange products/services/money with every customer who is NOT doing anything wrong.

    Going into more detail is not practical on this forum. The real question that people should be asking is what standard we use to determine what is actually and truly right and wrong.

    • Discrimination is not wrong. People discriminate as a basic part of living. That hot girl who wouldn’t go to bed with you was discriminating.

      • Yeah, man, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Why wouldn’t she “do business” with me? I was planning on buying her dinner!

      • As I stated, freedom of association is right (and hence discrimination is quite allowable) with respect to family and friendships — which includes dating.

        Reading comprehension: it’s a thing.

        Discriminate all you want with respect to what type of property you want to make/acquire or what you want to do with your time … as long as that discrimination does NOT include refusing to do business with someone who has done nothing wrong.

        Allowing discrimination — under the guise of “freedom of association” — is quite literally deadly if you are the victim of discrimination. We’ll see how much you like unlimited “freedom of association” when everyone refuses to do business with you because of your genetic makeup or some other arbitrary feature. Tell us all how long you will survive if you cannot work for anyone, sell anything to anyone, and no one is willing to sell anything to you.

  9. The office manager fixed the problem. He took responsibility for his subordinate’s behavior and sought out the chief to apologize. I’m sure that, if the chief returned for another appointment, no one would object. The receptionist might not like it but she would have to choose between following orders or finding another job.

    • Decent treatment for one citizen? Accomplished. Decent treatment for the vast majority of Texas citizens who aren’t LEOs? Still working on that….

  10. Cops are the biggest group of special snowflakes in the USA today. Massengill should send every cop a case of product so the cops can wash the sand out. This should have never been any kind of an issue. But Chief Snowflake had to whine and cry like a 6 year old girl denied an ice cream cone.

  11. Clearly the problem was an inexperienced receptionist.

    That said, for not a lot of coin I can make myself look the same way. Internet bought badge, homemade creds, lanyard from Office Depot, handcuffs and handcuff holster… Prolly less than $100.

    This is one of my problems with no-knock raids. Any asshole can dress in black, wave around an AR and yell “POLICE! SEARCH WARRANT!!”.

  12. An LEO should never be required to unarm themselves unless specifically required in or around a facility that houses prisoners or certain LE locations that require such. A Police Officer is never off duty.

    • But the rest of us should be disarmed, because we’re immune to criminal acts going to/from the doctor’s office.

      • Not necessarily, many departments have prohibitionss from officers leaving a firearm in a vehicle unless it’s in a department issued rack/safe.

    • Michael is absolutely correct…for the 31 years I wore a badge I never saw anything like the hate for Police on this site!! As an LEO you are on duty 24/7/365, I never went anywhere unarmed…I was required to always be armed. Now that I am a civilian I am still ALWAYS armed and qualified under LEOSA to carry in all 50 States. I have been caught in a metal detector “situation” now and again and had to “disarm myself”. I didn’t like that anymore than any of you and I think legally armed citizens should be able to go just about anywhere they want to go.

      You LEO haters just keep on hating….you probably won’t be hating if you get in a situation that reires an LEO to save your A$$!

      • Suck it up, precious… You chose your profession and you were welcome to leave at any time. Nobody, least of all the people who bankrolled your pension owes you fuckall.

        You aren’t seeing hate in this article, you’re seeing a lot of pissed of citizens (note: citizens, not civilians)who are tired of being less equal than you because the wrong person signs our paychecks.

        Way to prove half the comments in this thread right though.

      • You sound like the American automobile industry. Wishing for the 50’s sensibilities, where I’ll buy a Chevy, because it was good enough for Granddad, so it’s good enough for me. Well, it’s not the 50’s. Unconditional respect for Law Enforcement is dead, and LEO’s have largely done it to themselves. A few bad apples making the rest of you look bad? I’m sure that’s true. And they are continuing to do so. Sucks, don’t it? And what are you going to do about it? Go “save someone’s A$$”? You know good and dang well that’s not how it works. LEO’s don’t arrive at the nick of time. They arrive seven and a half minutes later, when it’s all over but the shouting. Sorry, public opinion regarding Law enforcement is at an all time low, and changing it is going to be a lot of hard work. Don’t like that? Tough.

        • I fully respect the LEO community and have never been remotely in a LEO position. I do think the chief in question from Cornhole, TX did have a right to broadcast his plight to the world at large; if for no other reason than to inform the rest of us where the dimwits are being employed so we, too, can choose not to patronize said business. If that receptionist is so eager to obey the printed letter and not the intent of the rules, who knows what else (s)he is willing to do “in the line of duty”. Reveal medical information to those who have no need for such? I was under the impression, from MY life experiences, that most everyone over the age of about 12 KNEW that a LEO was always on-duty. Or am I just too old to comprehend that medical personnel are not required to exercise thought and good judgement before jumping to conclusions (is that the ENT office’s new corporate conditioning program)?

      • Wouldn’t really need police if everyone was allowed to carry like they had the LEOSA special privilege. But the Government doesn’t like competition. Also you volunteered to do that job so why should anyone care what hardships you might go through.

      • Tacbear, I think what you are seeing is frustration about the attitude of too many government officials toward decent private citizens who exercise their right to bear arms. Although I believe you are an exception, a dismaying number of police officers share that attitude. I can understand why they feel that way since the majority of interactions between police and the general public are negative in both directions. At best, police officers receive the gratitude of the relatively few individuals they are able to rescue from criminal attack. Most of us on this site would come to the aid of an officer in peril but that occurs even less often.

    • Ugh. Today is my ”saturday’ and I’m in about 15 minutes I’m going back outside to grill some burgers and have a couple beers- off duty ‘af’. This whole “never off duty” nonsense is just trite, especially to those of us that don’t get frisky when we see the latest issue of ‘TACTICAL POLICE GEAR SWAT OPERATOR WEEKLY’.

      Being ‘off-duty’ is a critical function of being a person outside the job and living a well-adjusted life. And when I go outside the chance of me getting attacked is probably less than that of some pensioner in a bad neighborhood of Baltimore.

      • I don’t think I have ever read that magazine before…but I was a Sniper and Asst. Team Leader for the busiest SWAT Team in my state for 20+ years…so I know what being on duty 24/7/365 is Moron. You guys do a lot of hating from your mom’s basement, but until you walk a few miles in our shoes you could not understand the job. You are real brave sitting in the basement telling LEO’s how awful they are and trying to tell them how they should be doing their job. But you don’t see us telling you how to sell insurance or how to paint a house or how to sell a used car or how to set up a server….or what ever you do for a living!

        • Hey Tacbear, thank you for your service. I appreciate police officers and the work they do. I wouldn’t do that job for $1 million a year.

          Now, back to the issue at hand, we had a police chief going to the doctor. He wasn’t “doing his job,” he was going to the doctor. And he thinks because he’s LEO that he has different rights than the rest of us. And several of us here have said, “Fook that attitude.” The 2A applies to all of us, and if there are legitimate reasons for people to be disarmed, then those reasons apply to this dude, too.

  13. They have the right, but it’s nice to point out idiots with hoplophobia as much as possible.

    If some receptionist is so dumb as to not be able to figure this situation out then I have to imagine there are better places to go, anyway.

    • Hoplophobes should be pointed out as such. According to the comments, the health provider has reached out to this dude in apology and wants him back.

      That aside, dude’s gripe was that he didn’t get special treatment for that badge on his belt. Fuck him.

      What kind of dildo chief has a lanyard ID and a belt badge anyway?

      • I’d say what kind of dildo chief thinks he’s a four star general, but I can’t remember when I saw a chief of a department larger than 10 sworn officers who didn’t wear the top rank in the entire peacetime army. My own Sheriff is a four star general too.

        Did the whole problem start when we let them give themselves military ranks and call their employers “civilian”?

        • Calling the citizenry “civilians” started with my parents’ generation, maybe before… I can definitely remember my folks calling people “civilians.”

          I remember being in the academy myself and having tac staff refer to law enforcement as being “paramilitary.” I wasn’t out of the Army long at that point and I was young and dumb as hell, but even in my early twenties something didn’t settle well about the idea of being paramilitary AND a cop. The whole thing felt wrong then and it feels more so now…

          The military and law enforcement fill two vastly different roles

  14. I’m going to go against the grain for a minute and say I’m glad the receptionist did this. If Joe Blow can’t bring in their gun, neither should the officer. Just like with Obamacare, if us meager civilians have to follow these rules/laws EVERYONE should have to. Congress, Police, etc. Want to ban “Assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” then your personal security doesn’t get them either. Obviously i think all law abiding gun owners should be allowed to carry there but it’s private property so it is what it is.

      • That could be. Just scanning the comments I felt like I saw a lot of “receptionist was inexperienced blah blah” type comments. perhaps i was making comments based on my feelings and not the facts….could i be transforming into a liberal!?!?! GOD NO! Haha

  15. Just proves how brainless some people can be.

    I would have had more fun with the receptionist though. “So, if you dial 911, we can’t come in here, right?”

  16. IIRC, at least during my misspent youth, LEOs were required to carry at all times, on or off duty. Have things changed?

  17. If he is off duty and going to a personal doctor’s appointment there is no reason to have his firearm, badge and handcuffs in plane view.

    Hay Chief if you feel like you should always have a firearms on try carrying in a less discrete manor.

  18. Getting back to the gripe about doctor’s receptionists, so many see themselves as the “guardian” of the doctor’s precious time and the doctor’s practice. Since the doc is a really really important person, by extension the person who sits by the door also sees themself as a really, really important person. I just turned 65 and I’m spending more time at the doc than I want, and too many of the office staff are rude, impatient, and generally unpleasant. I don’t hear as well as I used to – too many naval propulsion turbines, central air conditioning plants, and too much gun fire, but I’m not stupid. I can’t read the fine print as well as I used to, but I am literate and much better read than today’s kids who consider Facebook or Twitter to be significant literature. I’ve had a friendly relationship with my doc for over 30 years – the people at the desk come and go every year or two.

    The best staff I ever encountered was during my radiation treatment for cancer. I was nuked every day for almost eight weeks and I’ve never dealt with more pleasant and friendly people. My appointments were always on time and everybody worked hard to make my day as good as possible. When it was all over I remarked to my oncologist and his office manager that despite the stress of the cancer, I’d never had a better experience with a doctor. They replied that “When you come in here with cancer you have enough problems. You don’t need us adding to your trouble” What a concept!

    That was four years ago and with God’s help and what I hope is a good attitude I seem to be holding my own against the monster. The oncologist turned me loose and I’m just dealing with the urologist (and other …ists for unrelated stuff) right now. My urologist and his PA are both shooters and we tell stories and show pictures and sometimes show off the real things – and I’m happy to be around to do so.

    • Thank you David.
      Fight the good fight brother.
      Your decency earns my respect.

      Wish my med experiences played out as well as yours. But, not.
      We all walk our own path.
      And you, apparently walk yours with head held high.
      👍👏👏👏

  19. In 2014 a uniformed Police Chief also 35 years of experience was asked to leave an IKEA store in MD. He’d served the morning on July 4th and was returning to duty at the Fireworks that evening. He was pickin out furniture with his daughter when asked to leave. He said he wasn’t walking around the store with an empty holster.
    They seemed to have relaxed their policy because….
    Days later three armed uniforms were seen walkin around IKEA at lunch.

    • I bought some book cases at IKEA once. I’m afraid to move them for fear they’ll fall apart.

      IKEA products are for those who want to pretend the have real furniture.

  20. I remember reading somewhere that the NFL tried to prohibit carry by off-duty cops but it was unenforceable in Texas because Texas State law prohibited discrimination of armed police. Since it was illegal for the NFL to discriminate against armed police entry into the stadium first game then it must also be equally illegal for a doctor’s office to deny medical care to armed police. A receptionist like this may turn away a gun shot victim because he is an armed cop.

  21. I can honestly state that as anti-cop as I can be this is at least a professional LE officer. In many/most parts of the world, even America, this guy who is not just a cop but a chief, would have arrested the receptionist no joke. Nothing would stick but it does not have to. You could charge her with something woefully vague an general and/or charge her with resisting arrest even if the original charge was bogus. His friends downtown could make life miserable for the Dr. and his/her office.

    Law or no, practically speaking he did not have to disarm or walk away but he chose to . I am pretty sure he is bigger and stronger than the receptionist and has armed men a call away.

    And as much as I dislike men who enforce unjust laws – hall monitor receptionists rank about the same on my list. Seeing one bleed for her arrogance/stupidity appeals to the baser devils of my nature.

  22. How many other people were carrying, open or concealed? How many would he have arrested if they had been carrying contrary to the Dr’s rules and regulations? Frankly, I would rather not have to carry a firearm everywhere I go, and I don’t, laws or no laws. If it gets to the point of having to carry everywhere, we won’t need Dr’s offices, we’ll need field hospitals.

  23. How ridiculous is it that a person who works in a medical doctors office, is worried about the the potential harm a gun can do when the leading cause of preventable death in the United States is: THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE!!!!!!! Uneducated fools abound.

  24. My GP is pro gun, has no gun buster signs and is former Air Force MD.

    I open carry to the office and also concealed carry (lawfully). No problem.

  25. I wonder what the receptionist’s response would have been, if the cop said: “would you be willing to sign a paper saying that you would be legally responsible for the loss of this weapon, if I left it in the car, and someone broke in and stole it?”

    • The liability would have to include liability for harm caused to those victimized by the criminal use of the gun including but not limited to claims of wrongful death as well as the cost of replacing the gun.

  26. I am shocked at the ignorance of the viewers of this site. It has nothing to do with the fact that he was “throwing his weight around” by walking in their with his badge and gun on. It has everything to do with the fact that in the state of Texas, NO ONE can prohibit a law enforcement officer from carrying his or her weapon into a place where they are not prohibited from carrying it by law. In other words, since this doctor’s office is not a secure federal building, the one trying to “throw their weight around” was the receptionist; not the cop. Most of you numbskulls would pitch a fit about someone doing this to you in a place where you had the legal right to carry, but you shrug it off when it happens to a law enforcement official. Furthermore, if you think that this is a good thing, you are gloating about the further erosion of our second amendment rights. If it is ok for some idiotic receptionist to ignore the authority of law that allows a lawman to be armed in that business, then you are also approving further restrictions of your right to bear arms as others deem comfortable, you fools.

    If you side with the doc’s office or the receptionist who violated the law, then you have no ground to stand on when you say that a police officer should violate the law.

    • Amen Connie, well said. Our society just keeps rotting and decaying. At times I think the Liberals will eventually win. Ya can’t fix STUPID !!!

    • You are absolutely right, Connie..I have the most highly respect for LEOs and our Military..We live in the Greatest Country in the World..Anybody can carry a Gun as long as we have a Permit..Of course there are some places that don’t allow Law abiding Citizens to carry and that’s O.K. That just shows me how dumb some folks are..They haven’t learned yet that criminals don’t obey our laws and never will..I hope they do before it’s too late and that includes that receptionest and others like her..One day she’s going to need a Police Officer..

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