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It’s not exactly news that gun owners have a tough row to hoe in the Land of Lincoln. But cops, too? reports that “Belleville Police Capt. Don Sax said five on-duty detectives were eating about 10 a.m. Tuesday when restaurant manager David Rice approached and advised a female detective that she needed to take her weapon, which was visible to patrons, out to her car or leave the restaurant.” Funny, most restaurants like to see the local constables come in for a meal. Keeps the riff raff out ensures an air of domestic tranquility. Not Denny’s, though . . .

Not the one at 1130 South Illinois Street, anyway.

A spokeswoman for Denny’s Corp. Liz DiTrapano said in response to a concern raised by a guest about a customer with a firearm, the manager approached the individual and communicated that Denny’s policy does not permit firearms in the restaurant.

Got that? Denny’s are gun free zones. Firearm muggles only. Period. Those who Protect and Serve included. As that word came down from Denny’s corporate, concealed carriers and police officers nationwide would seem to be equally unwelcome.

That policy’s not sitting well with Belleville’s boys in blue. Chief William Clay’s banned all on-duty officers from eating there, which should cut into local gastroenterologists’ income streams, too. And since most cops are required to carry pretty much 24/7, we’re guessing there won’t be many off-duty officers digging into plates of Moons of My Hammy, either.

But Chief Clay wants to reassure the greasy spoon that any 911 calls will be answered.

Calls for service by Denny’s will continue to receive the appropriate law enforcement response from the Belleville Police Department, Clay said.

Uh huh. And squad cars will appropriately mind all speed limits, traffic signs, crosswalks, railroad crossing and treed kittens on their way. You be careful out there Mr. Rice. [h/t Mark C.]

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  1. There has to be something “in the air” in Illinois..

    Every day that goes by I am sooooo happy my wife and I moved from there to here in Arizona!

  2. Wow, this nation has gone full-blown stupid. How in the hell to get out of it is the $64,000 question. Or should I say, the $ 16+ trillion question?

    • This is good. Denny’s banning guns is bad. Denny’s not believing that police officers are above the law (or in this case, Denny’s policy) is GOOD. Notice from the article that the cops were bewildered after they said “But but but we’re cops!” and were submitted to Denny’s no-guns policy anyway. Their badges didn’t get them special treatment – and that infuriated them.

      Also, you should be MUCH more scared of a cop than a non-badged citizen. Cops are more likely to commit murder than the general population, more likely to commit assault, and more than 3 times more likely to commit sexual assault of which over 50% are minors. So if anyone should be banned from carrying guns in a restaurant, it’s the cops.


        • Sounds like you like jumping to conclusions. I bet you like killing kittens…see? Doesn’t feel to good does it?

        • Instead of calling people names and attacking their character why don’t you refute the Cato Institute stats? Can you? I seriously doubt it since they are one of the most reputable thinks tanks in the US, in my humble opinion that is.

          The stats are real and there are a lot of cops that have some issues to put it mildly. I am from the PNW and in the last few years we have had the chief of police of Tacoma shoot his wife and then himself in a parking lot in front of their children. We had another Tacoma policeman, who had a radio show and would visit schools to lecture children, be convicted of molesting his girlfriend’s son over a period of years. We had a Seattle policeman shoot four rounds in downtown Seattle at citizen whose only weapon was a folded carving knife.

          Just recently a Marysville cop left a loaded gun in his car with is two children. The son shot and killed his sister with it. The trial ended in a hung jury.

          In Clark county a detective left a loaded gun unattended. His son shot himself and died. That is bad enough but he then tried to blame it on his stepdaughter. No charges were filed.

          A Spokane police officer left his loaded gun unattended and his daughter shot herself. No charges filed.

          A few years back a Seattle police officer shot an unarmed lawyer in Post Alley. There was a surveillance tape of the incident but somehow the police lost it!

          I could go on and on. It got so bad that last year the DOJ threatened to take over the Seattle Police Department. So you are going to tell me that the Cato Institute’s figures wrong? Or do you like to just call people names?

          Yes, most cops are good people but there are some that definitely are not and that percentage is higher among cops than the populace.

          BTW, the Cato Institute is one of the few think tanks that stands solidly behind the Second Amendment. They don’t just say yes, we believe in the Second Amendment. They explain why.

          This is one of many of their pro Second Amendment articles:

        • First of all the police officers were not in uniform.
          They should identify themselves or show up in uniform. This happened to me before @ my dad’s restaurant across the county jail. A guy was upset that my dad charged him extra for gyro sauce so he busted 10×10 window with a sugar jar across our place and then I saw the armed gentleman with regular clothes on which I thought he was an undercover police officer an told to get him and response was I’m an armed guard for the bank.

        • This one is for alan have you ever been to chicago.
          What is really going is our politics are the ones causing all these problems in chicago. Just look up how daley’s son became owner of a restaurant called Micheal’s in chicago. In the southside of chicago where lot of my family lives by a street called bush and a train station just to give an idea. There is a building complex that is ran by group of gangs so called Count and Dragons. Which our politicians like Rham emanual, The Daleys, and Obamas know about the area. As I write lots of these so called we are for the people they have so many signs in the area selling to their buddies and without letting people in the area to have chance to be involved. They are selling properties that dont belong to them I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It’s like they have these gangs there to down grade the area for real cheap bids for their friends and leaving people on the streets. They dont talked about that on the news.

        • Have you watched Training day W/Denzel Washington that is how it is in Chicago. For your INFO. So find out before you speak. Lots of cops are crooked as hell.

      • Doug, you are bringing up another topic altogether. While I think that a cop should be excluded from Denny’s IF a regular citizen is also excluded, the main thrust of the article is that NOBODY should be excluded from service for packing heat. We are in the middle of a major gun rights struggle. Keep your eye on the ball.

      • Good one Doug.

        Thats what I took from it. Cops get mad when they get treated like “common” citizens.

  3. “Uh huh. And squad cars will appropriately mind all speed limits, traffic signs, crosswalks, railroad crossing and treed kittens on their way. You be careful out there Mr. Rice.”

    Not to mention a last minute return to the armory to lock up their firearms.

    • They need to clean house in all police stations in Chicago. There is also cops killing innocent people also. Lot of starts from within.

  4. This is by far the most mind boggling thing I have heard. Now cops with guns are scary? I hate my country and Illinois. I used to live in that town too, years and years ago though.

  5. What good will it do the LEOs to respond to a 911 call if they have to leave their guns in the car? Or does Denny’s policy change if bad guys with guns show up? Come to think about it just what kind of patron is it that gets nervous around a cop with a gun anyway?

    • If you’re nervous around the cops in Denny’s, you should’ve thought better than to drive there at 3Am after the bar! Or higher than hell on some sticky icky.

    • just what kind of patron is it that gets nervous around a cop with a gun anyway?

      A thief or a Illinois Democrat politician. Okay, so that’s redundant.

    • What good will it do the LEOs to respond to a 911 call if they have to leave their guns in the car?

      You didnt think that out did you? If they have to respond to a call, then they have to go back to their car…

  6. Well, it’s good to know that Denny’s doesn’t just hate black people.

    In 1993, a group of black US Secret Service agents were likewise screwed by Denny’s, who wouldn’t seat them until they first seated the white folks. I guess if being black is bad, and being armed is bad, then being black and armed is really, really bad.

  7. Don’t paint the whole state with the same brush. We are on the march in Illinois. Gun control proponents just suffered another setback in the senate today. Conceal Carry is coming in less than 180 days. We are winning.

    • You are a braver man than me. It is one thing to be a gun owner where I live and something completely different to be a gun owner there. I wish you nothing but luck on the front lines.

  8. Does anybody know if the Belleville Police
    department openly supports an AWB?

    It would make the whole situation a bit
    more interesting if they do.

    • I can’t speak for the whole department, but a detective that goes to church with me and the detective who is working my burglary case are not supporters of an AWB. They are both ProGun, and both support me having my 2A freedoms.

      • They might support your 2A, but just like all cops, they dont support everyone’s 2A rights, as they enforce existing gun laws. And if a new AWB was passed, you can be sure they would enforce that too.

        • So Accur81, how many guns have you grabbed by enforcing the existing gun laws in CA? I know in the past you have said so, but I want to know if you can recall exactly how many you have, or if you’ve violated the rights of so many people, that you’ve simply lost count.

          If while on duty, and you saw someone with a evil black rifle which violated your states assault weapons ban, would you grab their gun, and arrest that person? And how many guns have you grabbed from people who were exercising their 2A right to bear arms?

        • @matt

          I haven’t “grabbed” that many guns actually. I believe each was from a custodial arrest – such as a DUI. Jails don’t allow guns, knives, lighters, shoelaces, etc. I say believe because I’m on vacation, and I would have to access my arrest record history from a logged in work computer, and I don’t have remote access. As I’ve said before, all firearms were available upon return from the custodial arrest with appropriate ID. The Evidence Officer or his alternate releases the firearm, provided that the crime is not a violent felony.

          I’ve confiscated absolutely zero AR-15’s, and have not checked any for AWB compliance in any official capacity. When I’m shooting on an LEO range, or one that is leased for that purpose, I’m shooting AWB – exempt AR’s which are decommissioned M16’s. No AWB issues. When I’m shooting off-duty, well, I’m off duty. I’m not going to risk my life making a custodial arrest on a stranger who may or may not have a DOJ letter which would exempt him or her from the provision of the AWB in the first place. Or the gun could have been registered after the sunset of the ’04 ban and subsequently modified. Still legal.

          But if it helps, you can always consider me to be a gun grabber. I won’t lose any sleep over it.

  9. I’m waiting on the county for my ccw but I’ll put deny’s on my list to avoid. I would prefer to eat at an establishment where the criminals didnt know who was armed not where the bad guy’s know noone is armed.

  10. Chuck,

    I’m with you brother, the feelings among the majority of our law abiding gun-owning brethren in this state cannot be described with words.

  11. Yeah, but, who is going to protect that gourmet restaurant now? I guess maybe they felt there was nothing of value in there anyways, Randy

    • Denny’s believes that we have the right to bear arms — elsewhere. IHOP has the same policy. I have my own policy, which is that Denny’s and IHOP can ES&D. Which, when you consider the diabetes-inducing menu at both those joints, would be kinda karmic.

      • Don’t be so sure about that. I’ve eaten at IHOP in full uniform on multiple occasions (hey, it was open 24 hours), and have not ever had a problem while in uniform. Or out of uniform, actually. But I don’t advertise that I CC pretty much all the time outside of TTAG and close friends.

  12. Aw, poor cops got a small taste of what citizen gun owners and carriers experience every day. Not so nice being on the other end of oppression, is it.

  13. That Dennys is my neck of the woods. That place for as long as I can remember is/was a substation and there are almost always cops there. Mainly to keep the late night thugs from ESL from causing trouble. Why after all these years they are making a point of it is baffling. Unknown if the PD supports the ban, but most non Chicago dems are actually pretty pro-2A over here. One of the few things I agree with them on.

  14. I grew up in and around Belleville and ate at that Denny’s a lot back in those days. At the time of my job related move 20 years ago, I wasn’t happy to leave friends and family in Illinois but as I’ve watched the state go bat-shit crazy over the years, I’m very thankful I left. I’m now a happy CHL holder in Texas and it’s very weird to travel through Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri with my carry gun then stop at the border unload the gun then lock it in a case in the trunk. Prayers that you good folks in Illinois will someday throw out the Cook County mafia that runs the state.

  15. 4 people were killed at a local Denny’s a few years back. I used to live within walking distance of it. I guess the criminals didn’t see the no gun sign on the window.

  16. This is just a taste of what we are going to face when a CCW law goes into effect here in IL. If police with badges displayed are “scary” to customers, any citizens carrying are going to be harassed and patronized. I will be making a list of places I cannot go to anymore, and will need to make up some cards to drop off ot management of businesses who don’t allow carry in their workplace.

  17. So the people in ILLinois are so phobic about guns now that they dont even feel safe when cops are the ones carrying them?

  18. OK, Denny’s and IHOP off the patronage list. I learn something good on this website every day.

  19. This chain used to be called “Sambo’s”, right? As in Little…..?
    Yeah. Figures. Racism has many forms.

    • No, Denny’s is Denny’s. Sambo’s was Sambo’s. One still left in Santa Barbara if memory serves. The had over 1200 units nationwide even until the end of the 70s. Lotsa things drove the parent corp to BK in the early 80s.

      Started in the mid 50s by a one guy named “Sam” and another who’s last name was “Bonett”. Yes, they did trade on the “Little Black Sambo” book and characters. No, there were never “klan specials” or bananas foster served in the shape of a flaming cross.

  20. How quickly these idiots forget. There was a “mass shooting” at the local Denny’s in Pismo Beach in which several patrons, including the unarmed hero who died to save others, were killed. A police Officer, or other armed citizen, could have saved lives.

    Denny’s is a “Gun free zone”? I guess Lawrence Woods, the shooter, didn’t see the sign…

  21. Wouldn’t it be ironic if this place got robbed, with the robber running off, and one of these detectives had to respond. I only hope it is on day with freezing rain falling and the detective made the manager come outside and stand there to give his 30 minute statement about what happened. When the manager asked if he could sit in the car with the detective to give a statement, the detective just said no we have a gun policy in this car, you have to carry to sit in this car.

  22. Good for Dennys, store policies should be dispensed equally.

    Now maybe the cops will know how it feels to be discriminated against as a gun owner, since so many LE are sympathetic to more gun control, including their unions who regularly tout more gun control because “they are outgunned.”

  23. I’m conflicted about this. Neither Dennys nor IHOP are places I frequent with any regularity, but since no-gun signs don’t have force of law here, if a friend wants to go there, I’m not gonna say no. I feel for those who live in places that require them to obey these asinine policies.

  24. I don’t suppose this is some kind of reverse psychology on Denny’s part? Like “if we can’t carry you can’t carry”? Naw.

  25. If I could get all the cops in town to make a special effort to avoid me just by telling one of them to leave on one occasion, I’d be pretty pleased.

  26. Dennys, you just lost my business, my family’s business, my company’s business, most of my neighbors business and the vast majority of my friends. Thats comes to about 400 people. But wait, the last time I stepped foot in a Dennys Restaurant I was on my last year of a 32 year Law Enforcement career and I was there supervising the investigation of a stabbing in the restroom.

  27. So…. if there’s a call at a Denny’s, will the cops have to wait for the bad guys to come out before they can do anything because they can’t take their guns inside?

  28. Dumb move by Denny’s for sure, but as it is in Illinois, one of the most restrictive states in regards to firearms, it’s only fair for law enforcement to be treated like the rest of the serfs.

  29. Banning government leeches will only make a business safer. I wish more businesses would take this step. Nothing turns my stomach more than to be trying to eat and having to see a cop.

  30. The fact that the food and the restaurants are both mediocre and inconvenient notwithstanding…if you tell a cop they can’t carry a gun in your establishment then who do you call when someone is carrying a gun in your restaurant? I mean if your request carries the weight of law then how does a Law-Enforcement Officer enforce said request?

    Better yet, what can Denny’s do to the local police department? File suit? What would that gain?

  31. Is there any place safer to eat than a restaurant with a bunch of cops? Expect Denny’s to be robbed about every 3 hrs. Expect response time to be about 3 hrs.

  32. Hey LEO – welcome to our side of the battle. Now after you got all tee’d off about having to remove your duty weapon imagine a bunch of civilians pulling up with lights blazing and interrogating you on why you think you need to carry that gun and why do you insist on scaring all the patrons of the diner…

    That said – ehF Denny’s. Their food sucks, their politics suck and they’re not worth a dime of anyone’s money, LEO or not.

  33. Check policeone, their article says a corporate spokesperson announced all police can carry at Dennys, and this was a misunderstanding.

    I may boycott regardless if they don’t allow regular folks to carry concealed, but I thought it was worth posting a correction.

  34. Detectives are supposed to carry concealed, just like citizens that carry a concealed weapon with a permit. A citizen can lose their carry license if the gun is seen by anyone when it’s supposed to be concealed. What’s the point in being a plain clothes officer if a gun is hanging out. The Station would get calls all day long about these detectives if people see what they think are ordinary men carrying guns. These cops should know better than this. It doesn’t take much to freak people out these days. In this case a businessman didn’t want his customers to feel uncomfortable. What should he do ? Make an announcement over a speaker to everyone in the restaurant that these guys are Cops, every time they come in?

  35. A few years ago A waffle house in my home town(one that had a cop killed at when i was younger) was being robbed and a CCer stopped the robbery. Pretty sure atleast in SC waffle ouse allows CCers no problem. Maybe a boycott of Deny’s and a mass influx to Waffle House for your late night cravings would show them we want to be protected

  36. Denny’s has been famous for the same bad food in all 50 states now they have a new claim to fame. If the food does not kill you then you get a second chance with the criminal element.
    I’m thinking of the scene from Pulp Fiction here….

  37. And, when responding to a 911 call from a Denny’s, the police will remove their firearms BEFORE entering the building, thus protecting the criminals who are robbing the place.
    ‘Ya, sure!

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