Outback Steakhouse Refuses Law Enforcement Officer Because he is Armed WTF?

Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse Refuses Law Enforcement Officer Because he is Armed WTF?
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land.

Thanks to a decades-long campaign to distance the island nation from certain elements of its rugged heritage and the proliferation of an Australian-themed casual dining restaurant chain, today the word “Outback” is more likely to bring to mind a 3,000 calorie deep-fried onion.

Despite its namesake and decor, culinary critics have long questioned whether Outback Steakhouse offers an authentic Down Under dining experience.

However, these detractors should know that in recent years the chain has gone to great lengths to replicate for their guests Australia’s culture of civilian disarmament by prohibiting diners from carrying firearms onto the premises.

This commitment to reproducing Australia’s defenseless society is so profound that earlier this month a uniformed law enforcement officer was asked to leave an Outback in Cleveland, Tenn. because he was armed.

The incident occurred when Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer Andrew Ward and his wife went to the restaurant for dinner. In a Facebook post, Ward explained,

I was approached by the manager and asked if I would put my gun in my truck. I let her know that I couldn’t because I was in uniform. She then went and made a call and came back and we were asked to leave because Outback is a gun free zone.

Rightfully disturbed by the encounter, Ward added,

What is this country coming to? A uniformed Law Enforcement Officer who is sworn to protect and serve the public, is refused service because they have a firearm! I am disgusted and have no other words!!!

In an update to his initial post, Ward noted that he was asked to leave after Outback management bent to the will of an unhinged customer. According to Ward, “There was another customer who was ‘scared for her life’… because ‘police are shooting people.’” Ward explained that “the customer went on to demand to be escorted to her vehicle out of fear of being shot.”

Outback Steakhouse Refuses Law Enforcement Officer Because he is Armed WTF?
Outback Steakhouse Refuses Law Enforcement Officer Because he is Armed WTF?

Given the decades of statistics showing the law-abiding character of Right-to-Carry permit holders, Outback’s gun free zone policy is foolish. However, that the company would cite their gun-free policy as justification to yield to the ravings of an unreasonable individual to the detriment of a uniformed law enforcement officer is radical.

There is a general consensus that uniformed and ununiformed current and former law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry a firearm for the public benefit. That is why in 2004 Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act (LEOSA).

Under LEOSA, current and former law enforcement officers who meet certain basic criteria, such as carrying qualified identification, are permitted to carry a firearm throughout the country.

Showing the strong bipartisan support for this measure, the original legislation, H.R. 218, had 297 co-sponsors in the House of Representative and passed the Senate unanimously. Subsequent changes that have been made to increase the number of officers able to take advantage of this protection have been similarly popular.

Sensing a growing public outrage, Outback reached out to the Wards and offered them a $100 gift card and an apology. Outback’s parent-company, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., issued a statement to Chattanooga’s WTVC that contended it is not company policy to prohibit law enforcement officers from carrying at their restaurants. The statement went on to blame the incident on the individual restaurant manager.

While the manager might have handled the situation better, Bloomin’ Brands shares some responsibility for creating the irrational gun free zone policy that the employee was forced to interpret. Outback Steakhouse ads have long carried the tagline “Outback: No Rules, Just Right.” In order to better reflect company values and bolster ongoing efforts at authenticity, we submit for consideration, “Outback: No Rights, Just Rules.”

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

  • 58 thoughts on “Outback Steakhouse Refuses Law Enforcement Officer Because he is Armed WTF?

    1. After reading these ammoland posts for quite a long time, I REALLY wish you would post a link to the ORIGINAL article, since many of your ‘rewritings’ have many mistakes in both spelling and syntax.
      Just a suggestion.

    2. I wrote OUTBACK Steak House …. this is their reply.

      Thank you for writing and giving us the opportunity to clarify our policy.
      We have always welcomed law enforcement officers in our restaurants with their service firearms. We have the highest respect for law enforcement, and that will never change. The recent incident in Tennessee was a mistake, one for which we have apologized, and the officer says he accepted our apology.

      We respect the rights of gun owners and follow state and local law. However, we are a restaurant where families dine and where alcohol is served. We want all of our guests to feel welcome and relaxed, and for that reason, we do not allow the open carry of firearms except for law enforcement officers.
      Licensed concealed carriers may, in fact, be dining in our restaurants each day. We do not search our customers and have no plans to do so.

      We hope this helps clarify our position.

      Outback Steakhouse

      P.S. DON’T REPLY TO MY EMAIL. That’s just a junk catcher. I don’t reply from it.

    3. Thanks for the welcome, @oldvet. How’re they hanging? And thank you for your service. I’ve been around awhile and commented a few times here on Ammoland. Just don’t have a lot to say any more. Kinda talked out after all these years. Maybe I am mellowing out, finally.

    4. Comment…Some of us have had cards printed (size of a business card) on the front it has the no gun sign = $ with the circle slash over it. below it says ” I have noticed your sign and will respect your wishes by taking my business elsewhere. I SHOP WHERE I CAN CARRY. on the reverse it says
      As a Kansas Resident with a State Concealed Carry Handgun License, I :
      Have NO felony convictions.
      Have never been convicted of domestic violence .
      Have No history of mental illness.
      Have passed background check and have my finger prints on file with the KBI.
      Have passed mandatory State training in both the use of a firearm and the applicable law.
      Can you say that about your other customers?

    5. As an Australian, who fled that Feminazi, Man Hating, Nanny state and now lives in the US, I am not at all surprised this happened in an Australian themed restaurant.

      Australians have been brainwashed to hate guns, thanks to the NWO controlled, feminist infested, puppet government down there. Glad I got the fuck out of that land of limp wristed, soy-boy’s.

      1. Hey Lurch, Some of us, like yours truly, are doing what we can to bring about change.
        Remember the quote from Edmund Burke “the only thing needed for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing”.
        We refuse to do nothing.

    6. I hope that if the Outback manager calls 911 for an emergency, that the LEO that responds stops at the door and refuses to enter due to their policy.

    7. All, have been active in “voting” with my dollars since childhood (am now 70). Dad had five NAPA stores. He bought vehicles from dealerships that bought car parts from his stores. He ate in restaurants which had owners who bought from his stores. He bought groceries from his customers who had grocery stores. He did not frequent any establishments who were not customers. It was plain and simple, support your customers so they would support your business, too. Same for politicians, doctors, accountants, lawyers, etc. He never ever bought a Ford because that dealership did not buy car parts from him. He bought GM vehicles, the occasional Plymouth, but never a Ford. There were some restaurants in town we never ate at. It all made sense to me, and it still does. I have never had a problem not patronizing any company that did not support the Constitution or not doing business with anyone who who supported causes I objected to. Never protested. Never complained. Never made any public stance. Just took my business elsewhere. Still do to this very day and will till I die. But to the establishments I like, I am a faithful patron. Been eating burgers and fries in one small cafe since 1965. Same owners who are good guys just a bit older than am I. Only rule they have is “behave and pay your bill”. My advice is that we do all in decency and in order.

      1. well.
        i’m now 77, and i and the wife shop with people we know are NOT POLITICAL with their BUSINESS, AND SUPPORT ME CARRYING MY CONCEALED FIREARM IN THEIR BUSINESS.
        one of the places we shop is our local Chevy dealership where today for Valentines Day i bought the wife a BRAND NEW BUICK 2018 SUV.
        we live in a small town in the North West so all is fine here.

        1. According to our tribal history, back long before the white man came to America, the Choctaw and Chickasaw were one tribe. The chiefs were twin brothers at the time of the divide. We were a somewhat nomadic tribe at the time and were constantly moving through the land looking for a place to settle. Every evening when camp was made a very long and straight pole was planted into the ground and the next morning the tribe continued their search by proceeding in the direction indicated by the direction in which the pole leaned. It worked well for quite some time as it clearly indicated the direction to be taken for the day. However, one day it was impossible for the two brother chiefs agree on the direction of the lean. After much serious discussion, the brothers agreed to proceed in different directions. The rest of the tribal members followed the brother with whom they identified and the tribe was officially split to become the two separate Nations that exist today. Almost all of the language of the two tribes is identical, but not all of the customs are the same, although the similarities are striking. When the two tribes were sent to Oklahoma during the Removal Period, most of the southeastern quarter of the State was divided between the two tribes. Many of the projects like hospitals have been accomplished under the approval of both tribes. A couple of years ago several tribes, including the Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee tribes, with the blessing of the Fed, negotiated and signed agreements with the State of Oklahoma over water rights in the three traditional original tribal territories. The State of Oklahoma recognized those tribes have water rights and have input into the maintenance of high water quality and even input into the sale of water to Texas and other states. It is all pretty interesting.

        2. Most folks between the Appalachians and the Rockies, excluding many in Colorado and New Mexico metropolitan centers, recognize the “leaning” pole and can definitely see that it tilts in the conservative direction. Folks on the west coast, by and large, cannot even see the pole and the folks in metropolitan centers in New England would not know what it looked like if they saw it. Most of the people south of the Mason/Dixon Line recognize it and follow it. Of course, sadly, 75% of those in D.C. see it but want to burn it down because they want to make money off it somehow instead of representing the people. I have never been a rebel rouser, but the time may come when I have just had enough of all this PC Godless junk that is going on. And I am sure I will not be alone. Surely common sense will finally prevail? I am not the black sheep in our family. But I am the family black wolf, hence my handle, Nashoba Losa.

    8. G’day guys,
      I read this and thought WTF??? these numpties can’t possibly be serious?
      If anything the manager should have told to gutless wanker who cried like a baby to leave and never come back.
      Now from my point of view the solution is simple.
      Law enforcement and anyone else who can legally carry a firearm puts a blanket ban on the “outback steak house” and any other establishment who does the same thing. Hit em where it hurts, their hip pocket. AND LET THEM KNOW WHY.
      These actions are so disrespectful and gutless!
      And finally. The food etc in the outback steak houses is nothing like what we have here in Oz. Hell we don’t drink Fosters.

    9. Just because we have LEOSA doesn’t mean we can carry anywhere. Costco and Wholefoods also do not allow open or concealed carry. But neither seem to post it with the proper signage. Costco says it’s in their membership agreement and Wholefoods posts it so low it is ineffective and not legal. I used to live in the Socialist State of NY and now live in the great Republic of Texas. Most courts will allow concealed carry if you ask and depending on why you are there. Massachusetts local courts are pretty good about allowing you to keep your firearm or have a lock box for you to use.

    10. I do not eat at OB any more, because if a law enforcement office is needed, they just might take their time and in that time who knows what the robber or unlawful act could yield. Why take that chance when they clearly do not want law officers in their restaurants and why should I put my myself and family at risk with this policy. Adios OB.

    11. I see that Outback’s website now has a link “Serving Those Who Serve” so you can donate to military veterans and their families. One the same page, they also have–you guessed it!–a special discount for POLICE and firefighters! WTF?! I wouldn’t be surprised if someone gained access to their website and “corrected a few mistakes.”

      1. If your statement was meant as a joke, it is a terrible one. If your statement was meant sarcastically, it was not understandable as such. If your statement was serious… you are one ignorant waste-of-human-skin. There are no other options.

      2. @AB, Come on Andy tell us what you were arrested for! Or are you just twisting tales to get responses for which you get paid from a Soros/Bloomberg/Clintoon group?

      3. Law abiding firearm owners are tired of citizens that think the way you do and ignore the 2nd Amendment.
        . But we allow you to eat at the same establishments as we do. Consider yourself lucky.

    12. Too many idiots to respond to. I carry concealed everywhere I go, including “no guns” posted areas (especially malls)
      If you don’t wave it around or act like a fool, who is going to know? If the place has a metal detector or people at the door with wands, just don’t patronize the place.

    13. My grand daughter as worked as a waitress for a long time and she says a lot of people pull all kinds of stunts to keep from paying the bill. Did this woman pay her bill, or is she just high on the idiot scale?

    14. I used to live and work in NY, and I’m deeply saddened and disturbed how New York has become. The New York I grew up in was a much different place. My family members have been involved in law enforcement, military, construction trade and have owned or operated restaurants. Family friends have also owned and operated restaurants. The policy of these NY establishments was to always keep a couple of booths and tables available for “for those who protect and serve, and those who carry”. Not to hide them from view, but to offer a comfortable place for them to enjoy a meal, undisturbed.
      I travel quite a bit. I always check when I enter any restaurant for their posted policies. Signs such as “shirt, shoes, proper attire”. The few times I’ve dined at Outback, I’ve never noticed any “No guns” signage. I stopped going to Outback, because the quality of service and food has declined.
      With the exception of hospitals, I no longer patronize establishments that infringe on my rights.

    15. I went to outback one time years ago, The food was OK, but over priced. Do these business owners know
      that they are responsible for the safety of their customers? I’m sorry ,but I’ll trust my safety to S&W sooner than
      an unarmed restaurant manager..
      Also, we have shown a need for carry conceal in this country. I think business owners should be required to
      show through permit why their business should be a gun free zone.

    16. It is time to re-list ALL of the ANTI-GUN stores and start using the all mighty dollar to bring some sense back to this country … I know OUTBACK is now on my list , which others should be boycotted ? I have a personal policy of CONCEALED means CONCEALED so I use my right to protect myself descreetly while out in public for my protection along with my wife … I have shooting insurance !, many hours of range time, and my personal preference is to NEVER harm in anyway anyone …. BUT … if I’m put in a fight or flight situation BEWARE !
      So lets see the DO NOT PATRONIZE LIST again.

      1. Open carry legally and go buy a soft drink or water and just hang out. Dont really patronize them but make it clear they are not in charge.

    17. Outback is going to scape goat the manager. It would appear she called her supervisor for additional direction then came back to enforce O.B. policy as her manager understood. O.B. corp management is to blame to allow another customer, with evident mental concerns, to dictate policy.

      1. Andy Buckmichael, you and people that think like you are the reason this country is going to shit. Why don’t you go call a liberal instead of the police the next time you are in trouble.

      2. There is a reason that Andy Buckmichael hates police so much. Is it possible that it be that he got caught doing something illegal, and now has a criminal record?

      3. How F ing fricken stupid. I say that if their alarm ever goes off that not 1 armed person respond. Screw that pantywaist bull crap. This country is being catered to. We screwed ourselves with “bring us” your tired, your weak, your elderly, your stupid dumbass people. Andy, why don’t we empty a state of everyone armed – law enforcement and citizens? Let you people live there with ” NO FIREARMS ALLOWED ” AND WE NEVER ENTER THAT STATE ARMED OR NOT “? LETS see how that state survives. After ALL, you all would have at least this restaurant chain to eat at. This is stupid, why do we even have gun free zones? I’m trusted by over 30 states to carry a sidearm, local law, FBI and other law enforcement agencies “Who are you few pantywaist asses”? Everyone that is offended by seeing a gun and not allowing hidden guns is plain ass PREDUDUCE. Open that state, move and feel happy that there are No guns allowed. Wake the Hell up. If you needed someone “armed” to save your life 1 of us would be in the area faster than police and better shoots than some of them. Dumb da dumb dumb. Sleep well. If we can’t carry in certain areas those will be the most shot up areas and the most body bag areas.

      4. You are right. He is no better than anyone else and I would be willing to bet that he does not consider himself to be better than anyone else. Of course, neither are you. So, I’m sure he can consider that should you ever call for help.

        There is a difference between a sworn law enforcement agent and a private individual regarding being armed. Law enforcement agents are armed in order to be able to respond to an emergency. Believe it or not, the time it takes to go to a vehicle, retrieve a weapon, arm up, get in the vehicle, and respond takes time, and that amount of time may mean the difference between an innocent person living or dying. You can bet the person who needs help doesn’t care that the person who renders aid happens to be armed. This thing about officers being armed is not so
        they can protect the patrons of Outback, it’s so they are prepared to help anyone, anywhere… in Outback or clear across town.

        You can bring up the fact that there are other officers who can respond. That is true. However, there are just so many officers to respond to calls. Where I live, we have an average of 3 officers per shift to respond and, due to traffic and road conditions, it can take hours to reach a caller. This places law enforcement into a position of prioritizing calls. Your call may be important to you, but may end up far down the priority list. Officer(s) may even be responding to your call and be rerouted to a higher priority call. Wouldn’t you be relieved to know that an officer who is having dinner with his wife can be called upon to come to your assistance? Who knows? It might be your child who you are trying to get help for.

        I spent 21+ years in law enforcement. You would not believe how many meals were interrupted and never recovered. Meals I paid for. Armed officers having a meal was never an issue until the election of Obama. Nationwide, it is still not an issue. In 96% of California it isn’t a problem. Perhaps you live in Chicago or Detroit?

    18. Boycott them into non existence. A Law Enforcement Officer who protects and serves, come on you IDIOTS! Who you gonna call when you need a cop. He will have his service pistol on him so he won’t be seeing you, he can’t come armed. Sorry!

    19. Why should a person who is of such low morals and suspect character that they became a government employee expect to be able to violate the property rights of a property owner? This government thug was not there on official business, so the property owner had every right to ask them to leave, for any reason or no reason.

      1. @Chris M, You paint with too broad a brush. Which government are you talking about? What makes you think that all persons working for one of the various government are morally the same?
        A business open to the public can not tell a member of the public to leave for no reason. That is a good reason to revoke the business license. Your comment tells a lot about you.

    20. Back in the ’90s there was a local radio talkshow hostess named Carol Arnold. When allowing concealed carry in the state was being discussed one time she said, “I don’t want someone sitting behind me in the theater with a gun.” The fact that someone sitting behind her or next to her had already happened with no bad results didn’t matter to her. Hoplophobia is a real thing for some and just an excuse for others. And with LEOSA you still must obey the laws in the state and city that you are in. I have a state issued license and my retirement credentials and I leave the latter home. For me, concealed means concealed works every time it’s tried.

    21. Attitudes around guns have changed over the years. We discuss that here
      episode 1: vimeo.com/253292875
      episode 2: vimeo.com/253284205
      episode 3: vimeo.com/252956772

    22. The steak house manager should be immediately fired for being incredibly unbelievably stupid . It looks to me that the individual he had to escort to the parking lot should not be out in public with out a custodian.

    23. Well if Authenticity is what they Want !
      They can Have it !
      (never going there again)

    24. What about CPL holders who go there and don’t pay attention to their “No Gun Policy”. How are they to know who is carrying and who is not ?

    25. “Rightfully disturbed by the encounter, Ward added,
      What is this country coming to? A uniformed Law Enforcement Officer who is sworn to protect and serve the public, is refused service because they have a firearm! I am disgusted and have no other words!!!”

      I’m–rightfully–disturbed that the NRA and Officer Ward believe that it is somehow worse when a LEO is refused, “the right to keep and bear arms,” than when it is “the right of the people” that is infringed!!!

      Did I overlook the part of the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights that granted super 2A rights to agents of the government?

      I did get a kick out of the rewrite of the Outback tag-line though;
      ‘In order to better reflect company values and bolster ongoing efforts at authenticity, we submit for consideration, “Outback: No Rights, Just Rules.”’
      Come the think of it, that could be the motto for the BATF also.

      1. Too true. It’s private property so they can do what they please: and customers can choose to go elsewhere. Yet, having the public come in they should respect the laws of the land: which is open carry in many locales and or concealed carry in others. They sure as hell should not be allowed to turn an officer away in uniform simply for the fact that an officer may need to respond to an Outback Steakhouse for whatever reason, and it creates ethical and legal issues by doing so. I was considering taking the family out to Outback, I guess I’ll put it on my list of places I can’t conceal carry and therefore I don’t ever spend my money at these unconstitutional establishments. I know 50+ heads of households in my area, from several gun clubs I instruct and attend, that carry concealed daily, and will not be spending their money at Outback. Do the math, that’s a lot of revenue lost. I used to be a Starbucks Gold Card member, I spent a fair amount of money and because they do not allow guns in their shops, I will not spend my money on their products. Oh well.

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