A sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina was prevented from picking up an engagement ring he ordered when the jeweler kicked him off the premises. The reason? The police officer was wearing his service firearm.
The county sheriff’s deputy was “ready to propose to the love of his life,” according to the sheriff. He drove to the local jeweler store in Statesville during his lunch hour to retrieve the ring—and was promptly escorted off the premises by the manager.
The manager apparently met the unnamed deputy at the door and told him to leave because he was wearing a gun. The policeman informed the manager that he was in uniform and driving his marked patrol car, and was therefore forbidden by policy to remove his service weapon.
The manager apparently was unsympathetic and told the deputy to return at a time when he was not wearing his firearm.
The sheriff’s deputy explained that a deputy cannot disarm as wearing a firearm is part of police duty.
“If an emergency happens, here’s what you have to expect from an officer: an officer is going to be armed. That’s tools of the trade,” the lawman said.
The Sheriff’s office took to Facebook to address the public on the issue.The post gained nearly 5,000 reactions within five hours of its appearance and has since received more than 9.3K shares and 12K reactions.
The law enforcement officer received an outpouring of support from members of the public and also from many jewelry stores that offered free rings to the couple.
The jeweler store formally issued an apology for the incident, saying the company has “tremendous respect for law enforcement” and “will be sure to reinforce store training regarding our firearm policy with specific regard to uniformed law enforcement.”
“Our policy is that any member of law enforcement is always welcomed in our store at any time, as a customer or in an official capacity,” the store noted on its official Facebook page.
The company announced that the store manager has since been fired.
“On a lighter note, we are beyond excited to report a wedding proposal took place yesterday, and even happier to report, she said “Yes”!” the Iredell County Sheriff wrote on Facebook on Friday.