/  07.14.2020

A man flashed a gun at an RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack employee in Kansas after being asked to put on a face mask. The man was wearing a red MAGA hat when he entered the restaurant, staff member Arlo Kinsey told The Kansas City Star.

“I asked him if he could wear a mask, since it’s what Gov. Kelly told us to do,” the 18-year-old told the outlet.

Kinsey says the middle-aged man told him he had an exemption to the statewide mask mandate. The man then lifted up his shirt to reveal a gun tucked into a holster on his hip.

“It was definitely a threat,” Kinsey said. “I was looking at the gun thinking he was going to shoot me.” 

Kinsey called for his boss Bob Palmgren to help him with the situation.

“[Kinsey] comes around and says this guy won’t put a mask on and has a gun… I’m like holy sh*t,” Palmgren told the outlet. “I run over there and I’m like hey, what’s going on? And he shows me his Trump hat. And I like Trump. Everybody’s got problems. But it doesn’t make a difference. You don’t have a mask on. And I’m like, your gun’s not going to kill Coronavirus. Now get the hell out of here.” 

Palmgren said he got into a heated argument with the man and told him he could either put on a mask or leave.

“He goes, ‘Well, I won’t be in here anymore.’ And I said, good; I don’t want you in here. And got him to leave,” Palmgren told the outlet. “People are crazy.” 

The man left the restaurant before either Kinsey or Palmgren were able to identify him. On July 2, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order requiring people to wear a mask in public. Kinsey said he’s dealt with several customers who have refused to wear a mask inside the restaurant.

“My first thought was, I work in customer service and this is really what’s going to happen? All we’re asking is that you wear a mask for a couple of minutes,” he said. “We could have taken your order outside if you didn’t want to. But you go into an air conditioned area without a mask on, and if I tell you to wear one, you’re going to shoot me? Wow. I make $8.50 an hour, plus tips — for this?”

According to a report from public health and crisis experts at COVID Exit Strategy, Kansas’ Coronavirus cases currently indicate an “uncontrollable spread” of the disease.


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