A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy got the news he wanted to hear from Kay Jewelers in Statesville: The engagement ring he purchased had been sized and was ready to be picked up — and now he could propose.

Even better was that the Iredell County deputy was notified about the ring while he was on his meal break Tuesday, so he headed right over to the store to pick it up.

But the deputy never got inside.

What happened?

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office revealed on Facebook that the store manager met the deputy at the door saying he couldn’t enter while armed with his service weapon.

“The deputy informed the manager he was in uniform and his marked patrol car was in the parking lot, and it would be a violation of policy for him to remove his service weapon while in uniform,” the post added.

The sheriff’s office post explained that the policy requiring deputies to remain armed “is in place for not only the safety of the deputy, but the general public as well.”

The store manager’s reply?

The store manager told the deputy he could return to the store at a different time when he was not armed, according to the Facebook post, and that the deputy left the store without the ring.

What else did the sheriff’s office say?

“The reaction our deputy encountered is very difficult for us to comprehend,” the sheriff’s office added, “and we earnestly hope situations such as these are few and are diminishing.”

The post also said that Sheriff Darren Campbell tried contacting Kay Jewelers’ corporate office numerous times but hadn’t received a response.

Kay Jewelers replies

But Kay Jewelers did reply to a request for comment from WSOC-TV.

“Kay Jewelers is reaching out to the customer and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office to sincerely apologize for the mishandling of this matter,” the company told the station. “We have tremendous respect for law enforcement, and we thank the Office for bringing this to our attention. We will be sure to reinforce store training regarding our firearm policy with specific regard to uniformed law enforcement.”

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