Semi-Open Carry Arrest in Tennessee: What Happens When You Don’t Know the Law, Part II

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Well, Leonard Embody has given me further information for my blog.

His preliminary hearing was held recently.  A preliminary hearing is solely for a judge to make a determination if there was probable cause for the arrest.  That’s it.  A couple of other matters can be addressed, like a motion to suppress evidence or a motion to dismiss, but those are based on factors surrounding the stop and the arrest, not general law.

So Embody shows up, pro se and is representing himself, and makes a motion to suppress.  Of course, he has no clue about what he is doing, so when he is arguing his motion, he starts to offer testimony and the prosecutor objects.  Eventually the judge decides to hear the testimony of the officer, who states that as soon as he saw Embody, that he could see an AR-15 slung across his back.  As he got closer, he could tell that there was what appeared to be a silencer attached to the rifle, and the officer did not yet realize that the rifle was in a form-fitted kydex case.  At that point he had reasonable suspicion to stop based on Tennessee law, since the possession of a silencer is a felony.

That would pretty much do it for the motion to suppress and motion to dismiss.

Of course, Embody brings up all sorts of irrelevant issues during his cross of the officer, the prosecution objects, and the judge sustains the objections.  Embody then tries to introduce the ATF documents which would show that the silencer was legal, but has no idea how to lay the foundation nor how to authenticate the documents so he could get them admitted.  I was actually very impressed with the patience that the judge had with Embody.

So now the prosecution has a finding that there was probable cause for the arrest and it will go to a grand jury for indictment.  And if Embody does not get much better at the legal issues, he’s going to be convicted.  He really needs to hire an attorney.

And the best line from the video is from the judge, near the very end.  “I don’t think Mr. Embody is crazy, I think he’s stupid.”  I will defer to the judge’s wisdom and leave that determination to my readers.

Apparently Embody has a copy of the recording of the hearing and put it up on YouTube.  I’ve linked to it below.

 

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Semi-Open Carry Arrest in Tennessee: What Happens When You Don’t Know the Law

5 Comments

Leonard Embody is a registered nurse, a licensed federal firearms dealer, and a gun rights activist.  He also, in my opinion, is somewhat of a whackjob.

In 2009, Embody carried an AK-47 pistol into a state park.  For some reason he painted the tip of the pistol orange.  He also dressed up in camouflage gear before doing so, becoming known as the Radnor Park Rambo.  He sued over being detained in the incident and lost on summary judgment, the court holding that the detention and temporary seizure of the gun was reasonable.  Embody v. Ward, No. 3:10cv-00126, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79153, 2011 WL 2971055 (M.D. Tenn. July 20, 2011).  He then appealed and lost that appeal when the Sixth Circuit affirmed.  Embody v. Ward, 695 F.3d 577 (6th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 770, 184 L. Ed. 499.  This was also covered by “The Volokh Conspiracy“, with Embody participating in the comment section (which has over 600 comments).  As Volokh noted, it is rare when the Brady anti-gun people and the Second Amendment Foundation are on the same side, and that was against Embody.

Embody has carried a loaded black-powder pistol in his hand (i.e., not in a holster) while in Belle Meade, TN in  2010.  Tennessee law preempts local regulation of guns, but grandfathers in existing local gun laws.  In Belle Meade, there was a provision of the law that stated “except the army or navy pistol which shall be carried openly in the hand.”  Belle Meade Mun. Code § 11-602 (1987), repealed Ord. #2010-7, Sept. 2010.  Obviously the city did not like the idea of individuals carrying revolvers around in their hands.  This also caused the Belle Meade police to request that the state revoke Embody’s concealed carry permit, alleging that he was a danger to the public.  The State Police did revoke his permit and his administrative appeal failed, launching a new lawsuit, this one challenging the constitutionality of the Tennessee firearm statutes.    The trial court granted the state a summary judgment, and the appellate court affirmedEmbody v. Cooper, No. M2012-01830-COA-R3-CV, 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343, 2013 WL 2295671 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 22, 2013).

Now the whackjob has gotten arrestedar15caseHe was walking around downtown Nashville handing out flyers while wearing body armor.  Slung on his back, he had a rifle that was in a kydex case, which means that it was form fitted to the rifle and that it was obvious that it could contain a rifle.  And Tennessee does not allow a person to openly carry a loaded rifle.  So when police officers were called, saw the case, they immediately had reasonable suspicion to check if he was in fact carrying a rifle.  So when they opened the case, they found that it had a silencer on the end, which is a felony in Tennessee.  There is a defense, but since Embody was not talking to the officers, he couldn’t prove that he had a National Firearms Act license for the silencer.  It also was hilarious that Embody was screaming that they needed probable cause to detain and search him, which was not correct.  The arrest affidavit is here.

 

 

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