Man Who Carried Gun In Park Has Permit Revoked
Gun Rights Supporter Attempts To Set Record Straight
Reported by Heather Jensen
POSTED: 9:24 pm CST March 13, 2010
UPDATED: 12:01 am CST March 14, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– You may not know Leonard Embody's name, but you might know his recent troubles with the law and guns.
"I'm a private person," Embody said. "I didn't want to be in the spotlight. I didn't want my name in the news reports."
Embody's name and story have been appeared in news reports and online blogs for months. He was thrust into the media spotlight last December when he carried an AK-47-type pistol into Radnor Lake State Park.
"It wasn't modified in any way except for a sling, and I had painted the tip orange on it," he said.
His gun-carry permit was current and the gun was legal, but park rangers stopped Embody and detained him for three hours. He was later released with no charges filed.
The next month, he made headlines again when he took his handgun on a walk down Belle Meade Boulevard, in full compliance with the law.
"The only way you can carry the handgun is to carry it openly in your hand," Embody said.
Once again, he was stopped, searched, and released.
Since then, Embody has filed a federal lawsuit against the Radnor Lake State Park ranger. And on Friday, he received a certified letter from the Tennessee Department of Safety stating his gun carry permit was revoked.
"There was a material likelihood that I was a risk to the public," Embody said of the letter.
Embody doesn't consider himself an gun rights activist; but he strongly believes gun legislation is flawed, often outdated, vague, or contradictory.
"I'd like to see that here in Tennessee we have the right to bear arms and that right shall not be infringed," he said.
Regardless of his thoughts on gun rights, his run-ins with authorities, or the talk around town, Embody said he's not trying to make a political statement.
"I always carry a gun. I usually carry open carry. I believe open carry is a deterrent to crime," he said.
Embody will appeal the decision to revoke his gun carry permit.
Attorneys on both sides of his lawsuit are scheduled to meet in April.