Open Carry Incidents

When it comes to open carry there seems to be two definite groups in the firearm community.

Group A – Open carry unnecessarily draws attention.  You should conceal carry instead if you can.

Group B – If the law says I can open carry, I’m going to do it if I feel like it.

I fall into Group B.

If you are an adult that is afraid of guns, I can’t help you.  You are going to have to figure out on your own that the simple presence of a gun does not mean people are going to die.  The more people that open carry the more obvious this will become.

Gun owners that decide to exercise their rights should not be treated like criminals.

A perfect example is the latest open carry incident in Tennessee:


What an absolute disaster of speculation and misinformation.

This is a picture of the actual gun (note the orange airsoft-like tip):

The story according to the Tennessee man involved:

I went to the Tennessee State Radnor Lake State Park this afternoon to take in some nature and get some exercise. I dressed in boots, blue jeans, t-shirt, vest, and an old military issue gore-tex woodland camo jacket. I carried my new Romanian Draco AK pistol loaded with 31 123 grain FMJ ammunition from Walmart. I arrived at approximately 3:30 pm and with the pistol slung on my back I started my walk. It was mostly uneventful. I saw no deer and passed maybe 30 hikers. As I reached the end of the trail I made sure no one was close by and shifted the ak-47 pistol to the front of my body. I reached the end of the trail and turned onto the roadway where I saw the first ranger of the day. He asked me if it was an airsoft and I said no it was an AK-47 type pistol. He looked at me strangely and asked to see my permit. I showed my Tennessee handgun carry permit. He asked where I parked and I told him. He said I could keep walking I kept walking as he called someone. By the time I reached my car the ranger was no where in sight as I walk quickly. However, another ranger vehicle pulled in the parking lot and a ranger jumped out with a shotgun pointed at me and yelled at me to stay still and put the weapon on the ground. After I put the weapon down he told me to move away which I did. He then told me to put my face on the ground and my arms on my head. I complied. I think he had a gun trained on me the whole time, but I couldn’t see. He searched me quickly and put my AK into the truck. This particular ranger has seen me before and has asked to see my TN handgun carry permit. He asked to see the permit again and asked for my driver license. I told him I would not give him my license, but he could see the permit.

Three Nashville metro cop cars showed up pretty quickly. They talked among themselves for about an hour and then a cop pulled out a citation for arrest. It said I was being arrested for 39-17-1311 unlawful possession of a weapon. He asked me to sign and I told him I wanted to speak with his supervisor. He said okay, but that it would take a long time and he just wanted to cite and release me for my convenience (yeah right). I asked what part of 39-17-1311 I violated he said I couldn’t carry a rifle. I told him my firearm was classified as a pistol. It has no stock and never had a stock. I also pointed out that it has an 11.5” barrel with complies with the length of a handgun definition in Tennessee. He said it looks like I had cut the stock off and another said they had never heard of a 7.62×39 handgun. It took about another ½ hour for the sergeant to show up. In the meantime one of the original cops left, another park ranger came and left and two more cops showed up. The sergeant showed and I tried to explain that the firearm was a handgun. I also told him if they were going to arrest me to just take me in front of the magistrate right away. They spent another ½ hour asking me if I had a form 1, that the ATF classifies my pistol as a rifle, and they had never seen an AK pistol before. Finally they told me they had gotten in touch with the manufacturer and the manufacturer said it indeed was a pistol. I highly doubt that, but that is what they told me. They released the handcuffs, and gave me back my magazine, ammo, and pistol. (Source –

This is how I propose situation should have been handled:

  • Police get a frantic call that there is a man with a gun in the park
  • The police operator asks for a few details.. what is he doing, what is he wearing etc.. and it comes out that he is simply walking on the trail and he happens to have on a camouflage jacket
  • Officers are sent to the scene to investigate
  • They show up and see the man with gun.  He is not doing anything threatening, so they just ask to see his carry permit.
  • Officers then ask the man a couple of questions about what he was doing, paying close attention to his demeanor and attitude
  • The man is presumably quite calm and collected, and the officers find out he was simply going for a walk just minding his own business
  • Officers initially are dubious that the AK-47 is an actual legal pistol, so they ask the man about it
  • The man explains that it is a legally manufactured Draco AK-47 pistol with absolutely no modifications to it
  • The officers Google “Draco AK-47 pistol” and verify what the man told them
  • Officers apologize to the man for the inconvenience, and send him on his way
  • A note is made in the police computer, that there is indeed such thing as an AK pistol, and all officers in the department are issued a short memo to avoid future speculation and confusion

Did the man carry the AK pistol that day to try to “push the limits” of the law? Probably, but the law does not specify that rifle caliber handguns are not allowed so why not?

Is painting an orange tip on your AK pistol a dumb idea? Seems kind of pointless, but again I don’t see the problem.  If he had a realistic looking airsoft gun people would have still called the cops and it would have been treated the same way (up until the police took it off him and realized it was airsoft)

Are rifle caliber pistols ridiculous for self defense? Depending on the situation it might be overkill.  Such a powerful round definitely has risk of over penetration which could result in collateral damage, so that’s never good.

Do you think it would be a good idea for the same Tennessee man (or anyone else) to open carry an AK pistol or something similar in the near future? Definitely a good idea, in fact I’d recommend it if open carry is allowed in your state.  The more reported incidents there are like this, people will realize what I mentioned above… the simple presence of a gun does not mean people are going to die.

I have to stress that you should always treat law enforcement with respect.  It is definitely in your best interest, considering they will always have the upper hand.  If you feel they are asking questions that are out of line, then get a lawyer.  Always know your rights.

Buy your own Romanian Draco AK-47 pistol to open carry for $350 – HERE

Link to the post by the Tennessee open carry man himself (username: kwikrnu) – HERE


36 responses to “Open Carry Incidents”

  1. I know everything he did was within his rights but don’t you think those rights should be exercised with a little more common sense? He was walking around a state park in a camo jacket with what appears to be a an AK-47 slung across his back. On top of that he spray painted the tip to make it look like a toy. I mean come, on he’s just begging for trouble with that setup. I know the whole thing is legal but it just seems like pushing the envelope for no reason. I know you feel differently, just my .02

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Thanks for the comment Pat, I really do understand your point of view. To elaborate on mine:

      I just look at demonizing incidents such as this as an attempt to erode our freedom. There are millions of things in the world that are just as capable of killing people if they are combined, or put into the wrong hands (planes, fertilizer etc..). Why the hysteria over guns?

      Until there is no such thing as crime, I believe that regular citizens should be proud to say that they do not plan on being a victim, and as a result arm themselves however they feel is necessary.

      Sure people with money are going to mount mini guns on their range rovers and what not.. but I say go for it. If those same people happen to accidentally shoot some innocent bystanders when trying to defend themselves, then I would also feel no grief in seeing them prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If such a system was in place, and criminals were not allowed to roam free and shop for victims, I think the world would be a lot nicer place.

      Has there actually ever been someone with a carry permit murder someone in cold blood (not self defense)? I recall a similar question being asked on another blog, and no one could come up with any solid proof that citizens carrying weapons are a threat to public safety.

      1. There may not be a case of someone with a permit to carry shooting someone in cold blood that anyone can immediately recall or point to, but the average person witnessing someone walking around dressed in a paramilitary fashion with what appears to be an assault rifle won’t likely equate the person they see to a law-abiding citizen with a permit to carry a weapon. And just because you have the legal right to do something does not mean you should abandon common sense and do it, which is what seems to have happened here.

        As to the painting of the muzzle, it obviously wasn’t a good idea. I don’t see how painting the muzzle could be construed as anything other than an attempt to disguise the weapon as something other than a firearm (i.e. airsoft gun). If that’s not illegal in that and every other jurisdiction I would not oppose a law making it so.

        Good for him that he knew the law and was within it. But I certainly don’t feel sorry for him for the hassle he went through; he brought it all on himself.

        Just my humble opinion.

        1. Screw that. Americans walked around with guns strapped to their sides and rifles in their hands for the majority of our history. That’s what the Founders intended and practiced themselves. The assualt rifle is the modern musket. And I’ve visited countries where such behavior is still considered normal. In Israel it isn’t unusual to see someone eating lunch in the park with an M16 slung over their back or a pistol hanging out of their holster. In Switzerland people hang up their assualt rifles on racks when entering a restuarant like they were coats. You shove guns in people’s faces and suddenly the taboo goes away. That’s what we need to start doing. Too many gun rights activists are so PC these days. Grow some balls.

          1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
            Admin (Mike)

            I couldn’t agree more with your entire comment.

          2. amen marsh the 2nd should be a blanketed right to carry period provided one is law abiding and not a felon too many anal retentive libtards out there

          3. OK and that’s why they are all dying

        2. Evil Creamsicle Avatar
          Evil Creamsicle

          ‘Abandoning common sense’ is to not exercise your rights.
          Here’s a picture of me doing the same thing, next to a middle school soccer game behind the police station:

          I think you ought to check out

          1. bullzebub Avatar

            whoa! dropleg for a full sized AK?!

      2. Sorry to post again, but I just read the comments on and saw the other pictures. The picture on AR15 more clearly shows the very bright orange tip on the gun. I agree with the posters on there that it is just plain stupid to have gone anywhere carrying that thing in the open. And as I said before, if there isn’t a law against painting a firearm to look like a toy then there should be.

        I would think that you (Mike) and all responsible gun owners should be taking a stand against this kind of reckless behavior. This type of action is not what I would expect from a responsible person, and I should think you would only want to draw attention to this story as an example of the stupidity and negative attention that gun rights proponents don’t need and will never benefit from.

        I think you’re doing a great disservice to responsible gun owners by posting this and standing up for this fool. This was the act of an immature person who wanted to test the limits and do something totally devoid of common sense just because he could. What’s next? Is he going to dress up in traditional Middle-Eastern clothing and walk around in public with that thing? That seems like the next logical step in the progression of stupid things to do.

        1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
          Admin (Mike)

          Kind of ironic that one of the most popular pass times for kids (and even adults) is now airsoft.

          Lots that are into this pass time might even dress up like a real soldier or in SWAT type apparel. These same people pride themselves on having the most REALISTIC equipment possible. Do these same people have to go to “private” clubs to play airsoft or get a permit to play airsoft and carry their airsoft gun from one place to another in public? No, they can do whatever they want, short of pretending its a real gun in order to threaten someones life. I know the police get calls all the time about people with airsoft guns and other guns that turn out to be toys, and it is taken pretty lightly in most states. This is exactly the opposite for gun calls where the person is being non threatening and acting within the law, but the gun turns out to be real.

          I don’t think you can argue that these guns look identical to the real thing to the average person, and even police from more than a couple of feet away. Are kids and adults with airsoft guns being called “reckless” for enjoying their hobby?

          A law abiding citizen that is legally open carrying a REAL weapon in public (orange tip or not) is no more dangerous then someone that is walking around in a parking lot with a new airsoft gun they got from Toys-R-Us. Both matters should be treated the exact same way by police because as far as they know both guns are real. When it turns out that in both cases, neither party is breaking the law, they should be told they can go on their way… not reprimanded for doing nothing at all wrong.

          It sounds like you are asking for more restrictive laws, which will just end up turning our country into more of a police state then it already is. I think the bottom line is that if they didn’t want people to carry rifle caliber pistols in Tennessee then they should have thought of that when the particular open carry law was drafted. If they just now realized they have a problem with rifle caliber pistols then I believe the law should be re written to reflect that. People that don’t like the rules where they live can always move to a free state.

          As far as your “traditional middle eastern” garb comment, I am not going to go as far as to say “that’s racist” but really, not all popular fashion in our country originated here. In fact lots of celebritys were (and maybe still are) wearing the Keffiyeh. I’ve seen a lot of kids in general wearing them as a fashion statement, and I see nothing wrong with that. Who knows maybe the entire middle eastern outfit will catch on? I’m not holding my breath for that, but if it did I wouldn’t have any problem with it.

          1. You seem to see nothing wrong with painting the tip of the weapon orange. The only reason to do this would be to cause confusion and disguise it as a (mostly) harmless airsoft toy. I agree that if someone tries to pass a toy gun as a real gun when committing a crime they should face penalties the same as for a real gun. However, that doesn’t preclude me from supporting penalties for trying to make a real gun look like a toy.

            As for comparing him carrying this thing in the open to people enjoying the recreation of playing airsoft, that’s not an equal comparison. I would say that a person carrying an airsoft gun around a park in the manner he was, not engaging in an organized game, would be begging for a police confrontation. And a justifiable one on the part of the police. (BTW, airsoft is a “pastime,” not a “pass time.”)

            To the “racist” comment about clothing choice: It was not intended to be racist, it was intended to emphasize that your choice of clothing, or what in this case amounts to a costume, is a factor in the public’s perception of you. Dressed in camouflage clothing and boots, with black watch cap, and with what appears to a reasonable person to be an assault rifle slung across his body, he looks every bit the part of the gun-toting, separatist, militia type that generally give mainstream society an uneasy feeling. My comment about middle-eastern clothing was to point out another “costume” that, when combined with a visible firearm in public, causes people to be alarmed. It’s kind of like the saying, “If you’re going to dress like a whore people are going to treat you like one.”

            I think it’s pretty clear to most people that he’s just doing this to test the boundaries and frankly, be a nuisance. I hope he keeps it up and keeps being detained by police. The police have a duty to keep the public safe. I wouldn’t hesitate to call the police if I was walking in a public park and saw someone dressed in his fashion and carrying a weapon like his. (I’d call regardless of the clothing, but would be more concerned by someone dressed like he was.)

            I’m not opposed to open-carry laws, but the right to carry a firearm, like many other rights, need to be exercised with some prudence.

            1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
              Admin (Mike)

              << I would say that a person carrying an airsoft gun around a park in the manner he was, not engaging in an organized game, would be begging for a police confrontation. And a justifiable one on the part of the police. I totally agree, and I said something similar in the 4th paragraph of my response to your previous comment << he looks every bit the part of the gun-toting, separatist, militia type that generally give mainstream society an uneasy feeling. I agree with the evident stereotype. My solution? The police should show up, see that there is no threat and then leave him alone. Until they make wearing camo illegal for civilains It's unfortunate some people have a problem with it. Why should someone in a polo shirt and khakis carrying a gun be treated less seriously? << I think it’s pretty clear to most people that he’s just doing this to test the boundaries and frankly, be a nuisance. I hope he keeps it up and keeps being detained by police. I agree with that as well. I hope the police detain him a few more times as well, that way they will realize that they are wasting everyone's time. Maybe the media will even pick up on that? Wishful thinking probably. << The police have a duty to keep the public safe. Yes they do, which is why these non issues should be dealt with swiftly and actual crimes should be focused on. << I wouldn’t hesitate to call the police if I was walking in a public park and saw someone dressed in his fashion and carrying a weapon like his. That's really unfortunate you would do that if you lived in a state where open carry of the particular weapon in question was allowed. << I’m not opposed to open-carry laws, but the right to carry a firearm, like many other rights, need to be exercised with some prudence. I can't think of another realm off the top of my head where so much negative public opinion exists, with incredibly obvious double standards.

      3. I just look at demonizing incidents such as this as an attempt to erode our freedom.

        I’m completely with you on this and don’t want to come off as saying he shouldn’t carry it. I just think the guy is a little naive if he thought people and police weren’t going to bug out when they saw him with what appears to be a sawed off AK-47. I guess that’s my main rub with the whole situation. Don’t act surprised when police hassle you when you’re sporting a pistol like that, especially when you have puzzlingly modified it to resemble a toy. While completely legal, it’s still pretty idiotic and reason for suspicion. Now that I think about it more that’s the biggest problem I have with the situation. I understand carrying the Draco, it qualifies as a pistol and is totally badass, but why the hell do you paint the tip orange?

        1. Oops, I butchered that response a little bit and it is pretty much exactly what Josh said, but you get the idea.

        2. Admin (Mike) Avatar
          Admin (Mike)

          I’m with you on that Pat. Until the public is desensitized to open carry, the people that choose to do it should be prepared for a hassle.. It’s the nature of the beast. I really see nothing wrong with the police stopping the gentleman and checking out his permit, I just think that they should be more informed because it is their job. If they are not 100% sure on something then there should be methods in place to find answers quickly.

          The fact that the exterior of a fake gun and a real gun differ by only an “orange tip” to the police and public, and they are O.K. with taking the gamble on assuming either fake or real based on that is ridiculous to me. I don’t care if there is a call into the police about an incident involving a pink AK with flowers on it… if someones life is being threatened with it, it should be treated as REAL no matter what until proven otherwise. If you want to do something life threatening or illegal with a toy gun you should face the same consequences as if it were a real gun. I believe that it’s all about context.

  2. I think it was inflammatory for him to carry that particular weapon and in the manner that he did. He was asking for trouble. We can only speculate as to the reason he wanted to do that. I would not be surprised to see legislation in the very near future to restrict this type of activity. In TN you have the right to open carry. Abusing it in such a manner is more likely to produce a negative effect on gun laws than to cause people to become more “desensitized” to open carry.
    I see this more as an attempt of trying to force his views on other people than some sort of educational demonstration. Some firearms will be notorious because of the way they are used or abused. Their very presence will elicit a bad reaction just as the Tommy gun used to be viewed as a gangster gun. If you are going to push the envelope do it with a more tact and not through confrontation.
    Freedom comes with responsibility. You have the right to bear arms already, to what extent depends a lot on the restraint and responsibility to which that freedom is used!

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      There is no stipulation in the constitution that says the right to bear arms actually comes with arbitrary rules that apply to some people and not to others, depend on what color your skin is, and what type of clothing you are wearing.

      In your opinion he abused the law… but in fact he obeyed the law, and you are lambasting him anyway because of his choice of weapon. You don’t think its appropriate.

      Nothing negative ever happens in any of these open carry stories, because the people that are open carrying are doing nothing wrong, and are being safe. I though that the Obama rally demonstrations would have showed the general public that people other than military and police can have guns out in public and not cause any trouble, but that just got swept under the rug because truly nothing interesting happened.

  3. It’s time to come out in force. Everyone start carrying your gun openly if legally allowed to do so until it’s no longer a social taboo. Shove your constitutional rights down their liberal throats. I’m going to carry my gun on my belt holster for all to see tomorrow as I jog around my local lake like I always do each morning. If it freaks out a liberal walking by then too damn bad.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Yea, we get their liberal views shoved down our throats every time we pick up a paper or turn on the T.V.

  4. I agree with Nick that carrying an AK pistol was extreme. I think it was more the way he carried it (on a sling). If he had any other pistol that pushed the limits of the definition and OC’d it in a strong-side holster, he most likely would’ve been fine. I mean, he could’ve had an 11″ barrel 44 mag revolver on his hip and it would’ve been less intimidating. He could’ve had a Desert Eagle .50 cal with two extra mags and as long as it was in a holster, it probably would’ve been no issue.

    The sling made the weapon the focal point when you look at this man and makes you think he intends to use it for something other than self-defense, which is exactly right. He intended to draw attention, not defend. Painting the tip orange proves that he was trying to test the limits of the law. Just dumb. I’m all for 2A and open carry, but this guy needs his permit revoked. He gives the rest of us a bad rap.

    1. Evil Creamsicle Avatar
      Evil Creamsicle

      If you believe he should have his permit revoked for lawful open carry, then you are not for 2A or open carry, and you are being very hypocritical.

      Perhaps he has this $350 Draco because he couldn’t afford a $600 Glock or 1911, and this is the only way he can afford to defend himself.

      There are many factors that could potentially be involved, but the fact is that the US Constitution and Bill of Rights did not list any ‘exceptions’ to your right to bear arms because it didn’t matter to the founding fathers. Handguns were not even that prevalent back then.

  5. Dexter H. Avatar
    Dexter H.

    I can’t wait for the story when someone carries an AR-15 pistol lower with a scoped, 36″ 50 bmg upper on it!

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Dexter, if orange tip AK-47 guy from the article reads this blog you probably just gave him a new idea. :lol:

  6. I’ve seen a lot of people saying things to the effect of:

    “I completely support your rights, but I don’t think you should exercise them…”

    Think before you speak.


    We don’t carry these weapons because we are ‘trying to attract attention’, we are carrying them because we feel that they ‘should not attract attention’ to anyone except potential criminals, to whom it is a deterrent. The more people see any and every weapon lawfully carried, the less ‘attention’ it will attract.

    Do you think people would have said ‘I believe in the right to bear arms, but jeez, I mean, he’s carrying a musket. Thats just extreme’ back in 1776?

    The answer is no, you don’t. Anyone who says that they do believe that is lying, in order to *gasp!* purposely draw negative attention to themselves.

    Before you jump to conclusions, go talk to some of us who open carry regularly, and know the laws and realities of the encounters that occur.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      I totally agree.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. By the way, I like your website.

      1. Evil Creamsicle Avatar
        Evil Creamsicle

        Thanks. Not actually ‘my site’ per se, I’m just a member there. I like to make sure people are as free and educated as possible.

        And I like yours too, I think I’ll make it a favorite of mine :-D

  7. any connection between the swede’s lowest gun crime rate globally and the fact that each househlod is mandated to operate a 5.56 including range time? the oma”mao”‘s and pelosi’s are whacked truly whacked

  8. […] of you might remember my post from back in December on Open Carry Incidents.  I was mainly critical about how a situation in Tennessee’s Radnor Lake State Park was […]

  9. […] have already heard my point of view on the incident HERE and […]

  10. rangejunkie Avatar

    As a handgun instructor in an open carry state, I have my own opinion for whatever it’s worth (or not). I have never met anyone who was competent and confidant with their presentation from the holster and from concealment, carry openly. I have also never met anyone who carried openly that was competent with their presentation. I realize that I have not met everyone. I’m just sharing my experience.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      I find drawing from a paddle holster way easier then drawing from concealment. A lot less to worry about as far as clothes getting in the way. You say that the open carriers you have met are not proficient in drawing their gun though? Or am I misunderstanding?

  11. rangejunkie Avatar

    You are correct in your understanding within the context that I was using. I was speaking of those that I’ve met. I acknowledged that I haven’t met everyone. In my years of training, teaching and competing, I have met a lot of people though. I respectfully submit that if you or anyone else has any trouble at all drawing from concealment, you should seek additional traning and you should practice to become proficient.

    My rational is this: In my city we have had policemen working as part-time security (wearing their official uniform) get killed when someone decided to rob the place. The sight of an openly carried gun or even a policemen’s uniform did not deter them in any way. It simply made them a bullet magnet as the robber walked up and put a bullet in the back of their head. Should the officers have been more aware of their surroundings? Absolutely! But they are still dead from what may have been a momentary lapse. None of us live every minute in the red zone.

    When I carry, no one ever gives me a second look. They have no reason to. I do not draw attention to myself. Criminals do not view me as the first one they have to take out. Although I am very competent and confident in my presentation (or draw) and shooting skills, I don’t walk around with a Dirty Harry “make my day” attitude.

    It was not my intention to get into an internet debate. I simply wanted to express my opinion and I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to do so. Everyone can think what they want and decide for themselves. I simply wanted to give a perspective that they may not have thought about.

  12. […] posted about Leonard Embody (kwikrnu as he is known on various internet forums) and his AK-47 pistol open carry incident and the subsequent court complaint filed by him for the violation of his 4th Amendment rights […]

  13. […] Originally Posted by USMC_0311 Soon someone will paint an orange tip on a real gun. Already been done. It didn't end very well for the permit holder. Open Carry Incidents […]

  14. Bryan Avatar

    I know it seems ridiculous to carry such a weapon as your concealed carry, but I’ve been considering getting one.

    I have to enter Detroit on a regular basis. I carry an M9 and 80+ rounds of ammunition in magazines. However, the new trend in Detroit is that the hoodlums are getting AK-47s and using them, and they aren’t just holding people up either, they are shooting first and starting actual gunfights.

    In light of this, I actually feel undergunned walking around with an M9 pistol with 80 rounds (never thought I’d ever feel that way) in a city where AK-47 warfare has become relatively common (bet you didn’t think we had our own little mini-Mogadishu right here in the US, did you?). Something like this might be the difference between a gangster continuing to shoot at me because he thinks he has firing superiority, and him running to find a softer target.

    Seriously considering one. I could see it being equally useful in northern michigan where 400 lb boars have be seen. Would hate to face one of those with a normal pistol.