Radnor Lake Rambo drops appeal of handgun permit revocation

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:45pm

The man who openly carried his AK-47 pistol in a state park and along Belle Meade Boulevard has dropped his request for a hearing on the revocation of his handgun carry permit.

Leonard S. Embody’s permit will remain suspended by the state Department of Safety unless he reapplies or appeals again, in either case the department would review the matter before making a decision, according to a spokesman for the department.

Embody, 38, was dubbed Radnor Lake Rambo after an episode in December in which he went for a stroll brandishing an AK-47 handgun at Radnor Lake State Park.

Embody said he decided to drop the appeal so that his lawsuit against the state can move forward. That suit claims state law violates his right to bear arms and to due process, and that the handgun carry permit laws are unconstitutionally vague.

It’s just one of a few legal proceedings started by Embody, a part-time nursing student who said he’s representing himself.

On Sept. 20, Embody also filed a writ of mandamus in Williamson County asking a court to order Sheriff Jeff Long to properly sign a National Firearms Act document allowing Embody to legally own a silencer.

Embody claims the sheriff didn’t properly perform his statutory duty when he signed the document only after crossing out a line that stated, “I have no information indicating that the transferee will use the firearm or device described on this application for other than lawful purpose.” His application for the silencer was later denied based on that technicality.

Attorneys for the sheriff countered with a motion to dismiss Embody’s petition claiming that it doesn’t meet the legal threshold for a couple of reasons including not meeting certain technical elements.

Also, according to Lisa Carson of the Franklin law firm Buerger, Moseley & Carson, which represents the county on various matters, a writ of mandamus is only allowed against a public official where a “clear legal right has been violated” by an official not performing a mandatory duty.

Carson’s response on behalf of Long states that the sheriff did meet his statutory requirements and that state law only requires the document to be complete but “does not remove the law enforcement officer’s discretion to decline to make certifications that are not supported by the facts.”

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is set for Oct. 18.

Embody’s suit against Radnor Lake Ranger Steve Ward filed in February is still ongoing and remains in the discovery phase. Embody sued after he was detained for two and a half hours while rangers and officers determined if any laws had been broken.

64 Comments on this post:

By: kwikrnu on 10/11/10 at 1:30

Scott, it shouldn't be a hard decision. In 1871 the TN Supreme Court decided that a prohibition was unconstitutional. My argument is that I am prohibited from carrying a handgun because my permit is suspended indefinately and I am prohibited from carrying w/o a permit. This is a prohibition and unconstitutional. Heller said as much in it's decision in 2008. Andrews v State said as much in it's 1871 decision.

"He filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the
city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement
insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in
the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the
use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed
the suit, butthe D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second
Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms and
that the city’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that
firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for
self-defense, violated that right.
Held:
1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Pp. 2–53." Heller v DC 2008

"The District of Columbia generally prohibits the possession
of handguns. It is a crime to carry an unregistered
firearm, and the registration of handguns is prohibited." Heller v DC 2008

"Few laws in the history of our Nation have come close to
the severe restriction of the District’s handgun ban. And
some of those few have been struck down. In Nunn v.
State, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a prohibition
on carrying pistols openly (even though it upheld a
prohibition on carrying concealed weapons). See 1 Ga., at
251. In Andrews v. State, the Tennessee Supreme Court
likewise held that a statute that forbade openly carrying a
pistol “publicly or privately, without regard to time or
place, or circumstances,” 50 Tenn., at 187, violated the
state constitutional provision (which the court equated
with the Second Amendment)." Heller v DC 2008

You can disagree with me, but there are now several court cases which agree with me.

By: SgtScott31 on 10/11/10 at 3:35

Explain how this excerpt from Andrews v. State helps you...

Tennessee State Constitution. Article I, Section 26 of the constitution provides "That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defense; but the legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime."

To me this is textbook as to what the legislature did when it regulated the carrying of a handgun by permit only. The TN Constitution tells you that our law makers have the right to "regulate" the "wearing of arms." They did just that by making TN a permit state. Now if the legislature tried to put restrictions on keeping guns out of the home or requiring registration as DC tried to do, then it would be unconstitutional. To me the Andrew case reinforces the right TN has to regulate the right to carry a firearm. You lost your permit and now you're screaming "foul." It doesn't work that way. The state followed the Constitutional requirement by regulating firearm carry ("wearing of arms") by giving Tennesseans the opportunity to obtain a permit to carry. You decided to abuse it and lost your right to carry. You can still own a handgun (or longun/rifle), you can still transport it, and you can still have it in your home or business for defense.

It seems your interpretation of it (along with Heller) is totally different from mine. I guess you and I both know that our intepretations of the Constitution and Heller decision are mute. It's the interpretation of the Court you will be in soon that matters. I believe they will see it as I do, but that has yet to be determined.

By: kwikrnu on 10/11/10 at 7:06

Regulation is not prohibition. That was part of the Andrews decision. I have no criminal record how is it that I am prohibited? Tennessee currently criminalizes all loaded carry. Heller already decided that Tennessee's 1870 law was unconstitutional.

By: SgtScott31 on 10/12/10 at 4:01

Where in the Heller ruling does it state that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the carrying of a handgun without a permit? I read through a good amount of the published opinion and I don't see anything remotely close to what you're suggesting. The Heller ruling said it was unconstitutional to make a law that banned handguns IN THE HOME unless authorized by the Chief of Police. It also said it was unconstitutional to make a law that forced people to put trigger locks on their weapons IN THEIR HOME or put them in a non-functional capacity.

TN prohibits the carrying of a firearm on your person without a permit. That is not total handgun prohibition. It's regulation. If they came to your house and removed your guns when your permit was revoked, then you would have a case (in my opinion).

By: kwikrnu on 10/12/10 at 6:25

I've already quoted from the Heller decision;
"Few laws in the history of our Nation have come close to
the severe restriction of the District’s handgun ban. And
some of those few have been struck down. In Nunn v.
State, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a prohibition
on carrying pistols openly (even though it upheld a
prohibition on carrying concealed weapons). See 1 Ga., at
251. In Andrews v. State, the Tennessee Supreme Court
likewise held that a statute that forbade openly carrying a
pistol “publicly or privately, without regard to time or
place, or circumstances,” 50 Tenn., at 187, violated the
state constitutional provision (which the court equated
with the Second Amendment)." Heller v DC 2008

Prohibition of the carry of firearms is not regulation it is a prohibition and unconstitutional. Andrews clearly stated this in 1871. I'm not a felon, adjudicated mentally deficient, and I'm not asking to carry into sensitive places. The State and Federal government may regulate, but not prohibit. I am prohibited from carrying a loaded handgun.

By: SgtScott31 on 10/13/10 at 12:01

States all across the U.S. prohibit the carry of handgun without a permit. This is not viewed by their respective courts as an unconstitutional prohibition. It is a part of their regulation of firearms. You're asking our courts to find a law unconstitutional which regulates TN as a "shall carry" state by issuing permits (i.e. allow all persons to carry handguns without a permit or any type of regulation(s)). It's not going to happen. Agree to disagree. I'm looking forward to your hearing.

By: kwikrnu on 10/13/10 at 3:55

The courts have already decided the issue. The majority in Heller has already said that few laws were as oppressive as the law in DC. One of those was the Tennessee law which prohibited the carry of handguns in public.

They also have said that long standing restrictions such as felons, mentally ill, and sensitive places would not be touched.

I am not in any prohibited class. I am prohibited from carrying a gun. That is a prohibition and will not stand. You are confused about regulation. You seem to think that regulation means a State may prohibit through regulation. They may only prohibit those who fall into a certain class; felons, mentally ill, and most likely those who do not meet the requirements on a 4473. They will not be able to prohibit, through regulation, those like me who have done nothing wrong, have federal firearms licenses, have gun permits from multiple states, have been cleared by the TSA, etc.

Good cause prohibitions are going out the window.

By: kwikrnu on 10/13/10 at 3:57

One more point about the Tennessee permit system. It is not a right, it is a privilege. If you listen to the archieved records of the senate and house committee meeting you will hear the word privilege uttered over and over. The attorney general issued an opinion about the privilege to carry a gun.

The right to carry a gun is a right, not a privilege.

By: SgtScott31 on 10/13/10 at 9:26

Carrying a gun is not an absolute right. Even our Constitution states that the state of TN could regulate the "wearing of arms." That can include prohibiting you to carry a handgun on your person if you do not meet the standards. One of the biggest arguments of the 2nd Amendment is simply its interpretation. You and many other pro-2nd Amend folks interpret it to mean that anyone should be able to carry anywhere at anytime, permit or not. Many states do not intepret it that way, nor does the US Supreme Court; hence why many states that do require a permit to carry and their laws have never been found to be unconstitutional. And don't bring Heller into this because it didn't address handgun carry at all. It only addressed handguns in the home. TN doesn't plan on changing their law anytime soon. You can tell me it's unconstitutional till your blue in the face, but my opinion is consistent with what the court's have ruled for years.

On a side note, I'm not confused about anything. I interpret the laws the way the courts do. If you would look at the history of court decisions, you would see that the only one confused here is you.

By: kwikrnu on 10/14/10 at 5:55

Yes, you're confused. Read the Heller v DC decision. The majority, while speaking of the DC ban, clearly state that few law laws have been as oppressive. One of those laws was the Tennessee law which prohibited carry.

Tennessee law currently criminalizes all loaded carry of handguns. We are under the same type of ban we were in 1870. That ban was declared unconstitutional. This ban will be declared unconstitutional.

By: SgtScott31 on 10/14/10 at 6:59

Tennessee's requirement to have a permit to carry a handgun is not total prohibition. It's not a "ban" on handguns as related to the Heller decision. This state, along with dozens of others, require permits to carry handguns. You will learn that soon enough when you go to court.

By: kwikrnu on 10/14/10 at 7:51

When a law abiding citizen is prohibited from carrying a ahandgun it is a total prohibition.

By: SgtScott31 on 10/15/10 at 3:44

Please be sure to post the outcome of your day in court.

By: kwikrnu on 10/15/10 at 5:18

I won't have to, it will be in the news.