Leonard Embody, a gun activist whose open carrying and self-representation in the past have produced legal responses as well as no small amount of criticism from some “pro-gun” advocates, was arrested yesterday in Nashville and charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, WKRN News 2 reported this morning.
“Embody’s gun also had some type of silencer on it,” the report stated, explaining why possessing a wrapped AR-15, not in itself a crime, would result in charges.
Among items that “must be registered in the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record” are “Silencers and any part designed and intended for fabricating a silencer,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declares on its website question and answer page explaining the National Firearms Act.
“I was arrested yesterday for open carrying a locked, sealed, and cased rifle where no part was visible,” Embody told Gun Rights Examiner this morning. “The cops said that since the case appeared to maybe have a rifle in it they were justified in opening it. I was arrested and bonded out at about 5 a.m. today.
“About 2:55 p.m. I walked from the Supreme Court building to the CJC [Criminal Justice Center] and handed out Second Amendment leaflets,” Embody continued. “It was there I was stopped by about 10-15 cops. I was held for around 15 minutes from what I can remember. I refused to answer on Fifth Amendment grounds and refused a search.
“After I was free to go I did an interview with Channel 5 News,” he explained. “I continued to walk and hand out Second Amendment leaflets. I was stopped again on Deaderick St. and cuffed and put in the back of a police car. I was held a couple of hours and then taken to the CJC where I was booked and charged with possession of a silencer.”
Whether or not his possession of the device was compliant with federal mandates was not made clear from his correspondence. If Embody’s possession of the device is determined to be unlawful, and if probable cause for the search can be established, he will be risking federal charges, with the full weight of the national government coming down on him. This column will be updated with that information when it becomes known.
UPDATE Per Leonard Embody, via email:
The Form 3 paperwork for the silencer was in the sealed and locked rifle case. Tenn. law only requires the possessor “retain” the paperwork, not present it to the law enforcement officer upon demand. The NFA documents are federal tax forms.
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