Leonard Embody, of Kwikrnu Arms, uploaded 63 pages of documents to his website regarding James Yeager, Examiner learned today in an email from Embody. Yeager's handgun carry permit was suspended last month because of indirect threats he made in a video posted online.
Embody submitted an open records request for information related to James Yeager and received 63 pages of documents from Tennessee's Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS). Embody posted the information to his website in the form of a webpage and a PDF file.
"42 year old male from Camden had his Tennessee handgun carry permit suspended for comments he made on youtube. Apparently the Tennessee handgun carry permit is a not a right, but a privilege which may be taken at the whim of public officials," the website said.
On January 10, the DSHS suspended Tactical Response CEO James Yeager's handgun carry permit because he uploaded a video to YouTube in which he threatened to "fire the first shot" of the civil war and "start killing people" if President Barack Obama used an executive order to ban assault weapons. Yeager later apologized. And although it was highly anticipated, the president never signed any executive orders regarding gun control.
After learning about the video, Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott sent a memorandum to Lisa Knight, assistant director of the handgun unit, that said, "Please suspend the handgun carry permit of James Yeager as he possess a risk of harm to the public under T.C.A. § 39-17-1352(a)(3). This suspension comes as a result from the following information that was posted on this web-site." Trott included a link to the Huffington Post.
In an email to DSHS Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin, DSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons asked, "Suspended or revoked?"
"Suspended," Godwin replied.
"Legally, what's the difference?" Gibbons asked.
"I will check but could be they are permitted a hearing or appeal process," Godwin replied.
Trott emailed Gibbons, "He is a TN Permit Holder. The video is very disturbing and I authorized his revocation of his TN. Handgun Permit. Lisa has already completed that on the computer. TT"
Gibbons replied, "We could become the targets of his wrath. Time will tell."
Knight then emailed the sheriff and police chief in Yeager's area stating, " ... we are sending this information to you as an advisement only. This is not a request for action." Knight included a link to his video, but it is not clear if anything else was sent.
A January 10 letter, from the DSHS to Yeager, explained that his permit was suspended due to "Risk of Harm to Public" and orders him to surrender his permit within ten days. The letter states that he has 30 days to petition the general sessions court in his county for judicial review. Officials were concerned that Yeager might receive the letter after ten days so they decided to overnight it using FedEx. Yeager received it on January 14.
In a January 11 press release that wasn't included on the state's website, Gibbons said: "The number one priority for our department is to ensure the public's safety. Mr. Yeager's comments were irresponsible, dangerous, and deserved our immediate attention. Due to our concern, as well as that of law enforcement, his handgun permit was suspended immediately. We have notified Mr. Yeager about the suspension today via e-mail, and he will receive an official notification of his suspension through the mail."
Yeager received his carrying permit in 2009, according to the documents. His approval letter from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), dated Aug. 6, 2009, stated that "there IS NO INDICATION of any record that may preclude the applicant for consideration for employment or licensing ... "
Examiner is not aware of whether Yeager appealed the suspension.