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Judge Drops Charges Against Gun Rights Advocate

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Judge Drops Charges Against Gun Rights Advocate

By Nick Beres. CREATED Aug 28, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The charges have been dropped. Now the so-called “Radnor Lake Rambo” wants his body armor, assault rifle and silencer back -- this after a judge cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Leonard Embody first made headlines by bringing a weapon to Radnor Lake. More recently, he was arrested for toting an assault rifle with a silencer or suppressor near the Criminal Justice Center.

In 2013, he was spotted walking on Second Avenue near the courthouse wearing a bullet proof vest and carrying a case with the weapon and silencer inside. Metro Police immediately stopped him for questioning.

Embody recorded the exchange he had with officers on a pocket camera.

"I don't mind if it's not loaded, if it [the gun] is not loaded, but I need to know. If I let you go and you end up shooting 12-people whose fault is it? Mine or yours?" asked an officer.

Embody declined to answer any questions and police arrested him for unlawful possession of a silencer. But it turned out Embody had a federal permit.

That happens to be confidential. So he was under no obligation to tell police about it and he didn't.

"He had all the correct documentation to do what he was doing," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

Leonardo said that's why the judge this week had no choice, but to dismiss the charge.

"It's one of the weird loopholes in the law and it was the right decision," said Leonardo.

Not that the judge liked it. In his dismissal order the judge wrote, "The police were faced with a serious public safety concern that day. The Defendant could have prevented all of this if he had told the officers that the silencer was registered."

Leonardo said he understands the officers' reaction.

"What would you have law enforcement do in a post 9/11 world when you see something like that," said Leonardo.

The judge did issue a warning to Embody in his court order: "The Defendant would be well-advised -- for the safety of the public, the police and himself -- to avoid situations like this in the future."

Embody told NewsChannel 5 on Thursday that he is not going to change a thing. He said once authorities return his possessions, he plans to head back downtown again soon wearing a bullet proof vest and with a cased-rifle slung over his shoulder.

He said it's his Second Amendment right and he'll be handing out fliers to the public informing them of their right to bear arms.

Nick Beres

Nick Beres

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Nick Beres is a veteran reporter with almost 20 years on the beat in Nashville and he's always looking for the big story. He often gets it.