Open carry incident in Nashville gets me detained 2.5 hour at gun point carried AK-47


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kwikrnu

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I went to the Tennessee State Radnor Lake State Park 12/20/2009 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 7.62x39 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.

I think they handled it as well as could be expected. I felt the cop who was trying to charge me with a violation of 39-17-1311 had no basis for the charge.


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Picture of park sign
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Even though park sign says no firearms carry permit holders may carry due to a law which was passed this summer. The law stated that the parks didn’t have to change the signs.

I carried a Romanian draco ak-47 pistol I purchased new from classic arms in NC and which was transferred to be by a FFL in Nashville on 12/16/2009. I carried it on an urban ert two point sling using the rear grip screw as the second attachment point.

Transcipt 12-20-2009
Here is a link to download
Approximately 4:00pm
This is an audio recording of the first ranger I met. He was approximately 50 yards west of the lake trail exit point. He ended his conversation with another man as I approached.
28:40 is when the audio begins with the ranger (R).
Me: It’s a chilly one today.
R: Hey, bud.
Me: Yeah?
R: Airsoft?
Me: No, it’s a handgun. You can touch it.
R: Why do you have that? Do you have a permit?
Me: Here you go. (I showed him my valid Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit)
R: Why do you have that?
Me: Because it’s legal to carry in the park.
R: Technically that’s not a handgun.
Me: Yeah it is.
R: No it’s not.
Me: Yeah it is.
R: No.
Me: Uh huh, I guarantee it. It’s a handgun. It’s never had a butt stockattached and and it’s 11.5” long.
R: Which side are you parked in?
Me: Uh, the one down the road. (pointing)
R: Okay, I mean technicaly it’s legal, but I don’t see why you need that out here.
Me: I was told by another ranger you had a lot of poachers and stuff out here.
R: No.
Me: Really?
R: Hold on a second. Let me check this. I’m pretty sure an AK47 is not a handgun
Me: How’s it going? (I spoke to a man passing by who was looking at us)
Man: That’s not real is it?
Me: Yeah, AK47, 7.62x39, 31 rounds.
Me: I’m going to record you. I’m recording right now.
Me: Which side of the road are we supposed to walk on over here anyway? This side right? Bikes on that side right? As long as they don’t run you over.
Me: I knew I would run into a ranger one of these times.
R: Well, the orange threw me off.
Me: Yeah, it’s a custom orange color paint job.
R: Makes phone call.
Me: Well, it’s a handgun. Are you checking on me or do you want me to keep on going?
R: keep going.
Me: You guys can meet me at the end if you have any questions. I’m in a little black Honda Civic.
 

Of course you were right and you got your Romanian Pistol back. But you had to spend 2 1/2 hours proving your point. Sounds to me like a bit of a grandstand play. You know as well as I do that if you start walking on a public trail with an AK47 Pistol you'r probably going to get stopped. I have several of those look-alike pistols and I take them to my gun club and have a blast. You sir seem to have no common sense and wasted the time of several LEOS who were trying to look out for the communities they served.So you made your point. Aren't you proud of yourself?:yu:
 
You're very lenient about the whole event. After being through an event like that myself, I wish the cops would be more up-to-date on the laws of the land.
 
Of course you were right and you got your Romanian Pistol back. But you had to spend 2 1/2 hours proving your point. Sounds to me like a bit of a grandstand play. You know as well as I do that if you start walking on a public trail with an AK47 Pistol you'r probably going to get stopped. I have several of those look-alike pistols and I take them to my gun club and have a blast. You sir seem to have no common sense and wasted the time of several LEOS who were trying to look out for the communities they served.So you made your point. Aren't you proud of yourself?:yu:

This criticism sounds kind of harsh to me. Sure it took 2 1/2 hour to make his point, but the point is he made his point. If the LEO's had been more up to snuff on their end they wouldn't have wasted their own time, although it may have helped if the poster had included a manufacturer's description of the arm in his carry kit.

The point is that the point was made, LEO's were educated, and perhaps the next exerciser of their 2nd Amendment Right won't be quite so inconvenienced. If more of us would make the effort to press these issues and make the point, we'd have fewer problems to begin with.

One man's opinion.
 
I see you again left out the part where you painted the tip of the barrel orange to disguise it as a toy. Are you getting your jollies by posting your story on every board on the Internet and been banned by most except OCDO?
 
I see you again left out the part where you painted the tip of the barrel orange to disguise it as a toy. Are you getting your jollies by posting your story on every board on the Internet and been banned by most except OCDO?

THAT'S news...!

What about that?
 
I see you again left out the part where you painted the tip of the barrel orange to disguise it as a toy. Are you getting your jollies by posting your story on every board on the Internet and been banned by most except OCDO?


I was banned from a few forums because I painted the muzzle nut of the handgun orange and posted pictures of it. So, I don't mention it or post pics. It isn't illegal.
Are you for or against the second Amendment. If you support the Second Amendment you shouldn't be advocating infringing on my right to keep and bear arms.
 
I was banned from a few forums because I painted the muzzle nut of the handgun orange and posted pictures of it. So, I don't mention it or post pics. It isn't illegal.
Are you for or against the second Amendment. If you support the Second Amendment you shouldn't be advocating infringing on my right to keep and bear arms.

Now you make me wonder where I should stand.

If supporting the second ammendment means supporting the rights of nut cases who disguise their weapons as toys and intentionally run around trying to get themeselves arrested to "prove a point" then perhaps I may be persuaded to question if the second ammendment goes too far!
 
Now you make me wonder where I should stand.

If supporting the second ammendment means supporting the rights of nut cases who disguise their weapons as toys and intentionally run around trying to get themeselves arrested to "prove a point" then perhaps I may be persuaded to question if the second ammendment goes too far!


If I drive around town in a yellow ferrari and obey all the traffic laws am I trying to get arrested? Maybe there should be limits on how fast cars can go and how fast they look.:sarcastic:
 
All I can add is, there is good activism, and bad activism. In my opinion, this is an example of bad activism. I would say it was on the edge to a point, but painting the tip Orange went over the edge. If I were going to carry an AK pistol, I think I'd wear a suit and a tie, if for no other reason to at least add to the confusion.

First appearances can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. kwikrnu was lucky this time. And thanks to the news coverage, he will likely continue with his good luck. (I hope. ) But actions like this may cause some in the Tenn. leglislature to re-think the changes they enacted. Is this good news for lawful gun owners?

Some of you who live in Tennessee might want to contact your legislators and see if this has had any impact. I hope it didn't. But, you never can tell. I would be willing to bet that more than a few anti-gun types are getting active at trying to reverse the recent changes, and you can bet, they will use this latest incident to their advantage.
 
Radnor State Park is full of muddy trails, suits don't work. A good pair of goretex boots (because it had been raining), cotton blue jeans and a breathable gore-tex jacket was proper attire.

I may wear a suit next time. Since many have stated the orange tip was offensive I removed the orange paint on the tip.

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Though I understand the point the OP wants to prove, I disagree with the way it was done. I feel that if the OP had put a lot more thought into this, the outcome would have been a lot different. Having paperwork for the firearm would have been a good start. An owner's manual or bill of sale identifying the firearm as a "pistol" would have sunk the argument that it was a "modified rifle". Firearms enthusiasts like ourselves know that there are AK 47 pistols (as well as AR 15 pistols) on the market. Unfortunately, the news media as well as many LEO do not.

Many people take issue with the fact that the tip of the pistol was painted orange. I'm not "offended" by it, though I do believe that it was a very poor decision. Simply having an AK-47 pistol would have been sufficient to prove your point. As a firearms trainer, I believe that any firearm pointed at me, regardless of the color of the firearm or components will be considered a hostile action and dealt with appropriately. There have been incidents with LE where BG have painted the tips, or in some cases the whole firearm a bright color in the hopes of tricking LE. It's because of this that I assume that ANY firearm pointed at me be considered "real" until I determine otherwise.

Since the TN law is new, I have no doubt that the "anti-gun" groups will use this incident to try to reverse the recent changes. I applaud your efforts in attempting to further the 2A movement, though I would appreciate it if you could put a little more thought into future efforts.



gf
 
now you make me wonder where i should stand.

If supporting the second ammendment means supporting the rights of nut cases who disguise their weapons as toys and intentionally run around trying to get themeselves arrested to "prove a point" then perhaps i may be persuaded to question if the second ammendment goes too far!

gasp! I think this was awesome, the PD should know their own regs...
 
If you intentionally paint your muzzle so that it appears to be an airsoft, you have no business carrying any weapon. You are simply trying to cause an incident. This does not make you a crusader, a patriot, and freedom fighter, whatever. It makes you an asshat.
 
If you intentionally paint your muzzle so that it appears to be an airsoft, you have no business carrying any weapon. You are simply trying to cause an incident. This does not make you a crusader, a patriot, and freedom fighter, whatever. It makes you an asshat.

While I disagree with you sir, I must say you made me choke on my drink from laughing.

"It makes you an asshat" quote of the year runner up.
 
kwikrnu - did you contact the news station and let them know that there were many points in their story that were non-factual?? Did you ask them to correct those points in any on-going presentation of the story (website text / video)?
Putting out the correct information would have seemed to be very important to you to make your point, but then again, by not carrying documentation with you that it is a stock pistol, maybe it's not important to you after all.
 
kwikrnu - did you contact the news station and let them know that there were many points in their story that were non-factual?? Did you ask them to correct those points in any on-going presentation of the story (website text / video)?
Putting out the correct information would have seemed to be very important to you to make your point, but then again, by not carrying documentation with you that it is a stock pistol, maybe it's not important to you after all.

Do I really need to carry documentation? The law states a rifle has a stock. This had no stock so It can't be a rifle.

Anyway, do you carry documentation that your pistol isn't a rifle? Do you carry documentation that your rifle isn't a SBR? Do you carry documentation that you're a citizen of the US?
 
Do I really need to carry documentation? The law states a rifle has a stock. This had no stock so It can't be a rifle.
Anyway, do you carry documentation that your pistol isn't a rifle? Do you carry documentation that your rifle isn't a SBR? Do you carry documentation that you're a citizen of the US?

I did not say you had to carry documentation... I am not expecting to be challenged as a citizen (but I do carry my ID), When I carry my rifle, I'm out hunting, so I expect to be asked if I have a hunting license, so I do carry that..
By painting your "pistol" orange, you are obviously trying to draw attention (the camouflage attracts attention as well), so it would seem you are attempting to draw attention, and by such, you will be challenged for information.. carrying that information would seem reasonable under this scenario, but is not required...

I did note that you did not answer the original question about contacting the news station..
 
Do I really need to carry documentation? The law states a rifle has a stock. This had no stock so It can't be a rifle.

Anyway, do you carry documentation that your pistol isn't a rifle? Do you carry documentation that your rifle isn't a SBR? Do you carry documentation that you're a citizen of the US?

I would think, for most "standard" looking pistols, documentation is not necessary. However, for a pistol that looks like an AK-47, I think I'd carry something that says it's a pistol just to cut down on lost time. You spent 2.5 hours in custody, when, perhaps it might not have been that long if you'd had some sort of documentation that proved your point.

Then again, perhaps that was your intentio from the beginning. I do not know.
 
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