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An Atlanta man says he was harassed by police for openly carrying an AR15 rifle at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, in apparent violation of Georgia firearms law which explicitly protects that right, reports 11alive.com. “Cooley says he was approached by several Atlanta Police officers asking about his firearm, which he said he was carrying for safety, while at the airport.” . . .


However, Cooley asked the officers each time he was stopped if he was being detained. When the officers each answered in the negative, he continued on his way. He recorded each of the encounters and posted them to YouTube. Upon leaving the terminal and going to the parking lot, three officers followed him. None of the three would say why they were following him when he asked them, though they took photos of him and his vehicle as he got in and drove off.

Georgia law permits carriage of firearms at airports outside TSA secured areas.

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148 Responses to Atlanta Man Arrested for Open Carrying at Airport

    • For what? A few classes to teach him some manners? OCing a rifle at an airport isn’t necessary, it’s just gauche. If the guy REALLY felt that the airport was so dangerous that he needed a rifle, then the smart thing to do was stay the F away from it. But he didn’t think it was dangerous, he’s just another attention-whoring member of the clown militia looking for a chance to call himself a victim.

      Before all the derp derp crowd jump on me for not defending his absolute right to OC a rifle at the airport, give it a rest. There are legal things and stupid things, and this was both. He doesn’t need a kickstarter campaign – he needs to wake the F up and realize that this nonsense is actually a good way to get guns banned from places like the airport.

      Derp derp away, clowns. Or not. Whatever.

      • Geniuses like him are who got OC banned in California. I’d like to believe he was a Bloomberg plant. Unfortunately we are plagued with a fair number of “I’ve got a right!!” jackasses on our side. What’s important to these people is making their point and feeling important. Securing our rights is a distant second for them.

        • What a stupid thing to say. “Clowns like him” did not get OC banned in California and you know it. Clowns like California politicians and the idiots who elect them got OC banned. You guys who keep de facto justifying constitutional violations just because you don’t agree with the manner in which a right is being exercised, or because you’re scared a politician is going to freak out and introduce new regulations really need to play a new song, because nobody’s getting your rights taken away except for statist, hive-minded non-thinkers on the one side and apathetic, whiney-assed couch-sitters on the other.

        • There is nothing that gets those folks energized like the “look at me I’m a moron with gun” crowd. They picked a losing fight and screwed every gun owner in California as result. Beat your chest all you want about your rights. I’m sure it suffuses you with the warm glow of self-righteousness, just like it did the OC idiots in California. Personally, I’m more interested in winning the war.

          I think Cooley is an attention whore and possible wanna-be martyr. It takes a special sort of ___hole bring his daughter into a situation where he knows he’ll be the recipient of the unhappy attentions of a bunch of armed officers.

        • OCing long guns in public (although maybe not airports) to get handgun OC seemed to work pretty well in Texas. Although it didn’t work in California, using California as a barometer for the rest of the country that isn’t populated and run by Leftists and nuts is ridiculous.

        • @Benny The Jew +1. The opinions of those that claim to be liberty minded turn into laws that restrict the liberties of all. I really wish these Stockholm syndrome, statist morons would think before they opened their mouths. If you don’t like what someone is doing, then don’t do it. Overly protesting with your opinion turns into terrible laws when enough people do it.

          Here’s a good filter for everyone to use in these situations…

          Did this action physically hurt someone or damage property? No, STFU and keep on keeping on. Yes, press charges. Dirt simple and effective in the preservation of liberty.

        • @Sprocket

          They picked a losing fight and screwed every gun owner in California as result…just like it did the OC idiots in California. Personally, I’m more interested in winning the war.

          Screwed every gun owner in California? Are you blind? Without them you wouldn’t have had Peruta! When your Leftist legislators totally eliminated any type of firearm carry ability the court ruled that unconstitutional, so now you have carry licenses being issued where they never were before.

          You talk about winning the war, that’s winning. Without it you wouldn’t have handgun carry.

          And yes, I know the Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear Peruta and Richards v. Prieto. You’re going to get shall-issue out of this, so you can thank your “crazy” OCers for that. It was nothing you did.

        • It’s public opinion that elects politicians which in turn legislate public policy. Ask your self, “does open carrying an AR in an airport move public opinion towards open carry or away from it?” We only have gun rights till we don’t anymore. We need voters on our side and frankly, this kinda stunt disgust me.

        • We only have gun rights till we don’t anymore.

          Tiny, rights are inalienable to the individual so one cannot lose them. Government might infringe upon the exercise of that right to the point of extinguishing the exercise under the color of law. The question is… Should that happen are you going to roll over and proclaim that is that or will you fight such blatant tyranny. You will always posses the right to keep and bear arms but to exercise it or not is your choice.

      • Freedom has it drawbacks – but they are worth it to me when compared to the alternative.

        I’m not going to bother called this open carrier a derp or anything similar. Your opinion is to shame him for open carrying in an airport simply because it isn’t necessary and he is some kind of an attention grabber. However, the same could be said for the open carry of pistols some years ago. The same could also be said for open carrying in a dangerous neighborhood by people who don’t support it. This lies in the realm of opinion which varies greatly person to person. Tolerance allows freedom, and I think it is important to tolerate these people regardless, because our opinions may be wrong, and rights (the moral proven conclusions of opinions) are more important than our unproven opinions.

        We would go a lot further in our endeavors, in my opinion, educating people about tolerance, and the importance of freedom, than to educate people simply about firearms alone.

        • Some POTG were indeed clutching their pearls and fainting when we were openly bearing handguns. When we carried long guns, these same people were screeching for us to carry handguns instead. They are amazingly timid, disingenuous, and insulting when it comes to Liberty.

          With every open carrier that I encounter, individual Liberty and tolerance is the message. Bearing arms is an important part of that but it is not the main message. You’ve hit the nail on the head, Anonymous… Thank you!

          As most know, I OC everyday, everywhere legal. The result has been officers and departments that learn more about Liberty. Much to my surprise, they have actually come around to thank me for OCing. The same has happened with people who initially were upset or shocked about it. Time has proven to me that desensitization does work and Liberty can be contagious. Some who were very opposed to OC years ago now bear their own firearms openly.

        • @John in Ohio

          If you’re not OCing a rifle every day then I guess you don’t like freedom as much as the clown with the rifle in the airport, right? Or perhaps you don’t OC a rifle because it’s ridiculous?

          Check out the airport clown’s YouTube page:
          https://www.youtube.com/user/kaseyspitstop/videos

          He’s obviously just doing this for attention. He sure seems to hang out at the airport a lot. Needlessly. With [long] guns. Needlessly. And yet we have all you enablers saying this is helpful. To what? Getting guns banned from airports in his state? Providing a shining example of an out of touch gun owner who gets his jollies freaking people out at the airport (and yes, people are IMHO justifiably freaked out seeing weirdos OCing rifles at the airport).

          Aside from Bloomberg’s money, the 2nd greatest threat to gun rights is the OCing clowns trying to “educate” people about guns, and trying to delude themselves into thinking they’re 2nd Amendment Heros. No, you’re a bunch of socially awkward people with openly carried guns. I’m fine with OC, but I’m not fine with the OCing attention whores like we see in the video above. Stop “helping” our rights away.

        • @ Anonymous:

          Desensitization and normalization does indeed work with most things and ideas. That’s why the Bloomberg sourced Anti-gun Industrial Complex works so hard to suppress any kind of carry (and any other kind of gun normalization effort) at every opportunity. Indeed, normalization of an anti-gun social culture is what they themselves are all about, albeit based upon misinformation and lies.

          “Blood in the streets” and all.

        • @fg33: I don’t OC a long gun everyday because I can’t afford the right one for my size and abilities. What I do have is too bulky to carry everyday. I do, however, carry it on and off. IMHO, the rest of your post is tripe.

      • I agree, there is no reason to open carry a rifle at the airport. If you feel you must open carry (I prefer concealed) at the airport a holstered pistol will attract infinitely less attention. But that would defeat the point of what he was doing I guess.

    • Kinda looks like neither. He had a right to carry a gun, they had a right to ask questions. They perceived he might present a threat, but not enough for probable cause to arrest. They had a right to follow him to his car, and a right to photograph or otherwise record his plate number, in which he had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Looks to be a no harm no foul kinda of an incident.

      But then again, we have the right to ask why he wanted to antagonize the police.

      • Maybe because an unlawful arrest would have been grounds for a lawsuit and a fast $20K settlement. If so, the police weren’t fooled.

      • I agree with Mark. I didn’t see any harassment here. He had the right to record police. Police had the right to record him. The police asked him a question – he asked the police a question. Not really any issue.

  1. I don’t care if it’s legal or not. That is just plain stupid and makes all gun owners look bad. I am sure I’ll get flamed for that comment, but if you think this makes sense you need to get yourself checked.

    • I would much prefer either a holstered handgun or a chamber-flagged rifle with no magazine inserted.

      If you’re carrying for safety, a handgun has a much quicker response time and a much smaller “signature,” if you will.

      If you’re carrying for political purposes, then that should be clear to even a casual observer. I.e., groups of people with signs and chamber-flagged firearms.

      • When I sling my RFB, I can put it on target faster than anything in a holster. I practice with my 1911 + Serpa and the RFB wins always.

        I’ll even put my money where my mouth is. Name your terms.

    • Honestly I think he’s probably a plant. Working for MDA or the Mayors. There was a similar incident last year after GA passed a revision to its carry law where a guy went around bragging about the gun on his hip, and told people to look at it. Supposedly he was a bloomberg plant as well.

      • I doubt it. Believe it or not, some people like to exercise their constitutional rights. I think this guy was more confrontational than he had to be, but that was probably the point.

        • My take on it is about the same as yours. Everybody was within their rights and authority, but he had a little jackwagon flavor to him. This one appears to have been seeking not just an encounter, but a dramatic confrontation. I’m ok with agitating for expanded freedoms, but he seemed only to be trying to provoke the police for its own sake.

          The officers’ stiff and standoffish approach wasn’t especially helpful, but this fellow being willfully daft (“Why are you following me?”) and challenging, wasn’t going to allow for a more cordial outcome anyway.

    • Yeah, can’t get behind it. Open carry of a pistol, as in holstered, is a fine defensive posture that barely raises an eyebrow unless you’re paying attention.
      Rifle says “patrol” to me. And there’s definitely a time and place for that, I’m just grateful that it’s not here and now.
      Just like speaking your mind- there’s polite, and there’s being an ass. And open carrying a handgun is about as close to polite as I get.

    • The best impression we AR owners can hope to give the public who are not gun-inclined is that we are just typical average folks, not Rambo wannabes looking for trouble. Nothing about this guys choice of carry gun, position of carry, or venue for carry say ‘normal’ or ‘average’. He probably just gave a lot of people their first known encounter with an AR owner, and it was not a good one.

      If you think the bystanders take-away from the encounter will be “gee, he didn’t open fire. I guess next time I see a guy walking around with a front-slung semi-auto rifle who is obviously not a cop, I won’t be alarmed at all, because it will seem normal”, then you are not very bright.

      Most people who saw him, including other guns owners who might have been there, were probably left thinking more along the lines of “What The Actual F-ck Was That?”

      I see OC handgun guys in restaurants sometimes and they barely get a second look from me, unless it is out of curiosity about the gun. But if I had been in the airport and saw this guy walk in with a front-slung AR, mag in the well, and no visible credentials, I would have immediately squared myself to him and been ready to draw (assuming I could carry there). Whatever else I would have been doing there would have been put on hold so I could have eyes on him for the duration of his visit. Because even though I am usually armed in public and own an AR, nothing about him would look normal to me. The instincts of any ‘sheepdog’ or situationally-aware person who saw the guy would say “WARNING. GET READY”. And that is not the kind of impression we want to make when we carry in public, concealed or openly.

      • “no visible credentials,”

        Says everything one needs to know to properly interpret your post. Thanks.

        • If you mean others will interpret that part of my post to suggest that I pay attention to details and consider context in a threat assessment, then good. Because if my only consideration in any such situation was “is that guy doing anything illegal yet?”, then I would be victim-in-waiting who personified situation unawareness, and would likely be headed for a Darwin award at some point in life.

  2. This guy is an idiot. Gee, today I’m going to antagonize poorly trained men with guns who are just itching to pump 17 rounds into me for making a “furtive gesture”. People like this give all gun owners a bad name.

    • Antagonize? How did he antagonize? He did nothing wrong… Oh, yeah, you’re one of those people who advocates throwing away your rights so that you can claim victory because nobody else took them form you…

      Tubgirl gun owner. Crap in your own face to beat the anti’s to the punch…

      I’s because of those who push the edges of the envelope that you can comfortably sit in the center of it. Were it not for him, the center where you sit would become the new edge.

      20 years ago you people said the same thing about OCing a Glock in a retention holster. That has only become an accepted norm because others have moved beyond it.

      The only antagonizing was done by these degenerate anti-american cops. Now I want to drive up to Atlanta and wander through the airport with about 6 guns on me. Something I really do not want to do, but, apparently, these little shits need to be taught. Somebody’s gotta do it, you sure won’t…

      If you can’t be bothered to do something so minor as be “that guy” in the name of the Bill of Rights, how can you be expected to do anything of greater consequence? This is why the anti’s win and we lose; they don’t crap in their own face and call it winning.

      • I get where you’re coming from. I doubt the government listens to MLK without pre-Mecca Malcolm X. If someone in the group isn’t aggressively protecting their rights, the calm member is marginalized. It’s the fear of the outrageous that leads to negotiations. As a result, this type of OC makes sense.

        That being said, this type of OC is also the MO of the “We’re Here, We’re Queer” crowd. Every annoyed thought you have about the in-your-face homo crowd is running through the minds of the gun-neutral America.

        I’m not going to discount the efficacy of what happened here, but it would be hypocritical of me to applaud it.

      • Sorry, there is a way to do it, and a way not to do it. Any sane person knows the drum mag wouldn’t help the situation. Was he there dropping someone off, or picking someone up, or just trying to get a rise out of the cops?

        Just because something isn’t illegal, does not mean it is wise or sensible. Put yourself in the cops place as well. If I am a cop and a guy is walking around with the beta-mag loaded AR….. just for protection…..at an Airport, I would also keep an eye on him at least.

        • Just because something isn’t illegal, does not mean it is wise or sensible.

          There are gun owners today that say the same thing about openly carrying a holstered pistol. Don’t want to do it? Don’t.

      • Dustin, before now I have never written this without it being sarcasm – You’re post was Awesome. I’m fascinated by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter..

        Every hysterical face-crapping ‘Keyboard Worrier’ we get here over public carry in the US ignores (by ignorance or by mission) how mundane it is in places where it is done even more frequently. In Israel, for instance, no one bats an eye at people with carbines and machine guns slung in open carry. Even the women do it. It’s done so regularly that the rifles cause a wear-pattern on the butt of the women’s blue jeans, which even has its own name (albeit one I’ve forgotten offhand.) They even open carry rifles while wearing Bikinis (because, really, where are you going to hide anything?) and what the surrounding public thinks about it isn’t “omg, wait a second while I crap in my own face” .. what the surrounding public thinks is “hey, nice bikini!” or “oh, hey my rifle here is by the same maker!”

        There is a relation between the ideas. The more unusual a thing is, the more strange it seems. The more routine a thing is, the more normal it seems. This is first-day social psychology technology. We’ve had thirty plus years of mass media programming, television, movies, where only the military or police can properly possess a firearm .. and everyone else is either a ‘killer’ or a ‘misguided fool’ or some ‘dangerous nutjob’ character waiting to ‘go off’.

        Open carry, through repetition of exposure of non-eventful encounters, normalizes the 2nd amendment into a hard physicality. Not ‘bizarre’ but commonplace … not ‘disruptive’ but customary. That explains why the communist left despises it so much. Why the face-crappers want to help them despise it is just gullibility and lack of critical thought.

        • In Israel, M16’s and the like are carried with an empty mag well, not with a Beta MAG!
          also, Israel situation is a bit different then US – Small state surrounded by big enemies that wish to erase it off the map, and fought numerous wars in the recent past to do it + Gaza mess. So yes that guy is an idiot. Because his primary purpose was to agitate and grab attention. In my view, carrying a rifle like that in front its pretty much brandishing -improper exhibition. If the guy had his rifle on his back I would have less of an issue And yes I know some people will read this i start screaming STFU CAUSE 2nd Amendment, FREEDOM! Well IMHO such people do more harm then good to safeguard our rights!

        • I was just in Israel a few months ago and no one was carrying with an empty magwell, although about half did have the 90-degree mag holders with mag, the rest had mags. Also riot shotguns and grenade launchers and Jericho pistols.

        • Israelis who open-carry are REQUIRED to do so, either as off-duty military or as some sort of collateral-duty guard (teacher escorting students, etc.). They aren’t carrying “because I can,” and given the choice, most of them would probably rather have a concealed pistol instead of having to deal with the full-size rifle.

      • The cops talked to the guy and asked him questions, then let him walk away without answering. That makes them “degenerate anti-american cops”? Are you serious, dude?

        Do you never talk to strangers in public and ask them questions? Some guy I don’t know came up to me in a parking lot not long ago and said ‘nice truck’ and said he had the same kind and asked me what I shined my wheels with. My wheels were totally legal. Harassment? I asked a lady on the street the other day what kind of dog she was walking. Not an illegal dog, I’m sure. Am I an un-American degenerate for asking?

        But..they asked about a GUN. So? What if somebody at a gun range asked you about a gun you were shooting? I’ve done it plenty of times. Harassment? What if on another day, another OC guy saw this dude in the video and asked him what kind of VFG he had on his AR, or asked if he was going to the 3-Gun competition nearby. Would he go to the press and cry harassment?

        But…these weren’t people or American citizens doing the talking, right? They were COPS! Yeah, and they are also people and American citizens. Do cops not have the same right to talk to people in public that the rest of us do? Do they sign away their right to speak when they get the job? Yeah, no. Communicating with the public is one of the most basic tools of their job.

        But… they took PICTURES of him. Yes, in a public place, after he filmed the cops first. Not harassment when he did it, right?

        So let’s review: the guy was not arrested or detained. Basically, some people he didn’t know who happened to be a cops TALKED to him and asked him questions and then let him ignore them and walk away. Then when HE approached THEM in the public parking lot ,which is part of the facility they are assigned to patrol, and started asking each of them their names and badge numbers, they answered him without complaint or hostility. Oh, the inhumanity.

        I’m sorry, but some of these OC ‘activist’ guys come across as thin-skinned p_ssies who get butt-hurt by any interaction from police. Newsflash for the guy in the video: when you go out in public, people you don’t know might talk to you. If you do something to stand out, like driving a rare car, or wearing a clown costume, or carrying a front-slung AR, even more of them might take notice and talk to you. Some of them might be cops. If they ask questions, answer or don’t. But don’t cry to the press or on YouTube about it when you knew your actions would draw attention in the first place. Because it just makes you look ridiculous.

  3. I would have defended myself if I was followed to the parking lot by three armed assailants wearing gang colors.

  4. he is helping us , and every time anyone open carrys, the public gets a little harder to convince that the presence of a gun causes catastrophe . the public is a lot harder to scare next time. the goal ia to get the average non-gun owner to say “meh” when they see someone with a gun.

    my hat is off to mr. cooley.

    • The best impression we AR owners can hope to give the public who are not gun-inclined is that we are just typical average folks, not Rambo wannabes looking for trouble. Nothing about this guys choice of carry gun, position of carry, or venue for carry say ‘normal’ or ‘average’. He probably just gave a lot of people their first known encounter with an AR owner, and it was not a good one.

      If you think their take-away from the encounter will be “gee, he didn’t open fire. I guess next time I see a guy walking around with a front-slung semi-auto rifle who is obviously not a cop, I won’t be alarmed at all”, then you are not very bright.

      Most people who saw him, including other guns owners who might have been there, were probably left thinking more along the lines of “What The Actual Fuck Was That?”

      I see OC handgun guys in restaurants sometimes and they barely get a second look for me, unless it is out of curiosity about the gun. But if I had been in the airport and saw this guy walk in with a front-slung AR, mag in the well, and no visible credentials, I would have immediately squared myself to him and been ready to draw (assuming I could carry there) . Whatever else I would have been doing there would have been put on hold so I could have eyes on him for the duration of his visit. Because even though I am usually armed in public and own an AR, nothing about him would look normal to me. The instincts of any ‘sheepdog’ or situationally-aware person who saw the guy would say “WARNING. GET READY”. And that is not the kind of impression we want to make when we carry in public, concealed or openly.

  5. “People like this give all gun owners a bad name.” How many times have a heard that crock of sh1t before? Too freakin’ many.

    Do drunk drivers give all drivers a bad name? No.

    Do neglectful or abusive parents give all parents a bad name? No.

    Do stupid comments give all commenters a bad name? No.

    Get over your insecurities. If you think that Mr. AR at the Airport gives you a bad name, maybe you deserve it.

    • Is there a concerted campaign by motivated people with political traction to get rid of cars because they’re dangerous and can be misused? No.
      Is there a group supporting that the government raise all children because parents don’t always do what’s best for their child? No.
      Can you analogy? Not very well.
      You’re sadly mistaken if you don’t think this is bad optics and we (sadly) should be concerned with optics.

    • Ralph to the rescue! It seems our own community has it’s share of overly opinionated, pearl clutching, insecure, “adults”.

      As I say as often as I can…

      Did this action physically hurt someone or damage property? No, STFU and keep on keeping on. Yes, press charges. Dirt simple and effective in the preservation of liberty.

  6. While a spurious arrest might indeed be harassment, harassment with nary a detention is not an arrest. In any event, the actions and attitudes described seem to be more akin to cautious interest.

    Colour me unimpressed.

  7. I agree, But I look at it this way. The public has been flooded with over the top hyped up propaganda about guns… it takes this sort of extreme behavior to desensitize them back to common sense…. Is it crazy as hell too open carry an AR In an airport?.. yeah.. But it’s needed now.. perhaps in time, it wont be necessary..

    • I don’t mind the man with the AR, although his choice might actually inflame rather than desensitise the public.

      Seems to me that an AR might brand him a nut in the eyes of your average Generican, while a holstered sidearm would be more likely to provoke thought.

      In any event, it’s the careless writing on the part of J.P. to which I reply “meh.”

      • It’s gonna take that Russ for a while…people will be shocked, outraged, freaked out, pissed off and a few will call for their heads….. it’s gonna take time.. I personally don’t have the magentas to do it..But I really applaud the ones with enough guts too expose themselves to the critics..

        • Yes, I think open carry, especially of a handgun in a suitable retention holster, would be a positive if more people did it over time. But, like you, I just don’t want to deal with the crap that comes with it. Concealing so that I can go about my commute and daily business without anyone getting in my face is much more pleasant.

  8. There is one guy who OCs at Atlanta Hartsfield regularly. He just gets coffee and sits around. This might be the same guy, but I’m too lazy to look up past news articles.

    • I just remembered, this isn’t the same guy. The other guy was actually a doctor. So apparently there are several people who target this airport for OC activities.

  9. Harassment happens to some degree until enough people OC often enough in an area. OCers were harassed by law enforcement in Ohio. There are probably some places in Ohio where nobody open carries and the local law has their head in the sand about it so someone deciding to OC there would likely get harassed.

  10. He related to Kory of Open Carry Texas? That would explain a lot!
    Personally, if I see a beehive, I don’t poke it with a stick. But as they say, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  11. So, “truth about guns” would require that someone point out, as many above me have, that no arrest was made, the police did not detain him, and they stayed a respectable distance away and took advantage of the right to photograph him from a distance.

    Seems like a successful day at the airport promoting arms rights.

  12. Everyone that thinks he was making gun owners look bad needs to look in a mirror. You are making AMERICANS look bad by being such a pussy.

    While not quite as bad, you are doing nothing to help keep our rights with your constant “reasonable” concessions.

    Grow some balls, your great grandpa would be ashamed to see what a pussy you are.

  13. Nobody was arrested.

    And nobody carries an AR-15 with a drum magazine in an airport unless they want to rile people up.

    Should you be able to? Yes. You can be a dickhead in public if you want. But you don’t get to rile people up and then complain about it when they do the very thing your action was designed to provoke.

    This guy is an asshat.

  14. So here’s a thought – why don’t people open carry hunting rifles? It’s a serious question.

  15. Clearly there is a divide among us over whether this kind of open carry is beneficial to our cause, but can we all agree that if you are going to open carry a long gun, you should not carry it in front of you at a low ready.

    I don’t think anyone here would claim that “open” carrying a drawn pistol is kosher. A rifle at low ready is the same thing.

    • Yeah, open carry at low ready, like one of the police in this video, is definitely provocative and confrontational. If you do it while you’re actively stalking someone, they will likely feel threatened, but at very least they will feel harassed.

    • I didn’t see him OCing his rifle by holding it in his hand “at low ready”. I saw a rifle slung in front. That’s the difference between what he did and carrying a drawn pistol. No, I wouldn’t say OCing a drawn pistol is kosher, but I also wouldn’t say OCing using a shoulder holster is like having a drawn pistol because it’s not on the hip.

      I would say a rifle actually in hand at low ready is like a drawn pistol, but a rifle slung in front is more like a pistol in a shoulder holster.

      • I would not always be comfortable slinging a rifle behind me in a crowded place. You have little control over who is going to try to grab or manipulate it.

  16. I was just able to watch the video (on a machine capable) and I don’t think he was actually being harassed. While, in my estimation, their actions were a bit petty, I don’t think any of it rose to the level of harassment. If anything, he seems a little surprised that they were leaving him alone so he initiates communication.

  17. TTAG fail. He wasn’t arrested. He wasn’t harassed. If you are carrying like that and refuse to talk to police that’s your right, but it’s THEIR right to follow you around and observe you in public.

  18. If the police let you get in your car and drive away, I think it’s a safe bet you weren’t under arrest.

    Cooley acted within his legal rights, though he surely knew it was making others uncomfortable. The police, on the other hand, acted within their legal powers, though they surely knew they were making Cooley uncomfortable.

    Well played, I’d say.

  19. This guy is simply a twit. Someone needs to tell him that you are under no obligation to do something stupid and obnoxious just because it is legal.

  20. Sorry this is idiotic TO ME. I saw this online earlier and haven’t changed my mind.

  21. I will always maintain that he is well within his rights to do what he did in this instance, and anyone that is afraid of him for doing so is in the wrong.

    I will also always maintain that there are more tactful ways of doing it. Just saying.

  22. Someone once told me, “Even if you go to Hell, you still have to change planes in Atlanta.”

  23. To all my white brothers and sisters and any other color 2 A supporters. We have come a long way baby. When the black panther party for self defense conducted an open carry protest at the state Capitol building in California they were arrested in 1966. They were protesting local gun control ordinances.

    Now white conservatives with guns have been radicalized. As long as everyone is civil I see no problem. Now we can be as in your face as any left wing 1st amendment protester. Carrying a long gun at sling arms in public is being in your face. Always be civil when doing it.

    • At a Copblock event last week, someone was apparently complaining to an officer that most of us were openly armed. The officer basically told the person that it had nothing to do with our protest, it was our right, and to get over it. We have indeed come a long way.

    • Actually, Chris, they were protesting at a school board meeting about the education inequalities of minority children.

  24. So, what, cops see a guy walking around an airport with no apparent business there with a rifle strapped across his chest, and they’re NOT supposed to ask any questions? And if he did turn out to be a threat, they’d be hung out to dry faster than you can say sad trombone. Come on.

    • They can, as anyone else, talk to him but they cannot detain him without something more. That is the way it ought to be. If you don’t want that then perhaps a free society is not your cup of tea?

      • The problem is it sounds like they did just that and it is somehow labeled “harassment” by the article. Actually it’s called “arrest!”

        • Yeah. When I was able to get to a system upon which I could view the video, I didn’t see any harassment. This looked like a non-incident to me.

  25. This is the same breed that complains about being harassed while he walks around Disney World with his 100rd drum in his AR for “protection”

    If you are gonna go, go big.
    Why not trot around chucky cheese or the movie theater with your suppressed SBR to make your point and really make some news?

  26. Freedom to OC is not the same as the freedom to cause alarm. If he so much as placed his hands on the firearm as if to raise it to any position other than slung position, the outcome may not have been so nice. Just as we are not allowed to cause panic by shouting fire in a crowded theater, neither are we allowed to cause panic in a public or private place by our actions with our firearms. With freedom comes responsibility. This idiot was looking for trouble. I commend the officers for handling this in such a professional manner. No detainment, no arrest. Caution is all that occurred on the part of the LEOs present. Kudos to the good training the officers got and the professionalism they exhibited. Idiot was not in fear for his life; he was trying to create a scene. This is what the dummies in California did and it backfired on them, twice—first in the 60s with the black panthers and again just recently. The public needs to feel they are not being threatened before they will begin to feel comfortable with open carry. Education and training are the key, not in-your-face confrontations.

  27. How fast could he deploy that rifle? Pretty fast. Did some freak just do this recently in another airport and kill people? Yes. Could this guy potentially be trying to top the first guy’s total (how many times have people on this blog talked about not glorifying active shooters by naming them)? Yes. How would the police know he isn’t that kind of threat until they talk to him? How many people would complain about the police being militarized if an officer walked around with an AR slung this way? One more thought, when in American history have people regularly walked around with long guns in highly populated areas, none that I know of. Of course this freaks people out and the police are going to have to check it out.

  28. There are laws. There are rights. And there is also trivial common sense.

    Just cause this guy has the first 2 doesn’t mean he’s got the 3rd one.

  29. These incidents tend to get judged by what did happen, and that’s fine. But I also think about what could happen. Let’s step back from this exact incident for a second.

    There have been multiple active shooter terrorist attacks at airports going back to 1970. So it is not that much of a stretch to see a bunch of ISIS nut-jobs deciding to shoot up an airport. At least in Texas, they could just filter into the terminal, OC’ing assault rifles, take positions and at a predetermined time, start shooting. The hard-line gun community would have the police respect their rights to OC and not follow or harass them, right up until the first shot is fired. At that point, I don’t think the police could effectively react in time.

    Now getting back to the incident in the OP. I’m a very frequent flyer, like weekly. People like me are what airports are designed for and I spend more time in them than any 100 guys just dropping off a child for a flight. But I can’t carry a loaded gun the terminal, because I eventually have to go through TSA. So I don’t get to have a gun to defend myself, yet this visiting yahoo does.

    If the ISIS hypothetical happens, honestly, I don’t want a guy like that “helping” the airport police. I will give airport police their due: They train for terrorist incidents and they are there to keep people like me safe, because the law won’t let me have the tools to keep myself safe. The potential for friendly fire mishaps with a “wild card” shooter is too high. This is a life and death issue for me. An airport is not a platform to use to make a political point.

    • An airport is not a platform to use to make a political point.

      Where would be a good place to make a political point? State capitols? I would argue that is one good place, yet another would argue that if anyplace would be a perfect target for angry citizens or ISIS/terrorists it would be a political capitol. Yet most allow citizens to carry loaded guns (handguns and long guns) in them.

      How about schools? Teach the kiddies, but no, kids are potential targets of psychopaths, can’t have law-abiding citizens carry there.

      You name any “public” place and there will be someone like you saying that is not a place to make a political point.

      I fly for work, too, and I don’t care if someone carries in an airport. I just wish I didn’t have to check my pistol through baggage.

  30. Seems kinda like a win all around. The guy open carried without harassment and hopefully made some hoplophobes uncomfortable. The police kept an eye on him, which is not unreasonable at the present time, but they did not harass or arrest him.

  31. If the risk to his life was so great he needed a rifle, perhaps he should have welcomed the police for being close enough to help him should something happen..

  32. I hate that foregrip. People seriously need to stop buying it. If you need a bipod, get a bipod. If you need a foregrip, get a foregrip. But if you combine the two, you get that ugly mass that’s longer than most magazines, is unsightly, unwieldy, and is one more protrusion that gets easily caught on obstructions in close quarters.

    • Just be cause you can, doesn’t mean you should: an admonishment that has no place in a free society.

      Instead: you are responsible for the consequences of your own actions.

  33. I see a lot of “let’s blame the open carrier” here. So basically – people of the gun – complaining about another gun owner legally (and rightfully) open carrying in a manner that they don’t like.

    This is the defining characteristic of rights and freedom people. They get to do what they want to do and there is little to nothing you can do about it. Your opinion is your prerogative, however, that’s all it is – an opinion. With rights, you accept the good with the bad (your perceived bad that you don’t like to tolerate but do), and we all benefit from it.

    • It’s credibility and integrity has declined severely over the past year. This post has been up well over 24 hours and they haven’t correct the mistake. They’re either lazy or are doing it purposely to get clicks. How liberal of them.

  34. Yeah I concur – this wasn’t the best demonstration of how to make an impression – he should have dressed up in similar military garb the police wear for every day now – all black, of course. If civilian police can do it, why not the rest of the citizen population? The police bear major responsibility for escalating the state of paranoia and self-armament because of their intrusive nature and habits (and slow response times) – treating every citizen as a suspect ever since the Bush administration started pushing Fear as the post 9/11 watchword. Let’s raise the bar on citizen capabilities and make them realize that when the police escalate the state of armament, the “other” civilians with CCLs & OCLs are justified in being just as over-prepared as they are.

  35. “Truth” About Guns? He was not arrested or detained in any way. I live in Atlanta and am proud of the new legislation passed last year. But this guy is a moron, endangering what we fought so hard to win back. Quite frankly, I would expect any officer to make contact in that situation and determine the person’s intent. They handled it 100% appropriately. He was not detained, they did not request to see his GWL and he was not arrested. The fact that they followed him to his vehicle to ensure he left peaceably and had no ill intent was the right call. I’m glad I live in a state where he’s allowed to carry. I’m equally grateful that our police officers are able to do their jobs ensuring the safety of the citizens around them without infringing the rights of those who would do something so asinine.

  36. I don’t openly carry and I never carry at airports as I’m usually flying. Anywhere else, if I saw this clown close to me, I’d have my hand on my hidden piece wondering WTF he was up to. I’d even be looking for cover. It’s called situational awareness. He would make me very nervous. And I don’t like being nervous. Want to change the world? Do it another way. Just don’t make me nervous. And it’s very understandable why the cops were nervous given the state of affairs today. His intentions were unknown. No matter how well intentioned, this guy definitely has a screw loose somewhere. This is way beyond having an openly-carried holstered piece.

    • Just don’t make me nervous.

      That’s exactly what Moms Demand Action says. Guns make moms nervous and have no place in stores where they are or outside the home.

      • Depends. A baseball bat in the hands of a baseball player doesn’t make me nervous. In the hands of a scary-looking white skin head dude with a swastika arm band? – damn straight. Or in the hands of a ghetto bottom dweller looking at me suspiciously from across the street? – same thing. A hammer in the hands of a carpenter – no problem. In the hands of a minority kid who asks me “watch your car for five bucks?” when I park my car – yeah, that makes me nervous. This clown with an auto-loading long gun walking through the front doors of my airport terminal would make me nervous. Is he there to shoot me in the name of Allah or does he just hate me because I’m wearing a Marco Rubio button? Or maybe he’s really a constitution loving-patriot who would like to be my best friend. How am I supposed to know until he lets loose a fusillade or sits down and feeds his face with a hunk of airport terminal pizza? Don’t ask stupid questions having obvious answers to prove an insipid point. He would make most normal people nervous. You obviously aren’t normal.

        • Well, now that you’ve demolished those straw men, let’s get back on point: take exactly the same scenario as the one in the story, and replace the rifle with a baseball bat or a hammer. Are you still equally nervous? Why or why not?

        • Back on point. I guess I have to state the obvious again – less nervous Chip. A bat or a hammer in the hands of a possible mad man walking through the airport terminal is less likely to kill or injure me than an M4 with a 30-round mag and several reloads. Maybe I can outrun the dude with the bat or bash his brains out with a chair. Maybe my rudimentary boxing skills will overpower the guy. He looks kinda wimpy and old – a bald-headed Mitch Miller with a whiny voice. A swift kick in the nuts will surely take him down. Or maybe the bat is a souvenir that he’s taking home for his kid. Or maybe he’s an airport handy man with a hammer who’s going to fix something. OTOH: My chances of surviving are a lot less if he’s pointing that rifle at me and he’s got cornflakes for brains. What’s your point? I feel this debate is starting to waste my time and yours. Over and out.

        • Back on point. I guess I have to state the obvious again – less nervous Chip. A bat or a hammer in the hands of a possible mad man walking through the airport terminal is less likely to kill or injure me than an M4 with a 30-round mag and several reloads.

          Homicides, annual, 2012:

          Rifle: 322
          Blunt instrument (such as a hammer or bat): 518

          Oh, and for good measure:

          Fists: 678

          Source:

          http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2008-2012.xls

          What’s your point? I feel this debate is starting to waste my time and yours.

          The point is obvious: your inherent fear of the presence of a rifle – especially when the similar appearance of a blunt instrument causes you less inherent fear – is unfounded. Hammers and bats (as well as bare hands) are used to kill more people each year than rifles.

        • Ahem. I fear hammers and bats less because IN MY PARTICULAR CASE, I feel I can probably defend myself better against these particular items of discussion (for some reason you’ve neglected other straw men including but not limited to: pen knives, letter openers, broken bottles, tire irons, flower vases, sticks and stones, flammable liquids, belts and buckles, nunchucks, garrotes, and other objects commonly used to murder people). Maybe the general public across this wide nation can’t defend themselves as well as I can – making your statistics irrelevant to this discussion. I KNOW I can’t outrun a .223 bullet. BTW: I also don’t have any inordinate fear of rifles since I see and handle them about once a month at my local gun club and own and shoot at least a couple dozen of the military (hence scary looking) variety. At the club, we have strict rules on safety and watch where we point them. I don’t trust a bald Mitch Miller gun nut (untrustworthy gun nuts do exist), walking through an airport terminal where I’m disarmed (as stated earlier), whose motives I don’t know, who may not know the basic rules of firearm safety, who sounds like Wally Cox with a few loose screws rattling around in his cranium.

          This took me ten minutes to write and unfortunately I’ll never get that time back. Respond if you obsessively need to get in the last word, and then, in your mind, you will have won the debate. I’m done explaining my thoughts on this subject and I’m moving on to a more productive use of my time. I’ve got several scary-looking rifles that need cleaning. BTW: It’s only 589 days, 13 hours, and 32 minutes till Obama’s last day. Adios.

  37. An op-ed I published last fall on precisely why such demonstrations are needed in the face of unjustified fears and over-reaching government security available here:

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2014/11/22/open-carry-sky-harbor-airport/19344603/

    My own view of this case would be that a police inquiry into his purpose, though not a detention, would be reasonable and prudent. Several officers following him is rather a bit over the top, though likely perfectly legal on their part.

  38. First impression: This guy is being an a$$h0le.

    The police(?) officers were not impeding or restricting this man in any way. HE initiated a confrontation with them! The recognized a troll but still acted respectfully.

    IMHO this staged incident is dumb, disrespectful and just plain RUDE!

  39. He did not get arrested. Why does your headline state he was arrested? He was at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta. Which is in Georgia. And Georgia is an open carry state. Please do your research before you post fabricated stories. And he was outside of the gate area dropping his daughter off. He was never on the gate’s side with that. He was waiting with his daughter on the ticket counter side. He did nothing wrong. It was their with him because the second amendment states that we have the right to bear arms. And that’s all he was doing. Now remember within the past few years the # of shootings that have taken place at airports. He was protecting himself and his loved ones.

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