Georgia Man Legally Carrying AR-15 Rifle In Atlanta Airport; No Cause For Alarm [VIDEO]

WSB-TV 2 ATLANTA Jim Cooley said he was exercising his second amendment rights by carrying his AR-15 rifle into Atlanta's airport, which is protected under state and federal law.

A Georgia mans walks into an airport; no it is not the start of a joke, but what some are saying is the start of a precedent that could lead to more trouble than it is worth.

Jim Cooley, a 2nd Amendment supporter and Georgia resident walked into the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with wife and daughter in tow, and his AR-15 conveniently slung in a “safe” carry position.

Legally able to carry his rifle in Georgia, that right extends into the terminals of one of the world’s busiest airports as well, putting the law on his side. He stated to the Daily News that he was not concerned with igniting fear in others who see him packing in public.

“People think that if you’re simply carrying your firearm, regardless of how you’re carrying it, you’re a bad person,” he told the News Wednesday morning. “But if you’re not carrying it in a menacing or threatening manner, it should be no cause for concern for anybody.”

Cooley, who is a Chicago native now lives in Winder, Ga., found national attention this week after taking photos of himself holding his rifle in Atlanta’s airport. He later sent them to Atlanta’s WSBTV whose reporting started some internet/social media outrage of his “reckless” actions.

A law passed last July in Georgia has made in perfectly legal for carriers to “carry” their weapons into a variety of public places, including bars, churches, school grounds and even some airports. Federal laws only prohibit carriers from taking those weapons into the security screening areas or beyond.

He claims that only those who are ignorant of the laws will fear the sight of him carrying in public places.

“If they’re concerned, people need to be educated more,” he said.

Although he had many a horrified “stare” from passersby and authorities alike, he continued through the terminal with his semi-automatic rifle with 100-round drum magazine, seeing his daughter off for her flight.

He also recorded his confrontations with airport authorities and posted them to YouTube last week.  In one of the videos, you can hear a guard telling that he is scaring the passengers.  His response; “Well, people’s fears are not my responsibility.”

The 50 year-old Cooley stated that this wasn’t the first time he has brought a rifle to the airport, the first was earlier in May when picking his daughter up. He said that “no one even batted an eye”.

He did say that he was a bit annoyed this time, after several people including authorities questioned his right to be there, and they even followed him to his car.

“Why should anyone come up to me and ask me why I’m doing something I have the right to do?” he said to the News. “It’s like asking you, ‘Why are you breathing?'”

The local and federal laws definitely agree with him on his decision to carry in public, the question is; Does he understand why some people would take offense or fear him?

“No,” he replied. “I expect people to understand Georgia law. If they don’t know it, if they can’t stand the sight of someone carrying a gun, they should stay inside.”

I’d love to hear y’alls thoughts on this?  Does Cooley have the right and if so, should he take advantage of that right?

Does carrying your firearm in public, visible to God and everyone else, have a positive impact on society?

I look at it this way;

We have an inherent right bestowed upon us by our creator, to protect ourselves by any means available.  Our Founders further protected that right via the Bill of Rights and our 2nd Amendment. The public in general have gone a very long time without seeing the public display of firearms, in the hands of law-abiding citizens. If for NO other reason than it’s time the public gets a chance to see what a legal, law-abiding, responsible citizen looks like when carrying a firearm in public.

Remember, for some people; “Out of sight, is out of mind.”  We as gun owners love them and have been around them most of our lives, but there are a lot of people out there that are very unsure about them, and only have the “media” to learn from. Maybe if for NO other reason, legally carrying your firearm in public can be a very good thing in terms of getting non-firearm owners used to seeing them again.

Should people legally open carry long rifles in public?


About the Author

Patrick James
Patrick James
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef. Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak. "Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air." ~ John Quincy Adams

12 Comments on "Georgia Man Legally Carrying AR-15 Rifle In Atlanta Airport; No Cause For Alarm [VIDEO]"

  1. This guy is an Asshole! Looking for his “15 minutes” of fame. Who the hell carries an AR-15 with a 100 round drum mag out in public? Does not matter what the law says he can do. Common sense says this is a bad idea.

    • No Stan you’re the asshole! Its his right to carry and if you have a problem with it . He’s right keep your pansy butt at home

      • It is his right as it is mine. But why draw attention to yourself? In this day and age there is no way you can know the bad guy from the good guy. I choose to carry concealed so as not to draw attention to myself. I fully support his right to do it, just don’t think he should.

  2. In the places where open carry is common people become used to seeing guns carried and quickly become accustomed to them…the gun is NOT what needs to be feared it’s how it’s being used that matters…people do not have the right to ‘not be offended’…and really, people HAVE become so sissified.

  3. Avatar Justo Cruz | June 4, 2015 at 11:04 am |

    If homosexuals and lesbians can exercise their rights to PDAs and televised marriages, then why can’t a gun owner carry his weapon in public? I see plenty wrong with it but if we are going to allow one group of people to exercise their rights then all people should be allowed to exercise their rights no matter how it offends you. Would I do it? No. I just don’t want my enemy to know I am prepared. The element of surprise always wins.

  4. It is idiot’s like the attention seeking A-hole that makes everyone look bad.

    I am sorry you got beat up and bullied all throughout your childhood and now you think open carry makes you look cool and it is your way of trying to intimidate others around you, you feel that this gives you real power, BUT IT DOESN’T! It makes you look like a fool, an idiot, someone people laugh at.

    All open cary people look this way, you look stupid and we know you were either the bully or the bullied during childhood. Those that had normal childhood are more secure in their life and don’t feel the need to flaunt a weapon in public. They are the ones smart enough to conceal their weapons and blend in with the rest of the normal folks.

    Open carry is a joke in public and should have never been passed. If you want to really impress someone smarten up and conceal you weapons.

  5. Just because something is legal does not mean it’s a good idea. He had no business whatsoever at the airport other than to parade around with his gun saying, “It’s legal for me to do this.” So u have an AR, and like to flash it around. Big deal. If people feel the need to carry for their protection, I have no issue with it at all. I’m a hunter, shooter, firearms collector and dealer. Love that the U.S.A. has a constitution and that the Second Amendment is there for us. But parading around with a rifle for no other purpose that to stir the pot is not helping promote firearms awareness.

  6. While I am 100% in support of our rights to bear arms, in this situation I have to say this guy is serving no purpose other than to scare people while trying to make a point. I don’t think it’s so much the gun that people are scared of, it’s the guy holding and wondering why he is. Why would anybody think that some random guy carrying like he is would be sane? I am willing to bet if somebody else was carrying their AR15 in the same way and walked right up to his daughter his attitude would change real quick. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s boundaries have to be pushed to the limits.

  7. Avatar Brian White | June 4, 2015 at 3:16 pm |

    All for 2a rights but there really is no reason for that.

  8. Too funny all the people saying “oh, scary boogeyman with an AR-15.” It’s (open carry) not for everyone. But then neither were the things that our Founding Fathers did to create this Nation. I don’t plan on doing it myself in this fashion. But I won’t try to sit here and take this guy down a peg.

    You guys need to learn and feel in your hearts the history of oppression. The truly evil stuff the Nazis did, but also how it started so slowly, so insidiously with one little thing at a time.

    Where is my America?

  9. This guy HAS every right to do what he is doing. It does NOT matter whether you think he is stupid for OC’ing. It does NOT matter what your opinion is on OC’ing as this guy so elo-ignorantly states:

    “I am sorry you got beat up and bullied all throughout your childhood and now you think open carry makes you look cool and it is your way of trying to intimidate others around you, you feel that this gives you real power, BUT IT DOESN’T! It makes you look like a fool, an idiot, someone people laugh at.”

    OC’ing has nothing to do with making you “look” cool or trying to “intimidate” someone. If you don’t like OC’ing don’t do it… period. Some of you are picking and choosing how your 2nd Amendment should be doled out. This is exactly what the hell is wrong with our country. You want the government to regulate us, because you are too lazy to do it yourself. Our government does not need anymore help in restricting and legislating us… they do that all on their own. Quit feeding into it. We do not need 2A supporter fighting among themselves, simply because you do not agree with how some one carries.

    Get over it and get on with it. OC’ing is a valuable tool in allowing the average non-gun carrying citizen to see law-abiding citizens carrying responsibly. Many of them have no other context to it other than seeing Law Enforcement carry or what the media or Hollywood has allowed them to see. They need to see law-abiding citizens carrying often, and then maybe they wouldn’t be so damned afraid of guns. Come on guys… this isn’t “rocket surgery”. This doesn’t take a high IQ to figure out. The more we fight, the more power you give to the gun control crowd. Let people do what they do, within the confines of the laws of the land as well as with a high level of responsibility… and beyond that… support them, because they support you.

    • Avatar Adam Rowland | June 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm |

      Well said brother. Same goes for everything. You don’t like porn, don’t buy it. Don’t like abortion, don’t have one. But leave a free people to be free.

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