Travelers in airports have a heightened sense of security and are understandably a little paranoid when it comes to safety. So imagine seeing a man walking around one of the busiest airports in the world carrying a loaded rifle.
That’s exactly what happened when Jim Cooley decided to openly carry his AR-15 rifle, which was loaded with 100 rounds of ammunition, while dropping his daughter off at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Tuesday.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) June 3, 2015
Atlanta’s WSBTV is reporting that Cooley walked around the main terminal of the airport with his large rifle around his neck. He posed for a number of pictures with his daughter before saying goodbye.
Cooley did not break any laws by strutting around the airport with his loaded gun. He knew that carrying the weapon near or through a TSA security checkpoint is unlawful but said that bringing the gun around the main terminal is completely legal.
The Georgia man said that he was approached by a fire marshal and then an Atlanta Police Officer. Both asked why he was carrying the AR-15 and if he had a permit. He told Channel 2 that he responded by telling the officials that he was carrying the weapon for safety purposes.
Upon exiting the airport, Cooley was stopped once more by the same officer who then radioed that he was carrying an automatic weapon.
Cooley said he was followed to his car by three APD officers who took pictures of his vehicle.
He told WSBTV, “It shouldn’t matter what I carry, just that I choose to carry, you never know where something might happen.”