By Kevin Walters, The Tennessean
NASHVILLE -- Outspoken firearms training expert James Yeager is now apologizing for controversial comments he made earlier this month in a video posted on YouTube that drew national attention in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.
Yeager, owner of Camden, Tenn.-based Tactical Response firearms and personal defense school, had said in the video titled "Pack Your Bags" he would "start killing people" if President Barack Obama's administration took executive action to pass gun control measures.
While Yeager later edited the first video to remove that comment, he posted a second video saying he did not retract his earlier sentiments. In the wake of the controversy, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security suspended Yeager's firearms carry permit.
Now, Yeager is apologizing for his comments in a new video where he appears with Franklin City Alderman Dana McLendon, who is a personal friend of Yeager's and has completed extensive firearms training at Tactical Response.
"I do not in any way advocate the overthrowing of the United States government nor do I condone any violent actions towards any elected officials," Yeager said in the latest video. "I was mad when I said it. I apologize for letting my anger get the better of me. ... It is not time for that."
McLendon is a defense attorney and is representing Yeager. Yeager, 42, said Friday he is planning to appeal the suspension of his carry permit but has not filed the paperwork yet.
McLendon, who is an AR-15 rifle owner, stressed that gun owners who are concerned about increased gun restrictions should contact their local and state officials with phone calls and letters.
"Not everybody is cut out to carry a gun. Not everybody is going to be a gun enthusiast. A lot of people are not ever going to be that. They just want to walk around and feel safe," McLendon said. "What's happened is there are politicians out there who are using this opportunity to kind of seduce these people into believing that they have the solution for their safety. ... They're selling safety, but they're not going to be able to deliver it the way that they're promising."