A Middle Tennessee firearms trainer who made an ominous comment about killing people in a YouTube video that gained national attention this week has had his handgun carry permit suspended Friday by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
James Yeager, 42, had his permit suspended based on a "material likelihood of risk of harm to the public," the department said in a statement.
Col. Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Department of Safety said it didn't take him long to reach a decision after viewing the comments on the Internet.
"I watched it twice to make sure I was hearing what I thought I heard," Trott said.
"It sounded like it was a veiled threat against the whole public. I believed him. He had a conviction in his voice, and the way he looked into the camera, I believe he's capable of a violent act," Trott said.
Yeager told Channel 4 News he is aware of the suspension, and his attorney will handle his statements going forward.
The department said Yeager has the right to seek a review of the decision.
Yeager posted a new video Friday night in which he appears with his attorney and apologizes for his prior comments.
"In another video I said some pretty volatile stuff, which I apologize for. I do not - in any way - advocate overthrowing the United States government. Nor do I condone violent actions toward any elected officials," Yeager said.
Man's YouTube video gains national attention
James Yeager is a man with an impressive resume, including time as a small-town police chief and serving in security in Baghdad, but he said he spoke in anger when he made the video.
"I'm telling you, if that happens, it's going to spark a civil war, and I'll be glad to fire the first shot," Yeager said in a video on his YouTube page.
He was reacting to a recent comment from Vice President Joe Biden that the Obama administration may take executive action to pass control measures.
"I'm not going to let anyone take my guns. If it goes one inch further, I'm going to start killing people," he said in the YouTube video.
Yeager pulled the comments from YouTube after receiving backlash, and he said Thursday he didn't mean what he said.
"I was angry when I made the video and probably should have metered my words better. I am not plotting to kill any officials or anything like that," Yeager told Channel 4 News.
Yeager runs Tactical Response, a training center in Camden, TN, that specializes in weapons and tactical skills. The door of the business notes the staff is trained to kill.
The well-armed clientele was already making neighbors at the strip mall nervous, and then they heard the video.
"The guy needs to chill it. You know, you make those threats, and you've said that and now you come around the wrong person, you get hurt like that," said John Eaker, who owns a nearby pawn shop.
"He may get more than he asks if he keeps running that yak on the Internet, you know," another neighbor said.
Yeager said he knows he's considered a radical in his views, but he's is not backing off comments that he will defend his right to bear arms in spite of getting death threats by email.
"It will be time to shoot people when the Constitution is set on fire," he told Channel 4 News. "If somebody comes to take my guns, I will shoot them."
According the Tennessee Department of Safety, Yeager is not a certified instructor. When asked about that, he said he allowed his license to expire.
The state also said Tactical Response is not a department-certified school.
Yeager served as police chief of the town of Big Sandy, TN, about a decade ago. The former mayor said Yeager is intelligent and a crack shot, but he thought Yeager's plan to start a SWAT team wasn't what the quiet town of 500 people really needed, so the mayor fired him.
Despite the threatening emails and phone calls, Yeager said he has received far more messages of support.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, June 17 2013 2:22 PM EDT2013-06-17 18:22:31 GMT
A man has gone before a Mid-Michigan judge on charges stemming from the slaying of a 77-year-old man at his Bridgeport Township home last week. Anthony Clapper, 36, was charged with first-degree murderMore >
A man has gone before a Mid-Michigan judge on charges stemming from the slaying of a 77-year-old man at his Bridgeport Township home last week.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 1:06 PM EDT2013-06-17 17:06:27 GMT
Michigan State Police troopers and other Mid-Michigan law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for a man who is accused of opening fire on his wife and children over the weekend. Police are activelyMore >
Law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for a man who is accused of opening fire on his wife and children on Father's Day.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 12:59 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:59:17 GMT
The makers of the next installment of the "Transformers" movie franchise plan to shoot this month near Adrian. The Daily Telegram of Adrian (http://bit.ly/14EkYam) reports that wheat fields along MichiganMore >
The makers of the next installment of the "Transformers" movie franchise plan to shoot this month near Adrian.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 12:12 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:12:45 GMT
WNEM has received word that traffic is backing up at the interchange of southbound I-75 and eastbound I-69 in Genesee County. It is believed that scaffolding over the road is causing the problem. It isMore >
WNEM has received word that traffic is backed up at the interchange of southbound I-75 and eastbound I-69 in Genesee County.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 12:13 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:13:39 GMT
A violent night in the city of Saginaw leaves one woman dead following a late-night shooting.It happened in the area of 5th and Burt streets shortly after midnight.Police found a woman laying in the streetMore >
A 44-year-old woman is dead following a shooting in Saginaw. Police said it happened in the area of 5th and Burt street on shortly after midnight on Saturday.More >
French and U.S. experts are continuing their search for the 17th-century ship Griffin, which they believe sank in northern Lake Michigan in 1679.More >
Commercial fisherman Larry Barbeau's comings and goings usually don't create much of a stir in this wind-swept Lake Michigan outpost, but in the past few days, his phone jangles the minute he arrives home.More >
Tuesday, June 11 2013 4:44 PM EDT2013-06-11 20:44:03 GMT
A New Haven mother was arrested after her two-year-old daughter was found wandering naked in the street Monday morning. Officers were called to the intersection of Chapel Street and Ellsworth Avenue justMore >
A New Haven mother was arrested after her 2-year-old daughter was found wandering naked in the street Monday morning.More >
Federal agents are searching a field in suburban Detroit where a man who believes he knows where Jimmy Hoffa was buried has said remains of the former Teamsters leader might be found. FBI spokesman SimonMore >
Federal agents are searching a field in suburban Detroit where a man who believes he knows where Jimmy Hoffa was buried has said remains of the former Teamsters leader might be found.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 6:23 AM EDT2013-06-17 10:23:49 GMT
Police are looking for a Grand Rapids mother of three children who hasn't been seen by her family since May 30. Latoria Wiley called her home five days later saying she would be returning soon. PoliceMore >
Police are looking for a Grand Rapids mother of three children who hasn't been seen by her family since May 30.More >