CONYERS - A local veteran was arrested for bringing a gun in to the Conyers Army recruitment office in an effort to "keep the guys on their toes" after a military recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tenneessee was attacked the week prior.
Conyers resident Harry Tracey, 72, a self-proclaimed Vietnam War veteran, is being charged for bringing a deadly weapon on government property. According to the Conyers Police report, Harry did so to "keep them aware of their surroundings."
Army Sgt. William Turner told police Tracey entered the Army recruitment office, 1820 Georgia Hwy. 138, Conyers, Thursday morning around 11:30 a.m. and began asking strange questions, according to the report.
"He asked if he felt safe, if he was armed and if he could protect himself against an attack like the one that happened in Chattanooga," CPD Officer Marshall Thompson wrote in the report. "He told me the subject (Tracey) did not like his answer."
After stating that he would not want to serve with Turner, Tracey walked out of the office, but not before lifting his shirt to reveal a black pistol tucked inside his waistband. Police caught up with Tracey at the Dollar Tree nearby located in the same Hunting Creek Plaza as the recruiting office.
Tracey admitted that he took the handgun into the office because of the events that happened in Chattanooga but said he meant no harm.
Tracey posted his $7,000 bail and was released from the county jail Saturday, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
On July 16, 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez entered a military recruiting center and opened fire on the station, according to reports. He then went to a U.S. Navy facility nearby where he shot fatally shot four U.S. Marines and injured three other people, according to reports. He was killed by police in a shootout.
That event led to a national debate about whether or not service personnel in military recruitment offices should be allowed to be armed while at the office. The ban can be traced back to June 1878, when the Posse Comitatus Act, which limits the powers of military personnel while on American soil, was signed in to law.
Part of that limitation is having the ability to carry weaponry when not in combat or on a military base.
While the discussion continues, some states, including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin, have increase security at recruiting offices in their states, according to reports.
Recruiters at the offices in Conyers are still working and said any major security changes haven't been told them. The Air Force recruitment office has seems to have been closed following the events in Chattanooga, however.
A sign posted on the front door of the Air Force office states that "due to recent events" the office will be closed "today 20 July 2015." The sign then states the office will reopen for walk-in recruits Aug. 3, 2015 at 10 a.m.