In what can best be described as a prime example of one being hoist on ones own petard, convicted felon Randy Cunningham will not be allowed to own a gun after his release from prison.
What makes this noteworthy is why Cunningham can not apply to the ATF for a waiver to own a gun as an ex-felon. Starting in 1992 congress have refused to provide any funding to allow the ATF to consider those applications.
Cunningham wrote (well… wrote is a generous term here, it’s more like hastily scribbled) to his sentencing judge, US District Judge Larry Alan Burns, with a plea to be allowed to own a gun:
“I will live in a very remote part of Arkansas, and not much threat (sic) from people but they do have a lot of black bears, cougars, and history of rabies.”
“I asking you (sic) to help restore my second amendment rights so I can earn a little money so I can eat,”
Evidently Cunningham believes he will have to rely upon his skills as a hunter to secure provisions or starve, and not being allowed to pack heat will result in his demise by contracting rabies or being mauled by the local wildlife… If that is true one has to wonder: What kind of program does the federal prison system have for it’s halfway houses anyway? I envision some sort of rabies plagued emaciated army of ex felons living off the land and hoping beyond hope that congress finally allows the ATF to move forward with their gun applications.
In his reply to Cunningham, Burns points out that he has no authority to grant Cunningham’s request, but that the folks who do have authority can not act because of decisions made by congress when Cunningham was a member. Burns also throws in a dig at the supreme court for good measure:
“You should be aware, however, that every year since 1992, Congress has refused to provide funding to the ATF to review applications from the federal firearm ban. And the United States Supreme Court has ruled that inaction by ATF does not amount to a ‘denial’ of the application within the meaning of section 925(c),”
“So unless Congress changes course and decides to fund ATF’s review of applications for relief, it appears you are stuck.”
Perhaps Cunningham’s plight will get congress’ attention, as you just know there are more than several Republican lawmakers who are sweating that knock on the door late at night and the frog march to the pokey. If so we can expect another partisan controversy as Republicans insist that the additional cost be offset, leading them to try to take the funding from little old ladies or prenatal care or some other extremely valuable federal program so that ex-felons can be allowed to bear arms.