TOP GUN: Duke Cunningham in his prime.

  • TOP GUN: Duke Cunningham in his prime.

Thanks to Talking Points Memo for the alert.


Former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, currently serving an eight-year sentence for bribery and tax evasion, has written a federal judge begging for restoration of his gun rights on his release.



He’s moving to Arkansas. He’s not afraid of us Arkies. But from the letter:

“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.”

The letter says he’ll come to a halfway house in Little Rock in December. Then, he said, “I plan to live in a cabin near Greer’s Lake [sic] in the Ozarks and write books.” He will be “away from the (San Diego) Union-Tribune,” which exposed the 70-year-old’s sleazy ways.


Seth Hettena, who first reported the story, provided the perfect conclusion.

The federal judge who received the request said he couldn’t be of help. An ATF review of such applications is required.

“You should be aware, however, that every year since 1992 [including many years when Cunningham was in Congress], 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),” Burns wrote. “So unless Congress changes course and decides to fund ATF’s review of applications for relief, it appears you are stuck.”

Greer’s Lake would, presumably, be Greers Ferry. Any word from readers in those parts of the felon’s plans to become an Arkie? Cougar problem up there? Rabies? Bear attacks? With federal prisoners does the state have the right, as it sometimes does in state cases, to refuse admittance?

Maybe Cunningham can enlist the resident gun nut over at the DOG to bring his arsenal up to the cabin and clear the surrounding acreage to ease Cunningham’s mind about the safety of book writing in the Ozarks. Make a good outdoor page story if he could get with The Duke and cap a few critters — “Fear and Loathing in Fairfield Bay.”