President Bush pardons TN man so he can get his CCW permit

President Bush pardoned seven minor criminals as 2002 closed. One of those pardoned was Tennessean Kenneth Copley.

Forty years ago he worked deep in the Hickman County woods, where in less than three hours he could turn grain into a clear liquid that would make its way into the murky distribution channels that supplied the local taste for untaxed whiskey.

He'd been working his new trade for several months when one April day he had some unwelcome visitors.

After the lawmen arrested him, Copley got two years of probation.

In the intervening decades, he has raised a family and put a son through college. He works for the Tennessee Valley Authority as a truck operator on the utility's miles of electrical lines. He's set to retire next year.

In 1998 though, he applied to the state for a gun permit. That's when the old charge resurfaced.

''I knew I had a whiskey charge, but I didn't know it was what they called a felony, you know, until I tried for a gun permit in 1998. That's when I found it out, and that's when I started working on getting a pardon.''

President Bush came through for him. A pre-Christmas announcement from the White House wiped the docket clean for this 61-year-old Lyles man.

Click here to read the entire story in Nashville's daily, The Tennessean.

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