Saturday, June 2, 2001

Erstwhile candidate
gets singed

By Rod Thompson

HILO >>Last year's would-be Green Party mayoral candidate Darryl "Buck" Wheat is still listed in the Big Island telephone book under Buck's Firearms and Military Surplus. But his business just ran out of ammunition.

He pleaded no contest to selling fireworks without a permit in 1999 and was sentenced recently to five years' probation.

Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura also ordered Wheat to pay a $750 fine at $50 a month, stop selling firearms and remain employed.

Since firearms are his employment, Wheat says that is like telling him he has to drive a car but cannot use tires.

He has a little leeway. Wheat can still sell accessories such as holsters and parts for guns.

Wheat made news last year when he registered with the county to run for mayor as a Green. But his candidacy was foiled when the Greens countered that he had not properly registered with them.

Wheat says by selling fireworks just before New Year's Day, he was simply upholding Hawaii tradition. The next to go may be the killing of turkeys for Thanksgiving, he warns.

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