Rocker Ted Nugent may have emerged unscathed from a Secret Service investigation, but his verbal attack of President Obama is now affecting his musical career.
Commanders at the Fort Knox Army base in Kentucky cut Nugent from their annual summer concert after the controversial rocker told the National Rifle Association he will “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if Obama is re-elected and blasted members of the administration, saying conservatives should “chop their heads off.”
“After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation,” Army officials posted on the base’s Facebook page.
Nugent said the concert cancellation was an “insult” and maintained that he was merely exercising his First Amendment rights when he toldthe NRA convention that Obama was running a “vile, evil, America-hating administration.”
“To think that there’s a bureaucrat in the United States Army that would consider the use or abuse of First Amendment rights in determining who is going to perform at an Army base is an insult and defiles the sacrifices of those heroes who fought for the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights,” Nugent told the Associated Press.
The often-outspoken rocker insisted that he never intended to threaten the president or his administration. After meeting with Nugent in the week following his remarks, the Secret Service dropped its investigation into Nugent’s possible threat.
Days before his meeting with the Secret Service, Nugent was investigated by another federal agency, this time for allegedly killing and transporting a black bear illegally from public land in Alaska.
While filming an episode of his Outdoor Channel television show “Spirit of the Wild” in May 2009, Nugent shot an arrow at one black bear, drawing blood but not seriously wounding the animal, according to the court papers.
He then continued hunting, killing a different black bear four days later and transporting it off federal land. Under Alaskan law, hunters can only kill or wound one bear per year, making Nugent’s second shot illegal.
While Nugent said he was unaware that wounding the first bear counted towards his bag limit, he pled guilty to the charges last week in a U.S. District Court in Anchorage.
“They’ve got apparently some crazy law in Southeast [Alaska] that says if you even touch an animal with an arrow, it becomes your animal,” Nugent’s lawyer Wayne Anthony Ross told the Anchorage Daily News. “He looked to see if he had hit it and didn’t believe that he’d hit it fatally.”
Under a plea agreement with the federal prosecutors, Nugent has to pay a $10,000 fine, is banned from hunting in Alaska or on any U.S. Forest Service land for a year and has to create a 30-to-60 second public service announcement about responsible hunting that will air during his show every other week for a year.
Ross said the Alaska incident was “kind of embarrassing” for Nugent because he is a known advocate for ethical hunting practices and gun rights. Both Nugent and Ross sit on the National Rifle Association’s board of directors.
Alaska is the second state to prosecute Nugent for illegal hunting practices. In 2010 Nugent pled no contest to charges in California that he illegally baited a deer and did not have his hunting license properly signed during a 2009 California deer hunt which aired on his television show.
He paid a $1,750 fine for the offense, according to the Los Angeles Times.