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Tenn. lawmaker arrested on DUI, gun charges

drunk gun guy
photo via msnbc.msn.com

The sponsor of the law that made it legal to carry a gun into bars in Tennessee is facing charges of possession of a handgun while under the influence and drunken driving. Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican, was pulled over in Nashville late Tuesday, according to court documents. Police said he failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a Breathalyzer test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found in a holster stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console.

A police affidavit said Todd was unsteady on his feet, “almost falling down at times.” Officers concluded that Todd was “obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun.”

Todd posted bail of $3,000 and was released from jail Wednesday morning. He didn’t return a message left on his cellphone, and no lawyer was listed in his arrest records. Todd told officers that he had consumed two drinks when he was pulled over, according to the affidavit.

As a former Memphis police officer, Todd isn’t required to have a permit to carry a gun in public, but state records show he has one anyway.

 
State law makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to consume alcohol while carrying a firearm in public, and those who violate that law are subject to losing their permits for three years.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said it’s too soon to say whether Todd will be stripped of his chairmanship of the House State and Local Government Committee.

McCormick said in a press conference that he had spoken briefly with Todd to tell his colleague he was “praying for him and being supportive of him on a personal basis.” McCormick said the arrest doesn’t change his views about the guns in bars law. “It’s a bad idea to drink and carry a gun, obviously,”  he said. “I don’t know the details of what happened with Rep. Todd last night, but I think he would agree me.”

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