Tenn. guns in bars sponsor charged for driving drunk with gun

Tennessee guns in bars sponsor charged for driving drunk with gun

Posted: Updated:
Rep. Curry Todd (source: Davidson County Sheriff's Office) Rep. Curry Todd (source: Davidson County Sheriff's Office)

By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tennessee State Rep. Curry Todd went from creating laws to now charged for allegedly violating them.

Todd, a lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring guns into bars, was arrested Tuesday night on charges of drunk driving and possession of a gun while under the influence.

Police say in court documents the Collierville Republican was pulled over in Nashville.

"I think it's a bad idea to drink and carry a gun obviously but I don't know the details of what happened to Todd last night," said House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick.

But a warrant stated the lawmaker, who is also a retired Memphis police officer, was "extremely unsteady on his feet" after getting pulled over for a DUI.

Police say he had a loaded handgun between the driver's seat and center console, he refused to take a breathalyzer and failed his roadside sobriety test.

McCormick says it's too early to tell if Todd will be stripped of his chairmanship position in the House State and Local Government Committee.

Rep. Harry Brooks said elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

However, lawmakers also say Todd's dilemma is a personal issue and that it should be separated from the guns in bar law Todd sponsored.

"Within our society, the issue of alcohol and substance abuse is a major issue with all of us," Brooks said.

Brooks and other fellow Republicans are coming to Todd's defense.

"Let us not pass judgement on Rep. Todd until he we have the proof, until we have court and the review of the evidence," Brooks said.

Todd released this statement Wednesday: "Let me begin by saying I am deeply sorry for the events of last evening. On the advice of legal counsel, I have decided not to make any public comments about the situation at this time. Upon her return to the capitol, I will have a conversation with speaker Harwell to determine whether it is in the best interest of the general assembly for me to step aside as Chairman of the State and Local Government committee. On a personal note, I am incredibly grateful for the calls of support from constituents, colleagues, and friends about this incident."

Todd posted bail of $3,000 and was released from jail Wednesday morning.

Portions of this report copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.

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