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Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — 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 told officers that he had consumed two drinks when he was pulled over, according to the affidavit.
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.
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.”
Todd’s arrest was first reported by WSMV-TV.
Court documents don’t indicate whether Todd had been drinking at a bar.
Todd sponsored a 2009 bill to let people with handgun carry permits take their weapons into businesses that serve alcohol, provided they don’t drink. Although police and prosecutors spoke out against it, the measure passed and easily survived a veto from former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen.
A judge later declared the law unconstitutionally vague but the Legislature addressed those issues in a new version that became a law last year.
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