published Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Tennessee Representative Curry Todd resigns from gun task force chairmanship after DUI arrest

  • photo
    This booking photo released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police shows state Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, who was arrested late Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence. Todd was a main sponsor of a Tennessee law to allow people with handgun carry permits to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Nashville Police)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Should Rep. Todd be stripped of his position as the Republican chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee?

NASHVILLE — The chairman of a special House firearms task force has resigned his position following his arrest Tuesday night for DUI and possessing a loaded weapon while intoxicated.

The future of the task force itself is in limbo with House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, who created the panel, saying he will make a decision about it by next week.

McCormick said Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, voluntarily resigned his task force chairmanship during a conversation with him earlier today. McCormick emphasized Todd still remains chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee.

“I just said thank you, I think that would be the best thing,” McCormick said of Todd’s offer.

Meanwhile, the next meeting of the firearms task force, which McCormick created, has been postponed. McCormick said the task force could be disbanded.

“I was really hoping the economy would be roaring back by now, and it’s not,” McCormick said of his reasoning. “I think people want us to focus more on economic development and jobs and leave some of the other issues to the side for the time being.

“This is a timely opportunity to do that with the gun task force,” McCormick said. “I don’t think we need to push those issues right now.”

Also today, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, a supporter of legislation opening up places where handgun-permit holders can go armed, told reporters he has “zero tolerance for drunk driving, and I think he [Todd] needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And the fact that he had a firearm in the car is bad, that’s breaking the law, too.”

Ramsey said it would be up to Todd’s constituents to decide whether he should remain a lawmaker. He deferred to House Speaker Beth Harwell on the issue of Todd keeping his chairmanship of the powerful State and Local Government Committee. Todd is expected to meet next week with Harwell about that.

Critics of the guns-in-bars law are trumpeting Todd’s arrest for being intoxicated while possessing a loaded gun as evidence bolstering their opposition to the legislation.

But Ramsey dismissed such talk, saying, “using that same analogy, then he broke the law driving a car too, and I guess we need to take all cars away from people.”

The Associated Press, meanwhile, reported that Nashville police said they pulled over Todd because his SUV was weaving and speeding 20 mph above the 40 mph posted limit.

A previously released court affidavit stated Todd was unsteady on his feet, failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breath alcohol test.

Police said they found a .38-caliber gun in a holster between the driver’s seat and center console.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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librul said...

Hic - few take, hic, mah pitcher, hic, agin', ah'll git, hic, mah gun, Hic, ah'm in, hic, guvmint. Hic.

October 13, 2011 at 7:36 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

But Ramsey dismissed such talk, saying, “using that same analogy, then he broke the law driving a car too, and I guess we need to take all cars away from people.”

How about if we just take the gun away from this "people," and the car too! Surely Mr. Ramsey doesn't believe the tautology he's spouting. I'm amazed at the all-guns-all-the-time people who have no problem with Mr. Todd driving around, drunk as a lord, with a loaded gun inches away from his right hand. What could possibly go wrong? What if, for example, someone cut into his lane without signaling, in a way that Mr. Todd didn't like? Or if Mr. Todd incorrectly perceived that someone was threatening another person in the commission of a crime? Or if Mr. Todd didn't like the tone that the policeman took when he was pulled over?

I'm no gun-loving person, but I believe the Constitution is the law of the land, including that pesky Second Amendment. However, common sense and public safety dictate certain restrictions. I've read some ridiculous assertions in the comments on these stories. Sorry for the capital letters, but let me spell it out so even rabid gun-lovers can understand: It's OKAY for Mr. Todd to have the LEGAL firearm in the car if he's NOT DRUNK. It's NOT OKAY to have the otherwise-legal firearm in the car if Mr. Todd is DRUNK AS A HOOT-OWL. People who are FALLING DOWN DRUNK cannot be trusted to use good judgment or restrain their actions, no matter what the U.S. Constitution says about bearing arms! People who are FALLING DOWN DRUNK need protection from themselves, just as if they were LITTLE CHILDREN walking on the edge of an abyss; and we all need protection from them too. It is the pinnacle of idiocy to assert that a blind-drunk fool should have legal access to a firearm while driving a car, just so long as he doesn't actually shoot somebody with it.

October 13, 2011 at 8:59 p.m.
Echo said...

Three articles about this arrest already?! Tried, and convicted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Did the Eric Holder suspend the presumption of innocence while we were trying to figure out how he and Barack Hussein Obama delivered 2,000 guns to Mexican Drug cartels, resulting in dozens of deaths including the murder of two U.S. federal agents, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and ICE Agent Jaime Zapata and other Mexican police and civilians? How many articles have been written about this in this rag?

Why did they do it? To subvert the U.S. democratic process by restricting legal gun ownership. To impose a socialist agenda upon the U.S. population that cannot be achieved by popular support. To make a phony case that guns used by criminal organizations in Mexico are being purchased in small numbers from U.S. gun stores, and not through the international marketplace for fully automatic weapons. This story has the same agenda.

The alleged DUI charge against some politician is no reason to change a policy affecting 1 in 13 Tennesseans who have no criminal history and have passed the state mandated safety class and a security background check (paid for at their own expense). The law has provisions for those who drink and carry and it represents less than 1% of all TN permit holders, a rate lower than for police.

We the People have a natural and constitutional right to protect ourselves from thugs in our backyard or in the Justice Department or White House if it becomes corrupted beyond what can be remedied by an election. We also have a moral obligation to maintain a democracy, and not let it become manipulated by schemes and publicity stunts. Eric Holder and Barack Hussain Obama's backfired stunt has already killed two more U.S. federal agents and countless others now and in the future than Representative Todd's gun or car have, so how about some perspective?

October 15, 2011 at 12:45 a.m.
dude_abides said...

Here's some perspective... he should be arrested for that wicked bad hairpiece, as well. That wig looks like it's had a few too many.

  1. Adjust wig.
  2. Pack gun.
  3. Get drunk.
  4. Drive.
October 16, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.
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