published Friday, October 14th, 2011

Tennessee legislator Curry Todd resigns from gun task force

In this Feb. 8, 2010 file photo, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, speaks in the House Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. Todd, lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring their guns into bars, was arrested late Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)
In this Feb. 8, 2010 file photo, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, speaks in the House Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. Todd, lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring their guns into bars, was arrested late Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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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 state 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 Thursday. 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, in a development out of Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Steven Cohen, D-Tenn. — who hails from Shelby County as does Todd — abruptly dropped his co-sponorship of a Republican-backed bill dealing with handgun-carry permits Thursday.

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 would require states that allow the concealed carrying of guns to recognize one another’s permit.

“He did indeed take his name off it,” said Cohen spokesman Michael Pagan, who added that he had no additional information.

Meanwhile, the next meeting of the state firearms task force, which McCormick created, has been postponed. McCormick said the task force could be disbanded, but said it was due to the economy not any controversy.

“I was really hoping the economy would be roaring back by now, and it’s not,” McCormick said. “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.”

On Thursday, 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, R-Nashville, 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.

“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,” he said.

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

A previously released court affidavit said 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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terrybham said...

What? You mean I can't carry a gun just because I am drunk? What is this world coming to?

October 14, 2011 at 6:41 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 12:37 a.m.
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