Todd, R-Collierville, was stopped in his GMC Envoy at around 11:15 last night near Hillsboro Village. He was going 60 mph in a 40 mph zone and swerving in and out of his lane, police say. He failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer. Police say they detected a strong odor of alcohol on the legislator and found a loaded Smith & Wesson 38 Special in a holster in his car.
A police affidavit says Todd was unsteady on his feet, "almost falling down at times," his speech was slurred and he had watery and bloodshot eyes. Todd was "obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun," police say.
Possession of a weapon while under the influence is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to one year and a $2,500 fine. Todd had a handgun carry permit. That could be suspended for up to three years.
At the website forum of the Tennessee Firearms Association, one of the main groups that lobbied for guns-in-bars, members have been understandably quiet so far today. But someone did post, "THANKS CURRY FOR THE BAD PUBLICITY."
We can only assume Todd, 63, had been drinking in a restaurant or bar. Did he bring his handgun with him? Drinking with your gun—that's something the lawmaker told us repeatedly during the guns-in-bars debate that no responsible handgun owner ever would do. In fact, it's prohibited under the guns-in-bars law. According to Todd, that law was only to let law-abiding (sober) citizens carry their licensed weapons into family restaurants to protect all the patrons against any would-be robbers or other armed assailants.
“Folks were being robbed, assaulted — it was becoming an issue of personal safety,” Todd said at the time, adding that the National Rifle Association had helped his legislative efforts. We're sure everyone felt safer with the bleary eyed Todd there with them last night.
In urging the House to pass his law, Todd said: "I just ask you to vote your conscience to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families."
Todd, who is state chairman of the Koch Brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council and on the group's national board of directors, was one of Harwell's biggest supporters when she won the speakership last year. After her election, she dismissed his rat remark and re-named him chairman of the committee.
"I think that’s a statement that Rep. Todd has publicly apologized for, and I think that’s an issue that is now in the past,” Harwell told reporters then.
Here's the YouTube of Todd making his charming rats remark:
And while we're walking down memory lane with Curry Todd, who could forget how he accused the news media of sensationalism for reporting that his guns-in-bars law would allow guns in bars. As the legislature was overriding Gov. Phil Bredesen's veto of the bill, Todd mocked his hometown newspaper as "the Comical Appeal."
Update: Wonkette chimes in. "Some of you might argue that this is karma, but we would argue that this was the only possible logical outcome."