The state lawmaker who championed the right to carry guns in bars is in big trouble himself with DUI and gun charges.
Rep. Curry Todd was arrested late Tuesday by Metro police on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence.
Now, there are cries of hypocrisy for the man who promised his controversial guns in bars bill wouldn't be a problem for law-abiding citizens.
Rep. Todd is a former Memphis police officer, so he isn't required to have to have a permit to carry a gun in public. But state records show he has one anyway.
"I'm still a little bit in shock that this happened to Curry Todd and it's a little like paging Doctor Karma, doctor Karma you've got a phone call from the legislature," said Adam Dread, a former Metro councilman who led the guns in bars opposition.
According to Metro police, officers stopped Todd near 21st and Blair for driving 60 mph in a 40 mph zone and swerving in and out of his lane.
Police conducted sobriety tests and observed Todd "was very unsteady on his feet, almost falling down at times."
Police say Todd was in possession of a loaded handgun and noted he "was obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded gun."
It's something Todd knows isn't legal.
He was the lead House sponsor for the controversial guns in bars bill.
During the debate over the bill, he repeatedly said that permit holders and law-abiding citizens would not drink while carrying a gun.
"I think it's a bad idea to be drinking and carry a gun. Now I don't know the details about what happened with Representative Todd last night, but I think he would agree with me and I know he would agree with me that people who are drinking should not have loaded handguns with them," House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said.
But those who fought vigorously against the bill say Todd's arrest reinforces that guns and alcohol don't mix.
"I think it really shows the hypocrisy of his whole bill and this whole guns in bars bill that he started, anyhow, and why his own legislation was so bad to begin with. And now he's caught up in his own mistake," Dread said.
Todd, who is chairman of the powerful State and Local Government Committee, is out on bond now. Democrats are calling for Speaker Beth Harwell to demand his resignation.
Todd released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying:
"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."
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