Updated Oct. 12 10:50 a.m.
A Tennessee lawmaker who is a major proponent of legislation allowing gun owners to carry firearms in bars was arrested on Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to TPM.
Rep. Curry Todd (R) was pulled over around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to the local Fox affiliate. Todd allegedly failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer test, the Associated Press reports. The gun — a Smith & Wesson 38 Special — was holstered next to the driver’s seat and loaded.
According to the police affidavit, Todd was “very unsteady on his feet, almost falling down at times. … His speech was slurred, his eyes were red, watery and bloodshot. … The subject was obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun.”
Read the full police affidavit here.
Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R) gave the following statement in response to Todd’s arrest:
All of us face challenges and make mistakes in our lives. My thoughts and prayers are with Representative Todd and his family. On a personal note, I only hope that he takes the necessary steps to address this issue.
Todd’s motivation for the guns-in-bars legislation is self-defense. “Folks were being robbed assaulted — it was becoming an issue of personal safety,” Todd has said, according to the New York Times. “The police aren’t going to be able to protect you. They’re going to be checking out the crime scene after you and your family’s been shot or injured or assaulted or raped.”
Todd’s office did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.
Todd was released on $3,000 bail, according the Metropolitan Nashvile Police.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com