Author of 'Guns in Bars' bill arrested for DUI, unlawful possession of handgun

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 9:46am
Curry Todd

Updated 10 a.m.

State Rep. Curry Todd (R-Collierville), chief sponsor of the controversial "guns in bars" bill, was arrested in Nashville Tuesday night. Todd was picked up by Metro Police and charged with DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence. He was released on $3,000 bond.

Todd's GMC Envoy was stopped near the corner of 21st and Blair at about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. Police say they detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle.

In performing a field sobriety test, police said Todd "demonstrated numerous indicators of impairment and the officer noted that the subject was unsteady on his feet, almost falling down at times. His speech was slurred, his eyes were red, watery and bloodshot." Todd refused a field sobriety test.

According to an affidavit, police also found a loaded Smith and Wesson .38 Special between the driver’s seat and the car’s center console. 

A search of a handgun carry permit database provided by the Commercial Appeal in Memphis shows Todd does have a permit. Tennessee law prohibits possession of a handgun while under the influence. It is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500. Todd's permit may be suspended for up to three years.

(Read Todd's response here.)

In addition to gaining notoriety for the "guns in bars" bill, Todd generated controversy last year during a state House committee meeting when he compared pregnant illegal immigrants to "reproducing rats."

Todd is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where he studied law enforcement. Before joining the legislature, he was a lobbyist for the Memphis Police Department and the Tennessee Fraternal Order of Police.

Filed under: City News

42 Comments on this post:

By: bruingeek on 10/12/11 at 8:14

Please clarify. If the permit database shows that Todd has a permit, why is he arrested for 'unlawful possession of a handgun'?

By: pswindle on 10/12/11 at 8:17

Well, Well, Well! Can't walk the walk.

By: producer2 on 10/12/11 at 8:18

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up....

By: localboy on 10/12/11 at 8:19

Doesn't the story specify that "Todd was picked up by Metro Police and charged with DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence" ? I don't see where he was charged with 'unlawful possession of a handgun'.

By: bruingeek on 10/12/11 at 8:22

localboy...the headline of the story implies (right after the comma) that the arrest is for 'unlawful possession of a handgun'...probably just headline hype.

By: dva56 on 10/12/11 at 8:35

The "unlawful possession of a handgun" charge was do to the fact that he was drunk while in possession of the handgun which is illegal, not that he did not have a permit to carry.

By: freddy on 10/12/11 at 8:35

Er... not to brandish my superior reading skills, but the article does say "Tennessee law prohibits posession (sic) of a handgun while under the influence." Permit or not, you can't do this. This was also addressed in the legislation, to the effect that while a person with a carry permit may take that weapon into a bar, he or she may not be served alcohol.

Aside from all that, Curry Todd is an idiot on so many levels -- where to begin?

By: TerribleMaldonado on 10/12/11 at 8:39

Yes indeed Freddy. Here's the relevant section from TN Code:

"39-17-1321. Possession of handgun while under influence -- Penalty.

(a) Notwithstanding whether a person has a permit issued pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351, it is an offense for a person to possess a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance."

Notwithstanding the delicate sensibilities of TN handgun carriers who comment on news sites, possession under the influence IS unlawful possession.

By: Missys-Mum on 10/12/11 at 8:42

Freddy - Don't be ashamed of your superior reading skills, flaunt them!

By: dargent7 on 10/12/11 at 8:43

Lock these morons up.
Anyone who thought, or thinks, a loaded gun in a bar, "is a good thing" , "My Second Amendment right", needs to be behind bars.
Or in a zoo.

By: dargent7 on 10/12/11 at 8:49

Fred: As a bartender for 30 years, in 10 states, people that come into a bar, are already DRUNK, legally. Maybe not a 0.08 by the Breathlizer the cops use, but are intoxicated.
Do Nuns frequent bars?
They've had one or more drinks, a can or two of beer, and are additionally on medication.
So, these imbiciles sit at the bar and order an ice tea or a Coke.
Why come into a bar if you CANNOT drink? The crappy music?
They waste my time and don't tip.
Who needs them?

By: TerribleMaldonado on 10/12/11 at 9:00


Ideally, don't the non-designated drivees sometimes need them?

By: localboy on 10/12/11 at 9:04

Thanks bruingeek, I just had tunnelvision on the story and didn't look back at the headline.

By: bruingeek on 10/12/11 at 9:05

As a legislator, the whole 'you can't be intoxicated and possess a handgun thing' is just a guideline, right?

By: scavendish on 10/12/11 at 9:24
Freddy, Your superior reading skills are always appreciated, particularly when my fingers are typing faster than normal. Many thanks, Steve Cavendish, Editor.
By: dargent7 on 10/12/11 at 9:53

Oh. A University of Memphis grad....
What was his BAC level?
That's all I want to know.

By: grassyknoll on 10/12/11 at 9:56

A troubling development whether you are Democrat or Republican. Never ceases to amaze me how we entrust our elected officials to steward our monies and direction of city and country when they can't even direct their own affairs in a reputable manner. DUIs, check kiting, spousal abuse, tax fraud, etc.......these folks seem to always think that the rules just don't apply to them because they are elected officials and special. Take his gun away from him, throw his ass in jail and out of office.

By: RTungsten on 10/12/11 at 9:59

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I hope this make it to the Daily Show, just like original law did.

By: ghost7638ghost7... on 10/12/11 at 10:00

So illiegal mexicans immigrants are like reproducing rats, you go man

By: JohnGalt on 10/12/11 at 11:59

Seems like the law was very poorly written. Possession, in its purest form, means ownership. Therefore, if a gun owner is ever drunk wherever he/she may be, they are in violation of the law.

By: Motorshag on 10/12/11 at 12:01

So he was arrested for presumably being drunk, and they found a gun in his car. You don't know if he was drunk yet, you can only speculate, because he has not gone to court yet. There is no mention of a blood or breath test. He has not been proven guilty yet. But yet, he is the worst person in the world to you gun haters. I hope and pray a guy like this is around when I need him, drunk or not, he is better off than the rest of you that want guns eradicated from the earth. Get a life you stupid 2nd amendment haters.

By: yogiman on 10/12/11 at 12:59

You forgot to mention in favor of the criminals, Motorshag.

By: producer2 on 10/12/11 at 2:31

deny, deny, deny.........

By: freddy on 10/12/11 at 2:32

Motorshag, the fact that the simple irony of this situation is lost on you renders anything else you say irrelevant. Maybe he will get to help you one day (although what for, I can't begin to imagine), but not until he gets out of jail. Whoops! I presumed him guilty, just because he refused a breath test and was "almost falling down," exhibited slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. What the hell was that officer thinking? He should have realized all Curry needed was a tall boy for the ride home. "Have a pleasant evening, Representative Todd, we know you'll keep us safe."

By: Motorshag on 10/12/11 at 4:01

Freddy, thanks so much for clearing that up for me., how would I have ever gotten that without your super superior skills (do you have a cape too?). Hey everyone, please thank freddy, and his super superior skills for the irony lesson. Thanks freddy.

By: omoo on 10/12/11 at 4:28

Thanks Tea Party for regaining our traditional Tenn. family values that you promised. Remember?

By: Loner on 10/13/11 at 3:19

Lock the ex-cop up with the general population for about a year...he'll need a drink after that experience....and a new sphincter. Please, no special treatment for this arrogant A-hole...let him bunk with some of the human "rats" he so despises....I would issue the man a tube of vaseline...out of Christian kindness....then throw him in with the rats.

By: GuardianDevil01 on 10/13/11 at 6:07

Nick Nolte would be jealous of that mugshot.

I fail to see how this in any way validates the anti-gunner position. He was stopped for driving erratically and doing 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, not for anything he did with a gun. In fact there is nothing in any report that I have seen that suggests he even touched the gun; it merely sat in a holster near the console. If anything this report shows that mixing guns and alcohol, something that I do not recommend, does not necessarily turn one into Yosemite Sam.

By: yogiman on 10/13/11 at 6:15

If he was so bad as the anti-gunners think him to be, why didn't he just shoot that officer when he walked up to his car?

Couldn't use the excuse he was in fear for his life being a legislator for laws he had proposed?

By: sidneyames on 10/13/11 at 6:26

Motorshag on 10/12/11 at 1:01
So he was arrested for presumably being drunk, and they found a gun in his car. You don't know if he was drunk yet, you can only speculate, because he has not gone to court yet. There is no mention of a blood or breath test. He has not been proven guilty yet. But yet, he is the worst person in the world to you gun haters. I hope and pray a guy like this is around when I need him, drunk or not, he is better off than the rest of you that want guns eradicated from the earth. Get a life you stupid 2nd amendment haters.

Sounds like you have a level head, Motorshag, ie, "innocent" until PROVEN guilty.

And the rest of you gun haters and illegal immigrant lovers need to take note: CALIFORNIA signed into law NO GUNS and they have the highest number of illegal immigrants on the planet. MOVE THERE. If you hate guns and love illegals so much, move to California and shut up with your complaints about Tennesee. Most of the people here ARE law abiding citizens. I am sure the family of that 19 year old shot because a racist supremist thought he was Jewish wishes their son HAD a gun and knew how to use it and how to discern WHEN to use it. Also, the supremist shot a man "because" he was black. These are the people we should fear. Not a legislator who makes a mistake now and then.

California is the place you ought to be if you hate guns and love to cater to and cowtow to illegals!

I wonder what those people in CA will do when someone like Charles Mansion breaks into their homes? Sharon Tate and all the people he killed should have had guns and known how to use them. We would not be paying for Manson and his Ilk to be fed, housed and clothed today if someone in Tate's home had a gun and knew how and when to use it.

By: GUARDIAN on 10/13/11 at 7:35

GUARDIAN-All of Tennessee's laws have worked to this point... You can't drink and drive nor can you carry a gun in public even if you have a permit when you're under the influence... So what's the big deal unless hate Republicans, The Constitution. The Bill of Rights and guns... So shut the hell up,, get a life and get over it... there's nothing you can do but watch... I hate whiners...Republicans or Democrats .

By: Redbarron06 on 10/13/11 at 7:37

The guy is a dipshit plain and simple. The fact that he had a gun in his car has no bearing on a DUI. He didnt have it in a holster on his body, there is no evidense that he was carrying while he was drinking. This did not end up being Tombstone or Dodge City like the anti gunners screamed from the roof tops.

Lets see if the gun charge even sticks. My car is considered an extension of my home, under a charge like this I wouldn't even be able to have a drink in my own living room as long as I have guns in a safe in the basement.

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: omoo on 10/13/11 at 7:57

If you were an illegal immigrant and the police cited you for this felony, you would be locked up without bail and deported. If you are a legal resident of Tennessee and cited for this felony, you would be automatically guilty because the judges were caught red handed taking bribes for fixing traffic tickets. When officer Crank gave me a ticket for an illegal lane change on the freeway (right), the best traffic attorney in town told me it was a waste of time to go to court – you’re guilty, period. Let’s see how the Law & Legislature deal with a good ol boy republican who just made an iddy bitty felony mistake. He will go scott free and keep his job. And Yes - we DON't like REPUBLICANS you betcha!

By: BenDover on 10/13/11 at 8:07

It's a stupid law. Drunks should be allowed to defend themselves too.

By: Redbarron06 on 10/13/11 at 8:11

Check your facts Omoo,

Its not a felony.

39-17-1321 (c) (1)
"A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor."

Educate yourself on the subject matter, or at least google it.

Bitterly clinging to my bible, my guns, and my Constitution.

By: macjedi on 10/13/11 at 8:18


Oh this is SO SO GREAT.

Nothing is so fantastic as some a-hole neocon redneck legislator DIRECTLY paying for this hypocrisy in the public eye!!

On to the lessons of the day...
Bruin can't read a whole article and comprehend it.
Half the people here can't spell or use spell check or correct word forms.

Now, excuse me... I have to go kill babies and hug trees, since that's what us crazy liberals do right after we relish in the loss of someone's "rights" to arm bears.

By: freddy on 10/13/11 at 8:34

Well, it's nice to check in every now and then with some seriously pissed-off people, but I gotta go get loaded and kill some illegals. I'll be back when the next hypocritical politician does/says something stupid (which will probably be this week!).

By: brrrrk on 10/13/11 at 8:52

Why we's is good God-fearin', gun-totin', law-abidin' folks here in Tennessee... There's no way one of us would do somethin' so stoopid like gettin' drunker'n Cooter Brown and drive around.... and fur shur not with a loaded gun in the car. Why, that would be just plain ol' ig-nert. It just ain't a gonna happen. - Curry Todd, poster boy.

By: nlnagy on 10/13/11 at 9:07

I have a handgun permit and I am somewhat dismayed at how the state of TN can enact a law allowing people to carry registered handguns, but on the flip side undermine that law by doing everything they can to bar registered hand gun owners from carrying them from here or there and everywhere.

The caveat here is: A responisble, trained and licensed hand gun owner cannot carry their gun just about anywhere and have basically been taken away a priviledge that they not only paid for, but were trained as responsible gun owners. BUT an a person with an illegal firearm is free to carry it anywhere until or unless they get caught... and many do not get caught even if they do commit a crime!

The state of Texas has it right. On the door of every establishement there is a stern warning that anyone with an UNLICENSED fire arm is not welcome and will be punished by the full extent of Texas law.

Think about it. Would you not want to be in a bar with LICENSED hand gun owners or unlicensed? To me the unlicensed would be most likely to do harm.

This is unfortunate and the press will make a meal out of it and hurt further responsible licesensed nand gun owners.

Nancy Lynn Nagy

By: freddy on 10/13/11 at 9:49

So, Nancy -- OK to have licensed guns in the State Legislature? Schools? Churches? Anywhere you please, as long as you have your weekend of "training"? i see Curry Todd's training, not to mention his career as a POLICE OFFICER, really came in handy here. Oh, I forgot -- he's innocent!

You gun nuts need to get over your fetish. Really, you all get unhinged just by comments on a news story. And the idea of unhinged gun owners doesn't inspire confidence. Is it a coincidence that the writers who can't spell or use proper grammar are the ones who immediately start ranting about gun-haters and illegal immigrant lovers?

By: cityjvtao on 10/13/11 at 11:06

You can go the Davidson County Arrest records to see the actual documents. Three charges were made. Enter Curry Todd.

T.C.A. 39-17-1321

By: Captain Nemo on 10/13/11 at 1:42

JohnGalt thinks the law was poorly written and he is right. It should have never been written. Any law that would make it legal for a person not in is right mind to cause harm or death to anyone is a disaster waiting to happen. We were lucky this time.