State Rep. Curry Todd, a retired Memphis police officer who has pleaded guilty to drunken driving and gun charges, is speaking out against Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to keep retired law enforcement officers with DUI convictions from being able to carry firearms in public.
Todd was arrested in Nashville in 2011 after he failed a roadside sobriety test and police found a loaded .38-caliber gun stuffed next to the driver's seat. The Collierville Republican later pleaded guilty, but has easily been re-elected to the Legislature ever since.
The Haslam administration bill carried by Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, would give the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission the authority to ban retired officers from obtaining handgun carry permits if they were convicted of drunken driving once in the previous five years or twice within the past decade. It would only apply to new applicants.
Todd said any state law on the matter would be superseded by the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, which gives off-duty and retired officers the ability to carry their concealed firearms nationwide. Todd told his colleagues that he expects to obtain his certification under the federal law next year.
The bill was up for a House floor vote on Monday evening after passing the Senate unanimously last month. But the vote was delayed after Todd questioned the need for the bill.