published Monday, October 17th, 2011

Gerald McCormick: Tennessee House GOP firearms task force to continue

Do you agree with the decision to continue the House Republicans’ firearms task force?

NASHVILLE — House Republicans’ firearms task force will continue despite the arrest last week of its chairman on charges of DUI and possessing a loaded .38-caliber gun in his vehicle while intoxicated.

Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said he decided the group, which is looking at expansion of Tennessee’s handgun-carry permit laws, would go on after House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, who is the panel’s vice chair, voiced interest in taking over as chairman.

“I just decided to keep it going,” said McCormick, who weighed over the weekend whether to disband the panel in order to focus more on job-related issues. “I still say it’s not going to be a top legislative priority by any means.”

The former chairman, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Memphis, resigned from the post after his arrest.

McCormick said Todd’s situation also shouldn’t interfere with legislative discussions about expanding places that permit holders can carry their weapons.

“Curry obviously made a mistake, but the issue’s still out there,” McCormick said. “It deserves some attention and shouldn’t be judged solely on the mistake of one individual.”

Todd, 63, was arrested Tuesday night by Nashville police. An affidavit says an officer found the loaded gun of Todd, who is a handgun-carry permit holder, “stuffed” in a holster between the driver’s seat and a center console.

A former Memphis policeman, Todd was the primary legislative sponsor of Tennessee’s 2010 allowing permit holders to go armed in restaurants, bars and other establishments selling alcohol for on-premises consumption.

Last week, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said Todd deserved “zero tolerance” on the criminal charges if convicted.

But Ramsey, the Senate speaker, said lawmakers shouldn’t back away fro the “guns-in-bars” legislation.

“There wasn't one documented case of someone going into a bar, a gun permit holder, and using their firearm. There's still not," he said.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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TNVoter1776 said...

“I still say it’s not going to be a top legislative priority by any means.”
Quoted Gerald McCormick.

Really, the vigorous protection of fundamental and core constitutionally PROTECTED rights is not a top priority?

Republicans have claimed for years that they are "strong" on the 2nd Amendment, that they are "Good" on the 2nd Amendment. Heck, Speaker Harwell claimed that the Republican House members were "100%" on the 2nd Amendment.

It looks more like they think they are "better" than the Democrats on the 2nd Amendment but that its a campaign pitch and not a core belief for many of those who are in office.

My bet is that if Rep. Matheny had not stepped up that Rep. McCormick (who is originally from Memphis) would have gladly put the 2nd Amendment in a closet for yet another year because it is certainly what Gov. Haslam and Speaker Harwell want done. The 2nd Amendment to them is about getting elected and re-elected. It is not about protecting rights and removing infringements.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice - I am too stupid to be voting.....

October 25, 2011 at 9:13 a.m.
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