Bill Conover, the Democrat County Chairman of Johnson County, Texas, was arrested on Monday morning this week for being drunk and for attempting to carry a gun into a courthouse. Conover violated Texas’ concealed carry laws twice in this single act. It is illegal to attempt to carry a firearm into any courthouse and it is illegal to carry a firearm while intoxicated.
“Today was an unfortunate mistake, coupled with poor judgment," wrote LuAnne Leonard, the secretary of the Johnson County Democrat Party. "The gun was located in a book that was in his attached case. He forgot the gun was there and inadvertently took it into the courthouse.”
Conover apparently did not intend to commit the crime, but that usually does not matter much in the eyes of the law. Conover was thrown in jail and later released. Conover has since resigned from his position as Johnson County Democrat Party Chairman.
To make matters worse for Conover, he might lose his job. Conover serves as an attorney and once worked as an assistant attorney general for the state of Texas.
It is truly an unfortunate bit of bad luck for Conover. On the one hand, he apparently made a simple mistake and unintentionally broke the law. Bringing the gun to the courthouse was unwise and he probably should not have gotten drunk so early in the morning. On the other hand, it is difficult to overlook two blatant violations of the law, especially when they are made by an attorney.
What are your thoughts? Should the state throw the book at Conover and prosecute him to the full extent of the law? Or do you think that people should go easy on him for having a few drinks too many?