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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Guam senators move to make 'gun grab' a felony

Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio's 'educational' effort at July BBQ block party backfires

It all started when Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, then a Republican candidate for governor, came up behind a uniformed police officer at the party and yanked his loaded handgun from its holster. According to witnesses quoted in court documents, Tenorio repeatedly tried to grab the weapon and at one point waved it around.

Tenorio, a former police officer, wasn't arrested on the spot and repeatedly told local media that he believed the officer's weapon wasn't properly secured in the holster, hence, his behavior was intended to 'educate' the officer. Tenorio also admitted he had consumed some beer before the incident.

In the run up to the November election, the case continued to dog Tenorio, who local wags quickly dubbed "Quick Draw."

There was a long delay in filing charges, given that there proved to be nothing in Guam law directly addressing such an action. In September, Tenorio was charged with reckless conduct, obstructing government functions and official misconduct, all as misdemeanors, for which he will be tried next year. Meanwhile, later in July, Sen. Telena Nelson introduced the just-passed Bill 324-34 that would make disarming a police officer a felony. Whether it will become law is up to a sign-off by Gov. Eddie Calvo

For the candidate, the gun grab just wouldn't go away for the rest of the campaign. Before and after Tenorio lost the eventual three-way contest in November, his attorney, Tom Fisher, darkly suggested a conspiracy against him. Fisher went so far as to suggest that had it not been for the gun grab and the way it was handled, Tenorio would have won.

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