Texas veteran C.J. Grisham, arrested earlier this year for legally open carrying his rifle while hiking with his son, has been found guilty of interfering with police duties, although he will not receive any jail time.
A video taken during the incident quickly went viral, and the full video has now been released.
As previously reported by Off The Grid News, C.J. Grisham was arrested for “rudely displaying” his rifle while hiking in an area known to possess dangerous wildlife such as cougars, snakes and coyotes. Open carry is legal in Texas.
The Texas man’s son was attempting to complete a Boy Scout merit badge when a police officer found the pair and asked him why he had a rifle, an AR-15. The police cruiser’s dash cam show the officer reaching out and touching Grisham’s gun.
“Some reason why you have this?” the officer asks.
“Because I can,” Grisham responds.
“Well, OK,” Ernis says as he tries to acquire the gun.
“Hey, don’t disarm me man!” Grisham says, grabbing the rifle.
The officer then threw Grisham on the hood of the police car and placed his hands behind his back.
Grisham later told the media:
He looked at my rifle and he’s like, ‘what are you doing with that rifle?’ Each time I asked a question I was getting more and more frustrated, and there were a few moments where – I’m a devout Christian, Mormon, I said some things I regret. It was just a very frustrating situation because, here we are doing absolutely nothing wrong, just walking down a road… and suddenly I’m in cuffs for absolutely no reason.
The pair initially thought that the Temple police officer was just stopping to make sure that they were alright and did not need assistance, since they were on foot in the middle of, essentially, nowhere. The “interference with duties of a public servant” handed down by the jury also carried a $2,000 fine. He is appealing the conviction.
Grishmam’s attorney, Justin Flint, said:
There are certain things that one might be advised to do when dealing with police officers and you are in possession of a firearm. I always advise people to make an officer feel as safe and comfortable as possible. But just because that’s good advice doesn’t mean that has to be done. Based on the facts themselves, if there’s not evidence that he was resisting in any way or trying to interfere with what they are doing, then this would be a case that would be suitable for getting dismissed, whether based on lack of probable cause or lack of evidence to detain or arrest him.
Such a right to bear arms case would not be quite as shocking if it had occurred in California or New York, but few expected a Texas jury to convict the gun owner. The Bell County prosecuting attorney’s office released the police dash cam video after a public records requests was submitted for the footage before a verdict was rendered.
What do you think about the open carry arrest and verdict in C.J. Grisham’s case?