SDF Video: Army Combat Veteran Loses Guns 2A Rights for 1,567 Days

By CTD Blogger published on in General, Legal

The Criminal Justice System seems to be taking on a new meaning in America where Citizens are presumed guilty until they are proven innocent. The CJ Grisham case continues to have folks scratching their heads. A retired Army First Sergeant went on a merit badge walk with his scout son out on a country road and winds up in jail after legally carrying a rifle in Texas. The case became controversial, because veteran Temple law enforcement officer Steve Ermis decided to make up a law on the side of the road and disarmed a Texan. It wall all caught on video.

The case was finally resolved after hundreds of hours of litigation and monetary value of $175,000 in court costs. Grisham regained the right to open carry a handgun two years later, with a License to Carry.

“We are honored to help a decorated veteran regain his property after so many years,” said Larry Keilberg, national director for SelfDefenseFund.com (SDF). “You have so many people that are always going to take the officer’s side of events, but we are glad to have supported a military veteran who was minding his own business until someone like officer Ermis intervened and infringed on legal activity.

“Our SDF attorney team stood by Grisham all the way, fighting for him against an out of control legal system starting with a bully cop, manipulation of the charges to fit the defense case, followed by a very biased judge, Neal Richardson, who said (as reported in the media), that the Grisham family were ‘Local Yokels’ and that he ‘was a better parent.’

“Grisham and the SDF attorney team sued the city and the two police officers in Federal Court and a trial date was set based on the evidence presented. The SDF paid a police expert witness in preparation for the trial and a week before the trial, Federal Judge Walter Smith Jr. changed his mind and dismissed the case only later to be removed from the bench for being intoxicated in his chambers and sexually molesting his court reporter and others multiple times. It makes the public distrust the system,” Keilberg noted.

“We are very supportive of Constitutional Carry in Texas,” said Andy Valadez, Marine veteran (non-combat) and marketing director for SelfDefenseFund.com. “Most law enforcement officers have come to understand that many Americans who choose to carry should not be treated like criminals on-site, mutual respect goes a long way and good guys are not bad guys.”

“It saddens me that my family had to go through this legal abuse,” said CJ Grisham, Founder of Open Carry Texas. “I fought overseas for my country and led men in-theater, only to come back home and have to fight my own country. We have problems that need to be dealt with regarding how law-abiding citizens are treated by fellow oath takers.”

Do you have legal defense coverage? Perhaps you do not favor open carry, but there are plenty of instances of law-abiding concealed carriers going through similar experiences? How would you handle either scenario? Share your answers in the comment section.


Open Carry Texas is a gun rights activist group founded after his arrest and supported by other open carry gun rights groups across the nation.

SelfDefenseFund.com is a comprehensive litigation protection membership covering individuals, families and businesses in regards to personal protection with the use of any weapon in all 50 states, U.S. Territories and Tribal Lands.

For more information on the National Association for Legal Gun Defense please visit: www.SelfDefenseFund.com.

Tags: , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (85)

  • Iamedbytes

    |

    Here is reality for a legal open carry advocate carrying a rifle. In Ohio they shot a man with a realistic toy gun. Our guy didn’t get shot that is a plus. When carrying people are going to call saying that a maniac with a machine gun is menacing the streets of the city. Cop pulls up and citizen starts fumbling around with his AR. That is on the video. Citizen cops an attitude and keeps touching the rifle. This guy kept saying over and over that the cops were cowards for being afraid of him. He talked himself into all the trouble he was in. The cops did nothing wrong.

    Reply

    • dprato

      |

      Sorry but I have to disagree with your statement the cops did nothing wrong.
      If you will review the first minute of the video the cop did everything wrong.
      He approached and immediately put his hands on the vets rifle starting the conflict. He then pulled his gun for no reason at all except the vet objected to his “taking” physically his gun from him. Any officer with half a brain would have asked to inspect the weapon and could have done so while placing his hand on his firearm. So as far as I am concerned the officer started the confrontation by not using appropriate and alternative ways of dealing with the situation. I volunteered for 4 years for our local police force here in Colorado and they have an escalation of force police which always starts with talking first not touching or becoming confrontational unless the suspect starts it first. In this case the vet did not. This officer and his supervisor who said he did not care what the law was are both morons and should have been fired.

      Reply

    • Aardvark

      |

      dprato is correct! Did the vet do anything wrong, sure. He shouldn’t have gotten defensive and argued with the cop. But the cop was clearly wrong.

      Reply

    • Jason

      |

      Hey deprato I agree with you disagreeing with lamtard! Lambtard has to be a dumb ass if he is supporting this fat cop first off the man didn’t touch his weapon at all til the cop grabbed it to take it illegally! That to me is stealing and I would of pulled my hand gun to protect my son and property and as soon as that happened fat boy would be in the morgue and I would plea self D and have the proof because I seen it but this army veteran had the nicest attitude to not shot that a-hole!!! I would of sorry if I am not breaking the law DO NOT TOUCH ME!

      Reply

    • Kurt

      |

      Respectfully, your comments are idealistic and lack a knowledge of police tactics and the law. As soon as Grisham became agitated and began reaching for his rifle, the officer had a right to secure the rifle. The law is clear in that regard. If Mr Grisham was calm, polite, and cooperative, the incident would have been resolved in an entirely different manner. It was clear from Grisham’s demeanor, statements, insistence on filming, and repeated comments that he was going to sue, that he was looking for the outcome he got. Bottom line, don’t act like you are an adversary and you won’t be treated like one.

      Reply

    • dprato

      |

      Sorry Kurt but if you view the video you will see that the officer reached for the gun first and that is improper police protocol. You ask questions first and make no contact unless you are being attacked “first”. Second, I volunteered as part of the Citizen Volunteer Patrol for the Longmont, CO police department for 4 years. We were intimately involved and trained in police protocol and their escalation of force policy which always started out with talking and getting the facts first. Care to tell me what your first hand experience has been?

      Reply

    • Kurt

      |

      dprato,

      I do not mind sharing my experience with you. I worked 28 years as a sworn police officer. I worked several details including ten years on SWAT and took a service retirement after finishing my last ten years as a Sergeant. I was involved in hundreds of uses of force and three police shootings, including one where I was the shooter.

      I commend you on your volunteering with a police department, I managed our volunteer program for the last ten years of my career and respect the group immensely. However, being a volunteer for a few years does not replace, six months of police academy, five months in a formal FTO program, a year and a half of probation, and constant recurrent training. It is easy for arm-chair warriors to analyze what took place from a couple minutes of video, but until you are placed in front of a man armed with a rifle who is displaying what appears to be unwarranted hostility, you are not in a position to judge the officers actions. Luckily, such incidents are still judged using the “Reasonable Officer” standard, not the, “emotional untrained citizen” standard.

      You spoke of escalation of force and how officers “always” start with talking before progressing to using force. Frankly, that is ignorant (usually liberal) blabber. I witnessed a young officer do just that when faced with a man armed with a rifle. The suspect got three shots off at the officer before he was able to return fire. Luckily, it ended well (for the officer). I challenge you to google, “police officer killed by man with rifle”. You will be able to read about, and watch videos of, numerous police officers who were murdered by suspects who were displaying less hostility than Mr Grisham before they murdered the officers.

      I am not saying the officer could not have handled it differently. We are all human (even police officers) and are therefor imperfect. Grisham did the best that he could at the time. He probably learned from this experience and will do better next time. But, in this instance, he made it home safe to his family and neither he or Mr Grisham were injured. So far this year, 84 police officers were not so lucky.

      Because he could have been more friendly or chose not to touch Grisham’s rifle when he did, does it mean he should be prosecuted or even, “stoned to death” as someone else wrote? I would ask everyone suggesting such garbage to walk a day in an officer’s shoes to see if YOU handle every call to perfection.

      Bottom line…we are all unable to accurately judge this incident. We were not there to hear the initial call for service. We were not there to see all the minutiae from Mr Grisham’s body language to his sons’ reaction and demeanor. Unless YOU have stood in front of a man armed with a rifle acting in the manner that MR Grisham was, you have no idea how you would respond.

      Reply

    • Kurt

      |

      Sorry, third to last paragraph should read, “the OFFICER did the best he could at the time”

      Reply

    • BLM in Phoenix

      |

      And this is why the BLM and Black People hate Cops..Those two should both be fired and I hope they loose the house in the Law Suit.

      Reply

    • Eric

      |

      You must have watched a different video than I did.
      1) You say:”When carrying people are going to call saying that a maniac with a machine gun is menacing the streets of the city” I say: right to carry means right to carry. The correct response to these people is to inform them of this fact.
      2) You say: ” Cop pulls up and citizen starts fumbling around with his AR” I say: watch it again because that is not what happened. The policeman instigated the entire event by placing his hands on the AR15 first, which then caused Mr Grisham to protest. Policeman then draws his own pistol (which I do not blame him for), and Mr Grisham removes his hand from the AR15. None of this would have happened if the policeman didn’t have an attitude from the word go and touched the AR15(which he had no right to do).
      3) You say: “The cops did nothing wrong” I say: the policeman did plenty wrong by approaching Mr Grisham with an attitude, assuming he was a criminal, attempting to disarm him, and not being aware of his own states gun laws. I do not blame the policeman for drawing his pistol, because at that point he had reason to feel threatened. Prior to that everything that happened was 100% his fault. Mr Grisham gave the correct response to the fist question: “because I can” . I just can’t understand why so many of us fight for right to carry and are so quick to let a policeman make up his own gun law on the spot, negating the right to carry. The policeman had already decided Mr Grisham was guilty before he approached him and good for Mr Grisham for refusing to be ILLEGALLY disarmed.

      Reply

  • Auggie Will

    |

    I agree with Doug (Aug 22nd 10:25)
    I live in Texas and I also have a CCL.
    How did the police know that maybe he was some nut marching the kid somewhere to kill him?
    If that was the fact then everyone would want to know why the police did not stop and check that things were ok!
    There was wrong on both sides.
    They could have asked for his ID which is lawful in this state as well as asked the young man if he was ok.
    In a respectful tone, he could have said what he and his son were doing which at that point they could have thanked him for his time and sent both on their way.

    Reply

  • Doug

    |

    This guys attitude is what caused this situation to escalate. If he had calmly addressed the officers, I’m sure this would have turned out differently. Then all the name calling and insulting their professionalism. You can’t argue the law on the side of the road, only in court. And NO, CHL holders should not be considered a threat, but they are and judges have ruled that way. Now in Texas, you’d think the officers would be better versed in the gun laws and know how to handle citizens with weapons. I’d also hoped the father would have better prepared his son on how to handle police encounters.

    Reply

    • Aardvark

      |

      No Doug, it was the cops lack of professionalism and confrontational attitude that caused it. The vet just helped it spiral out of control by not controlling his own anger. But the cop is supposed to be the professional, trained, public servant here.

      Reply

  • Steve K

    |

    And what exactly happened to the police officers? Were they disciplined? They should have been. I thought Texas was a gun friendly state.

    Reply

    • Jason

      |

      The liberal f%$ktards are trying to ruin this country! Won’t let a legal law abiding citizen do his thing! But they let gang and terrorists groups run army camps !!! Try telling me it’s ok for muslims to train like they are in boot camp located in handcock NY and Virginia areas! Etc. don’t investigate that but harassment of citizens is fine with these libtards!!

      Reply

  • Vincent LaVallee

    |

    I would love to hear what happened to the two arresting officers, ESPECIALLY the one that said that it didn’t matter what the law says! I hope at least he was fired, and the original officer should have been reprimanded greatly, and told what the law is, and that he needs to follow the law and not make up his own.

    Neither of these officers were there to “Protect and Serve”.

    Reply

    • Jason

      |

      I second that!

      Reply

  • James M

    |

    Sad but this is becoming a routine ordeal. I personally​ was detained with a friend, infront of my children, for car theft. After hours spent at the next county jail they transported me to my home county jail. Hours later everyone disappeared. Then a young female jailor came and uncuffed me, apologizing, saying it was a mixup with my name. What about my friend who was also arrested? Was his name mixed up also? I’m all for my local l.e.o’s. But times have changed. Now we are guilty until proven not guilty. And with so many laws how can a person keep up?

    Reply

    • Aardvark

      |

      JamesM – You’re right. I’ve been pulled over and had private property confiscated, with the cop saying if you come to the station with proof of ownership, you can have it back. I was on vacation over 100 miles from home, so it wasn’t worth it to me. I do support LEO’s as well, but I have known a few that became cops for the power trip.

      Reply

  • Jake

    |

    What happened in the lawsuit(s) against the cop(s)? What ’cause(s) of action(s) were listed and pursued?

    Reply

  • Iamedbytes

    |

    Calm, cool, polite. Leave the lawyering for the court room. On the street the cop has to win, every time. If you feel he is wrong then cooperate, keep your mouth shut and file a complaint later.

    Reply

    • Jason

      |

      Your a pig pushing your propaganda f%$k you! These idiots should of done the job right from the beginning! It would of never got this far. No wondering pigs are getting killed more then ever!

      Reply

  • JTK

    |

    what happened to the cop???

    Reply

  • dprato

    |

    It’s unfortunate that law enforcement is not better trained to handle situations like these and that the “blue wall” gets in the way of good policing. If I were an officer today I would do what was necessary to be safe but I would also use some common sense about how to deal with a situation before pulling my gun on a person who has a firearm draped over his shoulder pointing to the ground. Cops like that do more to ruin the support of police in this Country than any other single factor.

    Reply

Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: