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.

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Comments (85)

  • RPK

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    THIS VIDEO PORTRAYED THE OFFICER AND SUPERVISOR OF THE TEMPLE POLICE DEPARTMENT AS BUNGLING “BARNEY FIFE” TYPE PUBLIC SERVANTS. THE SUSPECT DID NOT APPEAR TO BE A THREAT AS THE OFFICER ADVANCE UPON THE SCENE. THE RIFLE WAS OPENLY DISPLAYED AND NOT POINTED AT THE OFFICER IN A THREATENING MANNER NOR WERE ANY WORDS THAT WOULD INDICATE A THREAT UTTERED. GRANTED, THE SUSPECT COULD HAVE BEEN A BIT MORE COOPERATIVE AND MAYBE DE-ESCALATED THE SITUATION WHERE CALMER HEADS MIGHT PREVAIL. HOWEVER, BASED SOLELY ON THE VIDEO SHOWN HERE AND THE DEMEANOR OF THE OFFICER, IT POSSIBLE WOULD NOT HAVE ALTERED THE OUTCOME. RIGHT OR WRONG, IT APPEARED EVIDENT THAT THE SUPERVISOR WAS BACKING HIS OFFICER. WHEN AN OFFICER IS WRONG OR HIS REASON FOR CONTACT QUESTIONABLE, IT IS THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPERVISOR TO EVALUATE AND THEN IF NECESSARY, DE-ESCALATE THE SITUATION AND LIMIT THE NEGATIVE CONTACT BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND LEO’S. I UNDERSTAND THE OFFICER WANTS TO END HIS SHIFT ALIVE BUT, TRAMPLING ON THE CONSITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF LAW ABIDING CITIZENS DOES NOT FURTHER THE AIMS OF COMMUNITY POLICING AND MAKES IT HARDER ON PEACE OFFICER’S WHO WORK WITHIN THE LAW, POLICY AND OWN UP TO MAKING A MISTAKE. A CIVIL LAW SUIT, CRIMINAL LITIGATION AND REPRIMAND OR DISMISSAL OF THE OFFICER AND SUPERVISOR IS WORTH EXAMINING. ALSO, EXTENSIBE TRAINING FOR THE ENTIRE DEPARTMENT WOULD NOT HURT EITHER. FOR THE RECORD, I SUPPORT ANY LEO WHO SERVES HONORABLY AND FOLLOWS THE ETHOS “TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE”. ON A SIDEBAR NOTE TO MY BROTHER VETERAN, THANK YOU TO THE SFC FOR HIS MILITARY SERVICE IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN,

    Reply

    • Sal

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      Well said. I don’t know if you read any of my comments. What I believe the problem to be is people who don’t believe citizens should have the right to carry. They call the police on the person they see carrying and say what ever they have to say to get the police to go out there and basically harass them in hopes of them getting arrested for something. This man from what I heard got arrested for resisting. That’s pretty much you didn’t do what I told you to do charge. If you look at all the stuff that happened to this veteran when he wasn’t doing anything illegal. It makes the police officers look bad. In the video the police officer went right up to the man and grabbed his gun. What do you think would happen if you went up to a police officer and grabbed his gun. I’m sorry I got carried away saying nice comment.

      Reply

  • Shawn McManus

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    Grisham no doubt was ready and perhaps even hoping this situation would come to a head. He is representative of OCT and its members in that regard. That said, legally he was not in the wrong. He could have handled it better if he wasn’t looking to get into this argument.

    Officer Barney might have been legally in the right when he grabbed the rifle. That however is a serious breach of space. Is your average LEO going to be OK with someone grabbing his firearms? If not, why does he think anyone is will be?

    Reply

  • joe

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    Dirty cops like this that abuse their authority need to be fired & barred from any law enforcement position for life. Also any prosecutor & judge who think the cop is justified should also be barred from any court position. People wake up here, cops are not always right. Weed out the abuse

    Reply

  • Art

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    It appears to me that this man was hoping to create a situation where he would be stopped by the police. The officer could have handled it better but he was faced with someone in a rural area carrying a rifle that alarmed someone else enough to call the police. I would have asked him to lay the weapon down and step away from it. The officer could then have identified the man and he said he had a concealed carry permit. Within a few minutes the officer would have id’ed him and seen he was on the up & up. At that point he would probably been sent on his way. Put yourself in the officers shoes. It’s dangerous out there and a man walking down the road with a gun has the potential for bad things to happen. The officer didn’t handle it right and even embellished what happened to his Sargent. But at the end of the day he wants to go home alive. I still believe the guy with the rifle set this up to happen. Plenty of blame all around. But use your head folks, if you have a gun, do exactly as the officer tells you until he sorts it out and assures himself he is safe. Your life could depend on it.

    Reply

  • RetNavet

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    The fat cop was lucky the son didn’t shoot him as he was scuffling with dad with his back turned to the armed son

    Reply

  • Bill Foster

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    Has Steve Ermis the cop been dismissed from the force? Has his Tx license for law enforcement been revoked? Those two cops should not be allowed in any form of law enforcement in this state any longer.

    Reply

  • Iamedbytes

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    Everybody is citing the LAW the 2nd amendment and open carry being legal. That is absolutely irrelevant. That is sitting in a chair making a debate. On the street you get a report of a possibly dangerous person with a gun. For everybody’s safety that man is going to be disarmed. If he is disarmed then you can do all the checking and talking that you want. This is not “stop and frisk” this is a complaint has been made, that is probable cause. Cops safe, citizens safe. It is that simple. Ask a cop. Ask somebody who knows reality on the street. Any verbal response to the man running his mouth are irrelevant. No you shouldn’t fire the cops.

    Reply

    • stravo lukos

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      lame, u’r absolutely correct. let the court sort it out. it’s all recorded. the guy appears to me as someone w/ a big chip on his shoulder:
      cop– some reason y u hav this? (rifle)
      grisham– bc i can
      to me, that’s a smart-ass response. i don’t blame the cop on this one.

      Reply

    • dprato

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      I have read a number of your comments and have to disagree with both your suppositions and apparent philosophy. First off I have volunteered for our local police department for four years in their Citizen Volunteer Patrol, have had three relatives who have been cops and have significant training as a volunteer to know several things with certainty. First police are there to enforce the law not make it not harass the people they “Protect and Serve”. If it is not illegal to open care a gun or rifle then it is not illegal period. All good police works here in Longmont starts with talking which is the first step in their escalation of force policy and is intended to diffuse and minimize any form of unnecessary hostility. If you bothered to look at the video carefully you would see the officer made two major mistakes in the first 1 minute. He grabbed the man’s gun and pulled his own gun while under no threat whatsoever. He created the conflict, he did not try to ameliorate it. Sorry but you are dead wrong. We don’t arrest people for attitude or not breaking the law. If he got his guns back he obviously won in Court. That should say enough right there.

      Reply

    • Chris Bergen

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      “Why are you driving this corvette on the highway?” Because I can.

      “why are you voting here today?” Because I can.

      “Why are you going to this church?” Because I can.

      Being questioned about doing something that is perfectly legal REQUIRES a smart ass response…..

      Reply

    • OldCowboy

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      There was no “complaint” made, just a report. Does everyone in the Temple area that is openly carrying get treated this way??? Pretty sad on the part of the cop.

      Reply

    • mike

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      Since you have clearly taken the “Man+Gun=Threat” mentality rather than looking at the situation I will not debate your position. I will agree that if the police were called by a citizen (not stated in the article why or if the police were called or simply were driving by) reporting a “man with a gun” they certainly should investigate the issue and speak to the person on the side of the road walking with his son and carrying a rifle. Once it was ascertained that the man and his son were not engaged in unlawful activity then it should have ended there. A peace officer blatantly exceeding his authority as was PROVEN in this case is not acceptable. Everyone is accountable to the law INCLUDING Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities..

      Reply

  • Torquemada

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    Sadly, the police are not your friends. More and more you see this kind of thing.

    Reply

  • Aaron

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    I get angry when I see cops abusing their power. I would not have handled it as well as the veteran in the video. Complacent citizens are the reason that halfwit cops infringe on our rights. The officers on tape are full of s*!t and should be publicly stoned.

    Reply

  • Bruce C Baker

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    This is a clear violation of his right to keep and bear arms. Law enforcement has no right to hassle someone like this just for excercising his god given right noted in the constitution that states that it is a god given right that the government recognizes as such and is guaranteed under the 2nd amendment. This is far to typical behavior from law enforcement. They have been given too much authority. An individual has every right to question why he is being harrassed when they have done nothing wrong. The cop was clearly an asshole with a badge to harass.

    Reply

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