Temple, TX – After more than four years, and $175,000, an Iraq War veteran finally has his firearms back following a confrontation with police that went viral in 2013.

Temple police seized a Black Jack Firearms AR-15 and a Kimber Ultra Carry Pro II .45 caliber handgun from Army First Sergeant C.J. Grisham, after they apprehended him on the side of the road, while he and his 15-year-old son were hiking for an Eagle Scout project in March 2013.

The entire incident was caught on film, and instantly went viral, causing outrage over the violation of Grisham’s civil rights. In the video, a compliant—but objecting—Grisham can be seen arguing the legality of the stop, the manhandling treatment he receives and his subsequent arrest.

Grisham knew his rights under Texas law, after having successfully completed concealed carry weapons training and securing his concealed handgun license. He also knew the stop was illegal.


Officer Steve Ermis was the first officer to make contact with Grisham and his son. Instead of inquiring as to whether Grisham had a CHL for the weapons he was carrying, Ermis approached Grisham, reached out and grabbed the AR-15, and as soon as Grisham’s hand came near it, Ermis pulled out his own gun and pointed it at Grisham.

Even though he was legally open-carrying his long gun, and legally concealed carrying his handgun, Grisham was manhandled by police, and when he questioned the officers’ legal reason for detaining and disarming him, he was arrested.

Ermis first charged Grisham with the misdemeanor of “resisting arrest,” but later changed the charge to interfering with the duties of a peace officer. Ermis then claimed that confronted Grisham for walking on the wrong side of the road.

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Not only was Grisham charged with criminal activity, but he was forced to defend himself in court against the charges. Even though the first trial ended with a hung jury, he was eventually convicted in the second trial of “interfering with the duties of a law enforcement officer,” a misdemeanor, but it wasn’t without a hefty price.

Grisham’s court costs, legal fees, and miscellaneous costs were paid for by and totaled $175,000. Larry Keilberg fund’s national director told the Temple Daily Telegram, Grisham’s case was the result of 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, Neel Richardson.”

The video suggested otherwise. The officers on the scene told Grisham he was grossly displaying his firearm, and that people were in fear. Ironically, the only dangerous actions taking place with Grisham’s firearms happened when Ermis disarmed Grisham. The officer slung the rifle wildly, even pointing it in several directions without first clearing the rifle and ensuring it was unloaded.

Grisham questioned the Temple police officers knowledge of the law, and they proudly replied that they were “exempt from the law” and that the citizens “don’t care what the law is.”

But it’s what happened to Grisham’s guns after his arrest that is making news today. His Black Jack Firearms AR-15 and Kimber Ultra Carry Pro II .45 caliber handgun were not promptly returned to him, even after the trial ended.

It took over four years for Temple police to return his weapons, even after he demanded them back in December 2013. At first, the police department claimed they didn’t have them. Then they said a court reporter had possession of them in a secured room, but still didn’t return them to him.

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Following the ordeal, Grisham became the face of Open Carry Texas in 2014. The gun rights organization push for the ability to open carry handguns in Texas, which became legal in January 2016.

On June 30, Temple police finally released Grisham’s weapons to him. The Temple Daily Telegram reported that Grisham’s first actions were to clean and test-fire both weapons to make sure that they still worked.

“I’m relieved that after 1,567 days, I finally have the guns back that were stolen from me by Temple Police Department on a back country road where I was minding my own business,” Grisham said.

Once again, local police have proven they apparently have more power than the U.S. Constitution. They can not only detain, and disarm someone, but they can make up charges, force a man and his family to go through lengthy and stressful court proceedings, and prevent him from protecting his family with legally obtained and possessed weapons. Oh yeah…and now he also has a criminal record.

Grisham sued in court but the case was dismissed. He could still appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, but he has not stated whether or not he will.

UPDATE: The original title incorrectly stated that Grisham recieved $175k, this was incorrect. It has been updated. The Free Thought Project apologizes for the mistake.

Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine
  • Damiana

    It sucks that he won’t be awarded anything for his suffering. $175K sounds like a lot, but it only covers what they cost him. I think he’s entitled to twice that much!

    • Keysbum

      read it again; the 175000 were legal costs. the guy got nothing but a criminal record and the realization that he lives in a fascist police state. man, it will be nice once the revolution starts…

      • Damiana

        Read my post again, please. I was actually complaining about the guy getting nothing.

      • Slartibarfast

        i wondered that too, no where does it say he won $175K

      • Patrick

        Sir, you have the awesome ability to read someones comment, rephrase it and change a few words around AND THEN claim the idea just as if you’d thought it all up by yourself. BRAVO!


        • Keysbum

          perhaps for an illiterate like you; for the rest of us, the guy said got 175000, just broke even and didn’t get anything extra for his suffering. that is most definitely not what the article said, DUDE

  • If law enforcement can’t or will not accept their own limitations that they need to be subservient to the people, then we must abolish law enforcement and put people back in control of their own destiny.

  • patriot156

    2nd Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that
    is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing
    himself that he is God.
    This exactly how that prophecy is fulfilled.

    • Damiana

      *smiles brightly* Excuse me, please! *picks up her chair and moves it to the other side of the internet*

      • patriot156

        I take it your an atheist? OR have no clue as to how Prophecy truly fulfills itself?
        My post is warning and telling just how this crap is done not waiting for a third temple and some human sitting it saying what I wrote, but mankind fulfilling it by acting like God.
        Don’t like it or believe in it that’s your fault not mine nor Gods, but Ironically were on the same side since I’ve seen your posts and we agree this was BS.
        My goal was to merely inform people of how he who exalts himself against God is done not to just show something weird.

        • Alienate

          Exalt this!

        • Damiana

          Am I gonna have to skeet you with the Varmint Spray? Now, quit pestering the Lord and go be more like Jesus!

  • patriot156

    BS juries these days too, calling that interfering? and convicting him of it? BS.
    My guess is this is how the first trial went: 1-2 were not guilty all the rest were guilty, the guilty crowd said “You know were hung now but the next Jury will more likely convict so come on say guilty!” But they wouldn’t so were hung then they got a more LEO friendly crowd and convicted him!
    Problem is………… the Majority don’t care about how bad the cops get even clear violations like this. As long as the “They keep us safe ” is the opinion, and only a small portion do bad, and no amount of evidence otherwise that show’s the majority are now bad will ever convince them. The cops statement of nobody cares is pretty much correct. The people that called the cops on this guy are the ones who convicted him, either directly by saying he was guilty or indirectly for being pussy whipped into thinking that seeing someone carrying a gun is bad.
    While this happened under Obozo’s lead this is still happening under Trumps admin too. These kinds of deals; cops acting all mighty and abusing their badge, shooting people for nothing etc… is still happening.
    My guess is both cops support the second amendment too! Right or right leaning cops did this more likely since it’s true that most cops are conservative. The so called second amendment supporters violate us like this then……………….?

  • The MadScot

    This kind of shit happened to me in Harker Heights/Nolanville, Tx. Which is just outside of Ft. Hood, TX. Nolanville and Harker Heights PD are the MOST corrupt police force in the area! Even Killeen’s PD isn’t as corrupt as these posers! I get pulled over because my van fit the description of a vehicle that was used in a robbery in Killeen, Tx two weeks prior. Several things. 1) I had a panel van not a passenger van (Pax van was used in the robbery. 2) The color of my van was roughly the same color however, the make and model was not even close to the one in the APB put out by the Killeen PD. 3) I had a very distinctive artwork on the rear quarterpanels on both sides. (could not miss them and would have been part of the vehicle description in the APB 4) All local PD’s had received an update to the APB from Killeen PD a couple days prior to my interaction with the Nolanville PD that Killeen PD had found the vehicle and had the suspect IN CUSTODY so therefore recinded the APB. Yet, I was pulled over based on this “APB”, I was manhandled even tho I cooperated with all of the officer’s commands. I was eventually charged with disorderly conduct (catch all BS charge that you literally cannot defend yourself from) and possession of an illegal narcotic which I never had in my possession to begin with. They planted that shit. I had various firearms in my van which were inside a secured ammo box and gun case (I had been out shooting at the range earlier that day.) The weapons were located in the back of the van and outside my immediate reach. I was also charged with illegal possession of multiple firearms (the cops claimed that it was illegal to open carry in town and illegal to transport firearms in your vehicle unless you have a permit which was total bullshit and they knew it. That charge was dropped only after I agreed under duress of a false charge to “Surrender” my weapons to the Nolanville PD. I was told by the ADA for Bell County that it would do me no good to fight any of these charges since the judge would only accept the word of the cops and not mine. In short I was bullied by these thugs with badges and a corrupt criminal justice system of Bell County. I was just leaving the military at the time and was in the middle of out processing (ETS) at the end of my term of service (Honorable Discharge after nearly 8 years at that time.) I didn’t have the kind of money it would take to fight these thugs.

  • Anthony Quatroni

    When I see things like this, I wonder if police aren’t the bigger threat to society than criminals.

    • Douglas Lloyd Anderson

      Yes sir , equitable threat level for sure .
      shoot them FIRST when the shtf.

    • Amor Terra

      No need to wonder. They are.

    • SOME are.. not all..

  • Satan

    He should take it to the Supreme Court. Enough of this shyt.

  • Wayne Morrison

    its so obvious eight years of a muslim and bush before him what can be expected?

  • hippieatheart63

    I hope he is able to take it all the way to the Supreme court, this is obviously gross misconduct and should be criminal.

  • crazytrain2

    Your opening statement needs addressed and changed to read “This is how THESE COPS treat vets.”

  • Ned Sabater

    Law enforcement was needed by the oligarchs to control and rule the middle class and people of color. They still are the largest and best armed gangsters in the land.

  • Anton Overmars

    Me, as an European citizen, got the impression that U.S. cops are the real criminals, there in Trump-land..

    • billdeserthills

      That’s why police are America’s Largest Gang
      I understand the fiscal difference between the criminals and the police is cops steal a $billion more each year. I’m sure that’s just a rough estimate

  • Steve Shillitoe

    Lying fat fuck of a cop, hope someone really fucks him over. What a cunt

  • MMaguire

    Four years and the lawsuit was dismissed? What a fucking travesty.

  • Bill

    Damn, these are some DUMB ASS Cops!

  • I’m beginning to see the point of Black Lives Matter. Imagine how this would have turned out if he’d been black. A similar thing happened to me here in Florida, except I was on my own property with a shotgun. I spent 28 days in jail, and I never got my gun back. I have never found a lawyer to sue on my behalf.

  • Tim Laine

    The police had no reason to stop this man in the first place.

  • Over-40 Victim of Fate

    To some of the other commenters …. he didn’t win the civil lawsuit. It was dismissed (reason why not provided in the article) The $175,000 was paid by an outfit called SelfDefense .com according to the article… a private non-profit pro-gun-rights entity I can only presume. What a travesty! (retired LEO here, btw …. we never acted this way when/where I worked)

  • Jay Snyder

    These cops are totally out of line.

  • Amor Terra

    They’re lucky I wasn’t on the jury. The award would have been 10 times that.