Fringe Factor: CJ Grisham and the Paranoid Heart of Texas’ Gun Rights Movement

Fringe Factor: CJ Grisham and the Paranoid Heart of Texas’ Gun Rights Movement

After video of Grisham getting slammed against a police car went viral in 2013, he took the lead in Texas’ gun deregulation movement. Now, he’s aiming for constitutional carry. CJ Grisham at a protest in Austin. Courtesy/Wikimedia With the far right ascendant in Texas politics, once-marginal ideas and people have found a place in the political mainstream. Fringe Factor is an introduction to the often-unknown, but influential activists, thinkers and operatives who play a growing role in shaping the state. CJ Grisham, the 44-year-old founder of Open Carry Texas, is only comfortable when he’s armed, and he’s not concerned with how you or the police feel about that. An Army veteran and aspiring politician, Grisham most recently made headlines with protests in Olmos Park, an independent city within San Antonio that for decades banned citizens from carrying loaded rifles and shotguns. Grisham believes in little to no firearm regulation, so in March, he rounded up his group to roam the streets with AR-15s. During one demonstration, Grisham refused police orders to get on the ground; after a brief argument, he was allegedly tased and arrested on multiple charges, including felony assault of an officer. But two days later, Grisham got what he wanted: The Olmos Park City Council repealed its ordinance, conceding that it violated state law. “Having firearms around does … make me feel a little calmer, because one of the things about guys like me with PTSD is you have this hypervigilance.” Grisham first made a name […]

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