The conflict between law enforcement and armed military personnel in the community around Fort Hood, one of America’s largest military bases, has recently and repeatedly involved the issue of gun control — and the tension has been exacerbated in part by an Obama-supporting prosecutor described as a “bandleader” of anti-gun efforts in the heavily conservative community.
The conflict reached a fever pitch last month, when Texas police arrested an active-duty Army sergeant for “rudely displaying” a hunting rifle. The sergeant, C.J. Grisham, established an online legal defense fund after he was, in his words, “illegally arrested and disarmed” for carrying the firearm.
“While out hiking with my son through backcountry roads to help him earn his Eagle Scout rank, I was illegally arrested and disarmed without cause. I was thrown in jail and my lawfully owned weapons were confiscated without receipt or notice,” Grisham wrote on the website for the defense fund.
Video of the incident obtained by The Daily Caller shows officers defending their behavior to Grisham while restraining him.
“In this day and age, [people] are alarmed when they see someone with what you have,” one of the officers tells Grisham in the video. “They don’t care what the law is.”
Grisham, who is stationed at Fort Hood, was arrested in his hometown of Temple, Texas, east of the base, after police stopped him for carrying an unconcealed rifle slung over his shoulder. Texas is a right-to-carry state, and law-abiding gun permit owners can carry rifles and hunting weapons openly, so long as the weapons are not being carried in a threatening way.
But one of the Temple police officers told Grisham that anyone holding a gun is considered dangerous, according to the video.
“When you alarm people, and they call us,” one of the officers in the video begins to say, after Grisham asks why the officiers failed to ask for his concealed-carry permit.
“And did you explain to them what the law is, sir?” Grisham asks.
“They don’t care what the law is,” the officer replies. Graham then shoots back, “Do you care what the law is?”
“In this day and age, they’re alarmed when they see somebody with what you have,” the officer replies.
“Just because a guy has got a firearm, he’s dangerous?” Grisham asks, drawing the reply, “Yes, sir.”
One of the officers tells Grisham he was “rudely displaying” the rifle.
Temple police, who did not respond to a request to comment for this story, said in a statement to the local press that Grisham refused to hand over his weapon when asked, forcing them to make the arrest.