C. J. Grisham

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C.J. Grisham
File:C. J. Grisham official army photo.jpg
Birth nameChristopher John Grisham
Born1974 (age 47–48)
Temple, Texas, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1994–2015
RankFirst Sergeant
Unit7th Cavalry Regiment
3rd Infantry Division
Battles/warsGlobal War on Terrorism
  • Operation Enduring Freedom
    • War in Afghanistan
  • Iraq War
    • Operation Iraqi Freedom
AwardsBronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star "V" Device
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Army Achievement Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal ribbon.svg Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg Good Conduct Medal
Emily Grisham (m. 1995)
Other workBlogger and gun rights activist

Christopher John Grisham (born 1974) is a retired U.S. Army First Sergeant and military blogger. A soldier in the counterintelligence military occupational specialty (MOS) field, he is a combat veteran of the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan. He received the Bronze Star with Valor in Iraq while attached to 4-64 Armor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).

Combat service and aftermath[edit]

C. J. Grisham protesting at the Texas State Capitol in Austin

Grisham served in Iraq in 2003.[1] He decided to be open about his Post-traumatic stress disorder to encourage other soldiers to seek help.[1] As the NCOIC of a Tactical Human Intelligence Team, he was attached to 3/7 Cavalry for the initial invasion into Iraq. After the battle of Samawah, he was attached to 4-64 Armor for feint operations in An Hillah and the push towards Baghdad. During the feint, Grisham was recommended for a Bronze Star with Valor by the commander of the tank company he was attached to for his actions in repelling an ambush.[2]

Military blogging[edit]

In 2008, Grisham was noted as running a military blog and had been confronted by his military superiors twice over comments on his blog.[3] In 2009, after a confrontation with a local school district in Alabama, a principal in that district contacted Grisham's command to complain.[4][5] According to one source, he stood on his chair and "slammed his fist," which alarmed some parents. That same year, the Army Intelligence and Security Command investigated Grisham for online comments he had made relating to President Barack Obama and gun-control, although no official actions were taken against him.[6]

By 2010, he was blogging again and focusing more on con artists and scams, such as people stealing the identity of dead service members to obtain money by fraud.[7] He became motivated to search these con artists out after his own identity had been stolen.[8][9]

Arrests and conviction[edit]

In March 2013 Grisham was on a 10-mile hike with his son when Temple, Texas police officers confronted him about the AR-15 rifle he was carrying.[10] Grisham was arrested for resisting arrest, but the charges were later reduced to interfering with a peace officer.[10] Three days prior to the arrest, Grisham blogged that he has "been emboldened to work harder and prove to the council that this is an issue that the citizens of Temple care deeply about" in regards to gun rights.[6] The arrest sparked rallies in support of Grisham.[11]

Grisham was tried in Bell County, Texas in October 2013, but the jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared.[12] In November 2013, Grisham was convicted by a jury of interfering with a peace officer and his punishment was set at a $2,000 fine. [13] Grisham lost his appeal to the Texas Third Court of Appeals.[14]

Grisham was later arrested at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas for trespass and resisting arrest for carrying a toy Gun and refusing to leave when ordered by DPS troopers.[15] Grisham was never formally charged.[16] On August 24, 2015, Grisham and eight other open carry activists filed suit against Region VII Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers for false arrest and various violations of constitutional rights.[17]

Open Carry Texas[edit]

During the northern Spring of 2013 Grisham founded a group called Open Carry Texas (OCT) which advocates for people to be allowed to openly carry handguns.[18] OCT has conducted several armed rallies in Texan cities.[19] In November 2013 Grisham advocated for OCT members to conduct an armed protest against a small meeting of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in Dallas on the grounds that the group had staged a protest at an OCT rally.[20]

According to one source, OCT was formed after Grisham's arrest in Temple.[21]

The National Rifle Association has criticised the tactics used by OCT and similar groups. In December 2014 Grisham told The New York Times that "The N.R.A. likes to play nice ... what I mean by that is that they try to do nice things and get favors in return. We believe we shouldn’t have to buy our rights back".[18]

Political aspirations[edit]

In July 2015, Grisham created a Facebook page ostensibly to launch a campaign for Texas State Senate District 24 after the sitting Senator, Troy Fraser, announced his retirement.[22] In August, he officially announced his candidacy for the office. During his announcement, Grisham said, "“Twenty years ago, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today, I’m taking a new oath to the state of Texas. Too often our legislators forget that their purpose is to support and defend our liberties, not legislate them away."[23]

He was a featured panelist at the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival to discuss what is next for gun rights in Texas.[24]

On October 15, 2015 Senator Konni Burton held a candidate forum in Bell County.[25] The forum itself became a controversy when the Bell County Republican Party denounced the event and threatened candidates not to attend. Only Grisham, Dr. Brent Mayes, and Ryan Downton took part.[26] Grisham backed out of the race in November 2015, before a single ballot was cast.[27]

In October 2017, Grisham challenged House District 55 Representative Hugh Shine, who he described as a “Democrat in Republican clothing.”[28] Shine was a legislator in the 1980s and ran as conservative to win election against conservative Tea Party favorite, Molly White. Grisham stated that Shine said one thing while campaigning and did another while in office.[29]

Grisham was endorsed by Jonathan Stickland.[30]

CJ was defeated in the 2018 Republican Primary coming in third.[31] Shine won 60% of the vote, Hall 21%, with Grisham bringing up the rear with 18%.[32]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tucker, Charlotte (2012). "New Research Aimed at Mental Health: U.S. Veterans Struggle With Pain, Stigma of Post-traumatic Stress". The Nation's Health. 42 (3). ISSN 0028-0496. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  2. Anderson, Jon. "The rise and fall of a military blogger". Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  3. Batdorff, Allison; Tritten, Travis J. (July 8, 2008). "While the military embraces blogging, servicemembers walk line between free speech and responsibility to command". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  4. Anderson, Jon. "The Rise and Fall of a Military Blogger". The Army Times. Military Times. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  5. Grisham, CJ. "Thug-ocracy At Its Finest". A Soldier's Perspective. TacticalGear.com. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jessup, Meredith (April 18, 2013). "Arrested vet may have had an axe to grind". The Blaze. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  7. Boudreau, Abbie; Probst, Emily; Joseph, Jessi (July 28, 2010). "Online scams target lonely hearts with troops' photos". CNN. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  8. Cuoco, John (August 3, 2010). "Dead soldier's identities stolen in online fraud scheme". News Channel 25 (Temple, TX). KXXV. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  9. Gould, Joe (February 15, 2011). "Scammers steal identities of GIs to cheat women". Army Times. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ritz, Erica (April 16, 2013). "Decorated Vet Arrested After 'Rudely Displaying' His Rifle — and Says Officer Pulled Gun on Him in Front of His Son". The Blaze. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  11. Gordon, Kristin (June 1, 2013). "Open Carry Rally and March Triggers Second Amendment Rights". KWTX-10. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  12. Delgado, Nick (October 20, 2013). "New Trial Date Set In Case Of Soldier At Center Of Gun-Rights Debate". KWTX-10. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  13. "Jury Gives C.J. Grisham $2,000 Fine With No Jail Time". News Channel 25 (Temple, TX). KXXV. November 20, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. http://www.tdtnews.com/news/article_c9e3a4dc-1032-11e7-991b-cb2ee7dcff21.html
  15. "Two arrested following open carry protest". MyFoxAustin. November 11, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  16. McGaughy, Lauren (May 22, 2014). "Open carry groups to rally over Red River dispute". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  17. "Open Carry Group Suing DPS Over Arrests". WOAI. August 25, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Smith, Morgan (6 December 2014). "Parade of Open Gun Bills in Texas Exposes Divide in Ranks". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  19. Chen, Cathleen Qiao (24 April 2014). "A Right-to-Bear-Arms Twist: Rallying With a Gun in Hand". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  20. Fernandez, Manny (11 November 2013). "A Face-Off Outside Dallas in the Escalating Battle Over Texas' Gun Culture". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  21. Ortiz, Ildefonso (August 8, 2013). "Gun owners plan protest at McAllen PD after activist arrested". The Monitor (McAllen, TX). Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  22. McKeon, Deborah (July 22, 2015). "Grisham has eyes on Texas Senate". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  23. McKeon, Deborah (13 August 2015). "Grisham to run for state senate". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  24. "After Open Carry, Now What?". Texas Tribune Festival. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  25. Cahnman, Adam (15 October 2015). "Konni Burton's SD-24 Forum reveals candidate's character". Cahnman's Musings. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  26. Dearman, Eleanor (17 September 2015). "Sen. Konni Burton Ruffles Feathers With SD-24 Forum". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  27. http://www.tdtnews.com/news/article_8867c6aa-8cee-11e5-98fa-4fa1605594c7.html
  28. Sanchez, Jacob (15 October 2017). "Open Carry Texas founder may challenge Shine in GOP primary". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  29. Sanchez, Jacob (17 November 2017). "Shine announces re-election bid for District 55". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  30. McPhate, Christian (4 January 2018). "Rep. Jonathan Stickland Endorses Texas Open Carry Founder's Bid to Unseat GOP Incumbent". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  31. http://www.tdtnews.com/news/article_6f9e3f66-21c8-11e8-9c00-43cf62b73585.html
  32. http://www.kcentv.com/article/news/politics/elections/march-6-2018-primary-election-results-for-central-texas/500-526422241

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