Guns.com recently caught up with CJ Grisham of Open Carry Texas to discuss how the Trump presidency will affect Second Amendment rights in America. Grisham has been an outspoken advocate for gun rights with the group he founded in 2013 called Open Carry Texas. He is also a retired Army 1st sergeant.
You can listen to the interview above, or read it below.
GUNS.COM – “Thanks for joining us CJ.”
CJ – “Thanks for having me.”
GUNS.COM – “Do you think Trump will keep his promises on Second Amendment issues?”
CJ – “I think he will for no other reason than he made such bold promises that he really has no choice but to keep those promises. I have no reason to believe he won’t. So, I think that he will keep the promises that he made. I think the problem that we’re going to have is in the house and senate, and actually getting those bills to his desk to be signed.”
GUNS.COM – “Do you think gun owners trust him?”
CJ – “You know, that’s a mixed bag. Trust might not be the right word. I think many gun owners are a bit suspicious because of his past comments. It’s quite a big change of philosophy in a short amount of time. For example, relating to modern sporting rifles and whether or not they should be banned. So I think there’s a lot of curiosity and suspicion right now. I don’t think that gun owners necessarily don’t trust him, they’re just taking a wait and see philosophy. I know that’s what I’m doing. I’ve been very critical of that. But I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and let him try to prove to me that my suspicion is misplaced.”
GUNS.COM – “I agree with you. When the NRA got behind him last summer, part of me felt as though he might be trying to do something behind their back, get their trust and then do his own thing. But is seems as though he’s continued to work with them and they’re going to be able to achieve some things together.”
CJ – “I agree. I think he’s been able to surround himself with people who have helped him understand what Republican people want and that has hopefully changed his outlook. I am still worried about his stop and frisk philosophy. I don’t like that he thinks it’s ok to stop and frisk people just because they look a certain way or may have a gun. That’s not the president’s responsibility and it’s not something that the constitution allows.”
GUNS.COM – “How will Texas be affected by a Trump presidency?”
CJ – “I think Texas is such an independent state that for the most part it probably won’t affect us too much other than being a good thing in the sense that, we will be able to take those promises, if he lives up to them, and translate them into better laws here in the state. But we’ve already got several bills passed here in Texas that will ban law enforcement and state agencies from enforcing any federal gun control law that is more strict than our state law.
So in one way it wouldn’t affect us at all if Trump went back on his word. But in another way he helps us because if Trump loosens the laws at the federal level, that helps us at the state level.”
GUNS.COM – “Do you think Trumps pro gun attitude is good is almost more effective than laws at times, just to have that attitude in moving things towards a more gun friendly nation. What do you think?
CJ – “That’s very true. When you have a president who is outspoken about gun rights, it emboldens those within the legislature and within the congress, that want to get more pro-gun legislation passed, but there’s just not sure on where the president stands on passing these things. So, him sending out that positive attitude, that trickles down to the lower levels. It also trickles down here in Texas because our legislature can now be more bold and also pass less restrictive laws knowing that they’re not going to be undermined at the federal level.
So I would say that attitude is two thirds of the game. The other third is actually putting it into action.”
GUNS.COM – “And what about you, what are some of the big things you’re working on with Open Carry Texas?”
CJ – “Our main push is going to be constitutional carry. Right now, we’re one of only twelve states that do not have some form of constitutional carry. That’s got to change. This is Texas. We don’t believe that we have to ask permission to exercise a right. We think that if you can legally own and possess a firearm and purchase a firearm, then you should be able to carry it without a license. That’s our big push this year.
It’s still going to be an uphill push believe it or not. We’ve got super-majorities in the house and the senate of our state legislature. We’ve got a lieutenant governor who is very pro 2A, as he says, and we’ve got a pro 2A governor. The problem is that attitude. We don’t have that attitude that Trump has which is get gun legislation passed.”
GUNS.COM – “Awesome. Thanks for talking with us CJ. Good luck with everything in the future.”