Open Carry Texas has filed a lawsuit in Travis County alleging that between the years 2013 and 2015, the DPS capitol security team falsely arrested and violated the rights of nine members of the group during their protests for more gun rights in Texas.
The group’s executive director, CJ Grisham, says all of these arrests involved people that were either carrying a toy or replica gun or carrying a black powder revolver when they refused to leave the capitol grounds.
“We’re filing a lawsuit against DPS for violation of our civil rights, for assault, for false arrest, for false imprisonment and also for damages. That’s the bulk of the case and instead of all of us filing separate suits we felt it would be a stronger suit because seven of us, seven of the nine have had our cases dismissed. DPS is not allowed to create gun policies that are more restrictive than state law,” Grisham said.
Grisham says his group has been targeted more than any other group rallying at the capitol when lawmakers are in town.
“It’s their policy that if members of Open Carry Texas come in this way or do this then they are to be arrested immediately. We were told to leave, if we didn’t leave to arrest us; that’s their policy,” Grisham explained.
Officials with the DPS, including its director Col. Steve McCraw could not comment on the lawsuit because they say it’s now a matter of pending litigation.