A New Mexico man who helped found the organization Cowboys for Trump told his colleagues on the Otero County Board of Supervisors that he plans on being in Washington, D.C. next week for Joe Biden’s inauguration, and he’s bringing some of his guns with him.
Couy Griffin was also in D.C. last Wednesday for the Stop the Steal rally, and has already come under criticism from Democrats and his fellow Republicans alike over a video that he posted to Facebook from the rally where he said “there’s going to be blood running out of that building,” referring to the U.S. Capitol.
Now Griffin says he’s going to return to Washington, D.C., and he’s already told police and the public that he plans on violating the District’s gun laws.
“I’m gonna be there on Jan. 20 … and I’m gonna take a stand for our country and for our freedoms,” Griffin said. “I’m gonna leave either tonight or tomorrow. I’ve got a .357 Henry Big Boy rifle lever action that I’ve got in the trunk of my car and I’ve got a .357 single action revolver, the Colt Ruger Vaquero that I’ll have underneath the front seat on my right side and I will embrace my Second Amendment.
“I will keep my right to bear arms. My vehicle is an extension of my home in regards to the constitutional law and I have a right to have those firearms in my car.”
A couple of things here. First, Griffin’s argument is a really bad one, from a legal perspective. From a constitutional law perspective, the Supreme Court has said nothing about your car being an extension of your home when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms. Griffin may be thinking of the Firearm Owners Protection Act, a piece of federal law that governs the interstate transport of a firearm, but FOPA won’t protect Griffin.
The law states that if you’re traveling from one place where you have a legal right to own a gun to another where you also can legally possess the gun, you can’t be stopped or arrested for transporting that firearm through a jurisdiction where you’re not allowed to possess it. Griffin’s final destination in Washington, D.C., where he cannot bring his guns under D.C. law.
I think D.C.’s laws are unconstitutional, but they’re also going to be enforced, and Griffin’s actions aren’t exactly going to be the best test case to bring a legal challenge.
I honestly don’t know who Couy Griffin thinks he’s helping here. This isn’t going to benefit Donald Trump, and in fact goes against the president’s warning earlier this week.
“I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said in a written statement. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”
Griffin’s declared actions aren’t going help Second Amendment activists either, though I imagine that some folks look at Griffin and applaud him for “fighting.”
A fighting spirit is important, but it has to be accompanied with an appreciation for strategy and tactics. “He/she fights” doesn’t actually tell you anything about how good a fighter they are, after all. The political and legal fight to make Trump president for another four years is over, but a new round in the fight to keep our right to keep and bear arms is just beginning. It’d be helpful if we didn’t punch ourselves in the face, which is what Griffin’s attention-grabbing stunt ultimately amounts to.