Couy Griffin, founder of the organization Cowboys for Trump, has had his right to have a firearm reinstated—with limitations—with the favorable court ruling coming after Griffin complained of receiving death threats, according to multiple reports.
At the April 7 hearing, Griffin addressed the court, reiterating his position that he isn't guilty. He waived his right to a jury trial and instead requested a bench trial.
"I'm not concerned about being found guilty. I didn't enter the Capitol. I did not partake in what the government is accusing me," Griffin said, Inner City Press reported.
“I appreciate that the charge here is that he disregarded signage about restricted areas of the Capitol on Jan. 6. But his subsequent cooperation with law enforcement showed that he is not a person who has a categorical disdain and disregard for any and every government act or authority,” Howell said at the time.
Griffin told the court on April 7 that he has received death threats. "I want my firearms back, to protect my family," according to Inner City Press.
Griffin detailed the threats at an Otero County Commission meeting in February, KOB-TV reports.
“I received pictures of my family with crosshairs on each of our heads including my son who was not even a month old,” he said, according to the outlet.
While the U.S. attorney representing the government in its case against Griffin objected to restoring his right to possess firearms, McFadden ruled to allow it. He set the next proceeding for April 27.
Under the terms of Griffin's release pending trial, he is banned from visiting Washington outside of court proceedings, must surrender his passport, and—prior to McFadden's April 7 ruling—was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
When Griffin arrived at the U.S. Capitol, he noticed a large crowd forming around the barricade and said he was "caught up" in that crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and into a restricted area, he told agents.
Griffin said he and his friend didn't enter the U.S. Capitol building at any time and remained on the steps outside the building during the breach. During that time, he led a group of protesters in prayer using a bullhorn “outside the Capitol, but up where the president is inaugurated at.” Videos of the incident and other open-source materials corroborated Griffin's statements, according to the affidavit.
He said that the police never asked him to leave the area, and he and his friend exited the U.S. Capitol grounds peacefully.