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Utah gun lobbyist Aposhian resolves criminal case

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Rick Egan | Tribune file photo W. Clark Aposhian, seen in this 2005 photo, has been charged with four misdemeanors, including domestic violence. Aposhian has taught concealed-carry classes for legislators, public officials and the governor and hundreds of other Utahns, but a conviction could cost him his right to own guns.

By Jessica Miller

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jun 23 2014 02:40PM
Updated Jul 3, 2014 12:56PM

Utah’s leading gun advocate, Clark Aposhian, resolved his criminal case Monday after battling misdemeanor charges for over a year.

With Monday’s resolution — where he pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct infraction — Aposhian will now have access to his gun arsenal, which reportedly contains more than 300 firearms that were confiscated during the duration of the justice court proceedings.

Aposhian, 49, was originally charged in Holladay Justice Court with misdemeanor criminal trespass, criminal mischief, threat of violence and domestic violence in the presence of a child — stemming from a Memorial Day incident in which he was accused of driving a 2.5-ton military vehicle onto his ex-wife’s driveway and threatening to run over her new husband and his car.

As part of Monday’s resolution, he was immediately sentenced to pay a $320 fine, according to court records.

Aposhian’s attorney, Morgan Philpot, said Monday that his client feels "fully vindicated" and "grateful" that the domestic violence charges have been dismissed.

The attorney said the disorderly conduct infraction that his client pleaded no contest to was related to Aposhian blowing an air horn in a residential area during the 2013 incident — not any family or abuse issues.

"[With] the domestic violence dismissed, it shows this was much ado about nothing," Philpot said. "It should have been resolved as a family law matter."

Prosecuting attorney Timothy Merrill was not immediately available for comment Monday.

In a prepared statement to The Tribune, Philpot said that his client was "unfairly targeted and irresponsibly demeaned in the media," adding that the charges were unfounded.

"Mr. Aposhian now looks forward to getting back to his life as a father and his professional work on behalf of Utah citizens," Philpot said.

Aposhian has been embroiled in several legal disputes stemming from the 2013 Memorial Day incident.

In February, 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone denied a protective order request from Aposhian’s ex-wife, Natalie Meyer, and ruled the woman had no reason to fear the gun advocate.

Aposhian’s ex-wife is appealing that case.

Meanwhile, Aposhian is appealing an earlier ruling by 3rd District Judge Terry Christiansen that resulted in a stalking injunction ordering that Aposhian come no closer than 150 feet from his ex-wife’s new husband, Ronald Meyer.

Christiansen’s ruling was made largely in response to the information that Aposhian was armed at the time of his arrest after he drove the army truck onto his ex-wife’s driveway.

Aposhian has insisted he used the driveway only to make a U-turn in the cul-de-sac where the family lives and later received a hostile phone call from Meyer accusing him of damaging the property.

Meyer has testified that Aposhian threatened to "bury" and "end" him, which he interpreted as a death threat. That’s when he called police.

When Aposhian returned later that day to the Meyer home — he has said he went over merely to survey the alleged damage — police officers who were there arrested him.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller

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