A judge ruled Wednesday that the head of Utah's gun lobby must stay away from all firearms for at least another month while the court considers a domestic violence charge he received last month.
Clark Aposhian, a professional firearms instructor and chairman of Utah Shooting Sports Council, was arrested on Memorial Day after his ex-wife accused him of showing up at her house in a 2.5-ton Army truck and threatening to "bury" her husband. He's repeatedly denied that there is any validity to the claims, but was given a protective order earlier this month, which prohibited him from possessing any firearms and required him to turn in his cache of around 300 guns to authorities.
Under Utah state law, a domestic violence conviction could force Aposhian to permanently turn over his guns, his concealed-weapons permit and concealed-carry instructor’s license.
Mitch Vilos, Aposhian's attorney, was in court Wednesday asking a judge to reinstate his client's gun rights. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the judge took exception to the tone and format of a request that reportedly included an all-caps argument that the arms-seizure order was unconstitutional.
Aposhian's next chance to get his guns back will be on July 31, when he'll be back in court for a second pre-trial conference. He'll be in court on two other occasions before that date as well, once for a civil stalking injunction filed by his ex-wife’s husband, and again for a hearing on a protective order filed by his ex-wife. The latter could lead to him being permanently stripped of his right to possess a firearm.
Vilos has argued that Aposhian's career requires him to have access to real guns in order to work, but the Tribune reports that the judge still had concerns over the fact that Aposhian's 11-year-old daughter was present at the time of the alleged crime. The judge also argued that Aposhian could use a replica firearm for the purposes of instructional courses.