Courts • Utah gun advocate could lose firearms if convicted of domestic violence.
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Clark Aposhian, the chairman of Utah's largest gun lobbying organization, was charged Friday with four misdemeanors after an argument he had with his ex-wife and her husband in front of their Cottonwood Heights home on Memorial Day.
Among the charges Aposhian now faces is domestic violence in the presence of a child, a class B misdemeanor. If convicted, Aposhian could be forced to forfeit his firearms, concealed-weapons permit and his concealed-carry instructor's license.
Meanwhile, a 3rd District Court judge Friday issued a temporary protective order against Aposhian filed by Aposhian's ex-wife. A hearing on the order is scheduled for June 18. Aposhian's attorney, Mitch Vilos, said Aposhian and the ex-wife have been embroiled in a custody battle over their 11-year-old daughter for about six months.
Aposhian, 48, was arrested Monday afternoon after he drove into his ex-wife's neighborhood in a two-ton Army surplus truck and allegedly honked an air horn outside her home, which Aposhian used to co-own with his ex-wife. Police say he then backed into the woman's driveway and almost hit a parked vehicle. After he left, his ex-wife's husband called him about the incident. Police say Aposhian told the man he would run over the family's vehicles and threatened to "bury" the husband.
Police arrested Aposhian after he returned to the house in his Dodge Magnum. An initial police report states that Aposhian's 11-year-old daughter felt scared when he showed up to the house and thought he might run over the parked vehicles.
Vilos Saturday called the protective order filed by his client's ex-wife nothing but "legalized extortion" and said he will introduce witnesses that prove no threats were made.
"The next move, as soon as I get the paperwork, is I will ask for a special hearing to introduce the witnesses," Vilos said.
Aposhian said on Tuesday, the day after the arrest, that his ex-wife's statement to Cottonwood Heights police about what happened wasn't true and came out of the "bizarro world."
Vilos, said on Tuesday that Aposhian drove the truck to his old neighborhood to talk with some friends and had no intention of harassing his wife or anyone else. The reason Aposhian backed into the driveway was because the truck was too big to turn around completely in the street, Vilos said. Vilos said there were witnesses in the neighborhood as well as a friend of Aposhian's in the truck with him who could attest that he didn't threaten his ex-wife's husband that day.
The head of the Utah Shooting Sports Council and his ex-wife are involved in an ongoing custody dispute. According to a police report, the woman told officers that she considered Aposhian showing up to her house on Monday as an example of "ongoing harassment."
In addition to the domestic violence charge, Aposhian also was charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief and threat of violence, all class B misdemeanors.
He is scheduled to appear in the Holladay Justice Court for an arraignment on Tuesday.
Tribune reporter Vince Horiuchi contributed to this article.