Updates > Alert for 5/21/2013:
Why Would the USSC Chair Privately Lobby Against HB 76 S1?
Why Would the USSC Chair Privately Lobby Against HB 76 S1?
(Alert for 5/21/13): UT Gun Rights
has presented a very different picture of gun rights battles
in Utah. We understand if some of our claims seem tough
to swallow because they contradict the political storylines of many
elected officials and "pro-gun" lobbyists.
Our objective, however, is to continue
exposing the political charade being played with your rights
until you are convinced of the true nature of your enemies.
Such realizations are essential if gun owners are
to save their rights from extinction.
recent flier we prepared for a pro-gun rally, we wrote:
"False Friends Tell You Smooth Lies!
Realize that a fundamental tactic of the anti-gun lobby is to
manufacture false friends [for you]. Always be apprehensive about those
who tell you things you want to hear."
What did we
mean by that? Consider, as an example, W. Clark
Aposhian, Chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council (USSC),
according to its own website,
touts itself as follows:
"We operate as a kind of state-level
NRA [National Rifle Association], lobbying the Utah
Legislature on behalf of gun owners. We work closely with the
NRA and other gun rights organizations on legislative issues
at the state level."
and USSC were repeatedly quoted as being staunchly in favor of
HB 76 S1 (Carry "Unloaded" Firearms
Aposhian is the Chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council.
Even though he teaches permit classes, Aposhian said he will
support the bill. 'We find that it’s a very tiny step in
legislation, but a huge step in personal rights,' said
Aposhian, 'We believe that the right to keep and bear arms
means just that – the right to bear firearms. A concealed
firearm permit goes against the general interpretation of the
right to keep and bear arms.'"
Bill 76 Would Allow Utahns to Carry a Concealed Weapon without
a Permit," by Andrea
Smardon, KUER, Jan. 22, 2013
activists expressed frustration with the veto. 'We are
disappointed in the veto. This was a tiny step,' Clark
Aposhian, president of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, said
of the legislation. He said his group will work with
lawmakers to determine whether a special session to override
the veto might be in the works."
vetoes concealed-carry weapons permit bill," by Antone
Clark, Standard-Examiner, March 22, 2013.
The Utah Shooting Sports Council also
publicly endorsed House Bill 76 on its
own website and via email alerts to its members.
timely tips and another citizen
however, Aposhian appears to exhibit two very different faces. Below is a transcript of a
March 15, 2013 communication between Aposhian and Mike Mower,
governor Herbert's Deputy for Community Outreach:
"W. Clark Aposhian:
Mike, I have just spoken with Bob Templeton. Bob is the
owner of the Crossroads of the west Gun shows. They are
based in Utah. I believe they are the biggest gun show
in the country. Bob was also [able] to participate in
the recent meetings with Joe Biden recently and sat right next
to him. Bob added his thoughts to the pro gun side of
the debate. My point is he is a well respected member of
the pro gun community. He is recognized in Utah and
across the country. While we both happened to be at an
event in California this weekend and he stopped me. He
stated he was strongly against HB76 for its unintended
consequences that have nothing to do with the items I
communicated to you. I asked him if he would be
comfortable relaying this to the Governor but he wanted to
speak with you first. Please call me at 801-560-4836.
I'll give you his number and tell you a bit more about him."
"Mike Mower: Thanks
Clark. I'll share this information with the Governor."
"Wait! Clark's a
concealed carry instructor, but secretly against
learn a thing or two from you fellas in Utah!"
This communication represents another
view of the sordid political theater we have been describing,
and which infests all levels of Utah politics and government.
Here are a few questions to ponder:
1) If Aposhian was strongly supportive
of HB 76, why would he facilitate communication between the
governor and Bob Templeton who was a strong opponent of the
legislation? Plainly Templeton's role as a "well respected
member of the pro gun community" would tend to give pro-gun
"credibility" to a veto of HB 76. Do Aposhian and
Templeton represent you?
2) What other "items" did Aposhian
communicate to Mower? Were these "items" also in
opposition to HB 76?
3) How do the other board members of
USSC feel about Aposhian's activities?
4) Do the other board members of USSC see any significant problem or discrepancy between their
public message and this communication?
5) If USSC "...operate[s] as a kind of
state-level NRA, lobbying the Utah Legislature on behalf of
gun owners," and "...work[s] closely with the NRA and other
gun rights organizations on legislative issues at the state
level," what does this say about the NRA's true level of
support for HB 76, and bills like it?
6) Why precisely would Bob Templeton,
the mentioned owner of the Crossroads of the West, oppose HB
76, and if he is so staunchly opposed, why would he willingly
resort to such a backdoor method of communicating his
opposition? Why not share those "unintended
consequences" with all of us?
Invite Clark Aposhian, the rest of the USSC board, the NRA, and Bob Templeton to respond.
Here is their contact information:
* Clark Aposhian, Chair of the USSC
board, conveniently provided his phone number in the
To visit his Facebook page,
* To see the rest of the USSC board
click here. To fill out the USSC contact form,
click here. To comment on the USSC Facebook page,
* Brian Judy, NRA-ILA Utah State
Liaison, is available at 916-446-2455 and
* Charles Cunningham, NRA Director of
State and Local Affairs, is available at 703-267-1228 and
* Bob Templeton's Crossroads of the
West Gun Show can be reached at 801-544-9125 and
firstname.lastname@example.org. To visit their Facebook
you to share your interactions with us at
or on our Facebook page at
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