UTAH

UPDATED: Utah Gun Exchange counter-protesting Parkland students

Jul 11, 2018, 12:04 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm

Update: March For Our Lives SLC organizers announced on Wednesday afternoon that Megaplex Theaters had canceled their event, saying that the event “appears to be escalating into a potentially contentious situation.”

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of a Utah-based online gun marketplace are touring the country, holding counter-protests in support of gun rights.

The Utah Gun Exchange is targeting events put on the gun control group March For Our Lives. The student-led March For Our Lives organized in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February.

The gun exchange members hope to provide a counterpoint.

“We showed up last night at an event near Tampa. We were the sole voice in support of the Second Amendment,” Utah Gun Exchange co-owner Bryan Melchior said during an interview on Utah’s Morning News with Brian and Amanda.

Listen to the full interview:

The Utah Gun Exchange is traveling with a military-style armored vehicle. It’s marked with the company’s logo and has a fake machine gun mounted on top.

Melchoir and others are also encouraging Utahns to show up at a March For Our Lives rally planned in Utah this weekend.

Survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School are again helping organize the Utah rally, advocating for more strict controls on access to firearms in the United States.

Brian and Amanda asked Melchoir if the counter-protests are insensitive, considering some of the March For Our Lives participants are victims of a mass shooting that took 17 lives.

“These people are on the road on a mission to deprive us of our civil rights,” Melchoir said. “Please come talk to us.”

The Salt Lake City chapter of March For Our Lives had originally secured space for the rally at Salt Lake Community College’s Redwood campus on Saturday. Scheduling conflicts forced them to look for a new venue.

The Utah Gun Exchange offered their own space for a rally and a discussion, but March For Our Lives organizers instead booked a space at the Megaplex Theaters in South Jordan. They intend to hold a panel discussion from 6-7:30 p.m.

UPDATE: Megaplex Theaters will no longer host the town hall scheduled for this Saturday saying that “the full context wasn’t fully understood and now appears to be escalating into a potentially contentious situation where additional security will be required.” Megaplex is refunding all the deposits and helping the organizers to find an appropriate location for this event. 

In a post on the March for Our Lives Salt Lake City Facebook page they said they were heartbroken and blindsided by the turn of events, and even more so by the “inappropriate behavior and intimidation tactics by outside groups that led to these circumstances.”

On its website, the Utah Gun Exchange encouraged its members to attend the discussion in the hopes of finding “sensible solutions for the safety of our children and communities.” The post advised gun exchange members that firearms will not be allowed at the venue and bags will be checked at the door.

Utah

Hatch courthouse...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Utah’s longest serving senator, Orrin Hatch, dies at 88

Orrin Hatch, Utah's longest serving senator, has died at age 88.
4 months ago
Pictured here are items seized from one of four drug busts authorities in Carbon County conducted o...
Mark Jones

Carbon County authorities make significant drug busts

Authorities in Carbon County, with a search warrant, have conducted four drug busts over the past three weeks.
4 months ago
...
Mark Jones

Soap box derby set for Saturday in Daybreak

Daybreak will host the second annual Soap Box Derby on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
4 months ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
4 months ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
4 months ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
UPDATED: Utah Gun Exchange counter-protesting Parkland students