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Thread: U of U police officers blow whistle on secret policy to violate open carry law

  1. #1
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    U of U police officers blow whistle on secret policy to violate open carry law

    Call your legislators and the governor on this one. Fortunately, the legislative session with power to make laws even more explicit AND to alter budgets appropriately is just a couple of weeks away.


    Trib article at: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50...olicy.html.csp

    USSC and GOUtah! press release....

    Once again government officials that are entrusted to uphold the law and act as examples of obeying it, are disregarding and subverting the law. As is typical in such cases, the guilty parties are also attempting to hide their conduct from public view.

    The University of Utah has created a secret policy whereby its police officers are instructed in how to harass and intimidate law abiding gun owners by trumping up non-gun charges for perfectly lawful conduct. This policy violates both the letter and spirit of State Law and binding State Supreme Court ruling. Keeping such a policy secret violates sound notions of openness and transparency in government.

    This is a non-partisan issue. From President Obama’s campaign trail pledges to Governor Herbert’s 2011 inaugural address, citizens and government officials from all political parties and ideologies recognize that good government is possible only with transparency, openness, and accountability.

    President Truman famously declared, “The Buck Stop Here.” It seems UoU President Young prefers to avoid even admitting there is a buck. His campus police department is currently taking measures to fire two employees—one a sworn officer, another a security guard—who helped expose to the public this secret policy of harassment and intimidation of law abiding students, staff & faculty, and visitors to the UofU campus.

    Sadly, this is not the first time the University of Utah has shown its disdain for those choosing to exercise their constitutional and statutory right to an effective and lawful self-defense. But having been previously rebuked by the legislature and courts alike, this time the officials at the UoU have turned to secrecy to continue their agenda of hate and fear.

    The Utah Shooting Sports Council believes that any conduct officials believe constitute violations of firearms laws should be public. It is crucial that there not be any misunderstanding of what is or is not legal conduct when it comes to an area as serious as firearms.

    We believe the UoU’s secret policy is a grossly erroneous interpretation and application of of Utah laws to the express purpose of forcing a political agenda on those least able to defend against such tactics. By keeping the policy secret and going to extreme measures of firing honest whistle-blowers merely for exposing the policy, the UoU has as much as admitted they know their policy and “unique” interpretation of State law cannot withstand the scrutiny of full daylight and open, public discussion.

    This policy does not deal with personnel issues. It is not concerned with sensitive contract negotiations. It explicitly does not purport to deal with a violent or obviously dangerous situation. It is not a security plan. It is an expression of the UoU’s unique interpretation of State code and guidance to officers on how to apply that interpretation in the issuance of citations for otherwise perfectly legal and peaceful conduct. There is simply no legitimate, legal reason for it to have ever been kept secret, nor for the U to move to fire whistleblowers for making it public.

    USSC calls on the University to immediately reinstate these officers and immediately cease roadblocks to our submitted GRAMA requests for a copy of the manual. We further call upon the University of Utah to renounce all efforts to infringe upon the lawful, peaceful exercise of the right to an effective self-defense. We call upon Governor Herbert, Attorney General Shurtleff, and our legislature to take all necessary measures to put an end, once and for all, to these violations of State “preemption” law by the UoU officials.

    USSC feels that “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” for the ills that the U continues to spread.

    Clark Aposhian
    Chairman, Utah Shooting Sports Council

    Charles Hardy
    Public Policy Director

  2. #2
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Although I don't care for some of wordage the author chose to use...I completely agree that the UofU has to follow the SCOTUS findings, US Constitution, Utah Constitution, and Utah supreme court findings, well, and Utah law.

    I think it is great that these officers made this public, or we would have not known of the inner workings of the UofU policy on firearms; and harassment would have went on without any proof Business as usual is not happening at the UofU, thank goodness
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Thank you!

    Now, publish the tactics of the U of U? We want to know.
    Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor
    NRA Pistol Instructor & RSO

    Lover of Freedom

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    The secret UoU policy can be downloaded in pdf format from the SLTribune web site at

    http://local.sltrib.com/upload/2011/..._open_cary.pdf

    Essentially, if someone sees your gun, even via an unintended, momentary disclosure, and contacts campus police they are going to attempt to intimidate you into covering the gun or leaving campus...Unless you don't have a permit in which case you are in violation of Utah's gun free school zone law and they will cite you for that.

    If you have a permit and won't cover or leave, they may cite you for "disorderly conduct," "interfering with a school activity," or one of several other vague statutes listed in the policy.

    Charles

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    Sounds like gestapo tactics to me... If they don't comply arrest them for something. Everybody carrying a firearm is guilty of something, right?

    If it weren't such a serious issue I'd make fun of the U of U police for their spelling. "Hanlding" Persons openly Displaying Weapons on Campus????

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    Great

    Thank you, I read it and found it interesting, and I wrote a nice letter to President Young U of U
    Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistol Pete Utah View Post
    Thank you, I read it and found it interesting, and I wrote a nice letter to President Young U of U
    Thank you. However, I doubt your letter will have much sway with President Young. He (or at least his predecessor) has a nice official court order from the Utah State Supreme Court. But don't dismay. There is a lot that we can do, with just a tiny bit of time.

    A personal phone call to your own State Senator and State Rep is one of the best things you can do right now to improve this issue. The legislative session starts in a couple of weeks and there will be a couple of bills to remove any ambiguity about the lawfulness of OCing on campus. I'd suggest the issue is at least as much about secrecy as it is about guns and RKBA.

    State Senators' contact info can be found at http://www.utahsenate.org/aspx/roster.aspx

    State Reps' contact info can be found at http://www.utah.gov/house/representatives.html

    In addition to your own Senator and Rep, you might call Senate President Waddoups(Home: 801-967-0225
    Work: 801-355-1136) and House Speaker Lockhart (Home Phone: 801-377-7428
    Cell Phone: 801-369-6784).

    Minority (Democrat) leadership might also be contacted. While not sympathetic to RKBA, they may respond to complaints about secrecy or failure to uphold State law or to abide Utah Supreme Court rulings. After all, if the U gets to ignore laws they don't like, do the rest of us get to do likewise? And where does that lead? I would not even attempt to make a case for RKBA with minority leadership. Waste of time. Make it about rule of law, transparency in government, and whistle-blower protections.

    Then, call the Governor's office at 801-538-1000, or 800-705-2464 (fax at 801-538-1528).

    Then call the Attorney General's office at 801-538-1191.

    In all cases, less is generally more. Be brief, express concern at the UoU having secret policies and punishing legitimate whistle blowers.

    It is really about the NUMBER of calls, letters, faxes, not whether or not any particular letter makes an argument worthy of the federalist papers. However, if any single caller is offensive, that can hurt us. So be polite and be brief. Ask each of these persons to act to correct this situation. The employees should be reinstated. The policy of harassing law abiding gun owners should be rescinded and renounced. Bills to remove any excuse the U is using should be supported. And if necessary, U funding should be transferred to another educational institution that is not wasting time and money infringing rights.

    So forward this data to any and everyone you know who may be sympathetic to EITHER the gun issue, or the secrecy and lack of transparency issue, and encourage them to call.

    Charles

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    GunFreak!

    Zach,

    Way to go, Brother you put principle first over your own "safety" that being your job. When I saw this clip I said, "Of course it was Zach!
    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=13891515
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  9. #9
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    It may not appear that there is much interest in this topic, by the lack of replies in this thread. But this matter is getting a lot of attention on, ironicly enough, a concealed carry forum.

    Topic here ---> UtahConcealedCarry.Com • View topic - Secret UoU anti-RKBA policy exposed:

    I feel that since OCDO changed form WowBB to vBulletin, that the Utah forum here is slowly going the way of the buffalo.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

  10. #10
    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    Thank you

    @kevin I still read the site being said I like both fourms. I do miss some of the older members like TJ and a few others.
    Zach
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  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Secret documents and secret procedures has an illicit aura about it. Both sides of this issue must obey the laws. The university has demonstrated it's willingness to circumvent/ignore the law both specifically and in spirit.

    I fear that until their actions cost them a large sum of money and public embarrassment they will continue - personal liability would be best, considering from where this originates.

    Good luck with the legislative process - others are watching and in your corner.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jensen View Post
    It may not appear that there is much interest in this topic, by the lack of replies in this thread. But this matter is getting a lot of attention on, ironicly enough, a concealed carry forum.

    Topic here ---> UtahConcealedCarry.Com • View topic - Secret UoU anti-RKBA policy exposed:

    I feel that since OCDO changed form WowBB to vBulletin, that the Utah forum here is slowly going the way of the buffalo.
    Hello Kevin, I am following this thread as I spend a fair bit of time in SLC, I have OC'ed at the UoU in the past and not had any problem. Just lucky I guess. I appricate your efforts.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Steve


    "Life is hard, its even harder when you are stupid!"

  13. #13
    Regular Member colormered's Avatar
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    Hold these people accountable!

    Sounds to me like it's time to invite the Attorney General to an OCDO lunch at the U cafeteria, and invite the press, as well.

    At the very least, it smells like a civil rights lawsuit brewing.....

    Here's the email I sent to: my senator, representative, senate president, speaker of the house, governor, and attorney general (the words "here" were links to the policy and story):

    "To those of you interested in upholding the US and Utah constitutions,

    I presume you are aware of the secret policy of the U of U to harass law-abiding citizens that happen to disagree with their views on our civil rights. The policy I am referring to can be read/downloaded here. The story detailing the situation can be found here.

    The University is pursuing this policy in blatant defiance of a court order issued by the Utah State Supreme Court.

    If the University gets to ignore laws they don't like, do the citizens get to do likewise? The law is the law, even if you are the U of U.

    Those that blew the whistle on this secret policy should be publicly lauded, and those responsible should be held accountable for civil rights violations.

    Please take an active part in righting this wrong.

    Mark Jensen
    Wellsville"

  14. #14
    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    Thank you

    I wanted to take a min and thank everyone who has written a letter called a elected official or just spoke to someone about what happened at the University.

    Also I wanted to thank GOU (Charles) and USSC (Clark) both are great organizations fighting for our gun rights. Sometimes you don't hear about what goes on with these organizations although they are hard at work standing up for our rights. They are on the front lines fighting for our rights. I have seen first hand how valuable these groups are to the public.

    If you have not all ready I recommend subscribing to both groups. January will be a busy month as the legislature meets. It means lots of phone calls to elected officials on bills that will effect us this year.

    It has been a trying two months not knowing the outcome of releasing the procedural document. I thank everyone who played a huge part in securing my job by making just a few calls or taking the time to write a letter.

    Lets keep the heat turned up on all state University's lets send a clear message they are not above the law. We as taxpayers who support the public colleges should have the right to utilize all the rights and not have them infringed.

    Thanks again
    Zach
    Zach
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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

  15. #15
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah_Patriot View Post
    I wanted to take a min and thank everyone who has written a letter called a elected official or just spoke to someone about what happened at the University.

    Also I wanted to thank GOU (Charles) and USSC (Clark) both are great organizations fighting for our gun rights. Sometimes you don't hear about what goes on with these organizations although they are hard at work standing up for our rights. They are on the front lines fighting for our rights. I have seen first hand how valuable these groups are to the public.

    If you have not all ready I recommend subscribing to both groups. January will be a busy month as the legislature meets. It means lots of phone calls to elected officials on bills that will effect us this year.

    It has been a trying two months not knowing the outcome of releasing the procedural document. I thank everyone who played a huge part in securing my job by making just a few calls or taking the time to write a letter.

    Lets keep the heat turned up on all state University's lets send a clear message they are not above the law. We as taxpayers who support the public colleges should have the right to utilize all the rights and not have them infringed.

    Thanks again
    Zach
    Have you been fully reinstated or moved on to something new?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    We were both reinstated with no dicplinary action.
    Zach
    8014487574
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

  17. #17
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah_Patriot View Post
    We were both reinstated with no dicplinary action.
    Congratulations !!!

    One can hope with wee little apology.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Any more fall out from this? Or are things stalled in legislature?

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