Co-owner of Utah Gun Exchange charged with felony weapons violations

Bryan Melchior, the co-owner of a prominent Utah gun group faces several felony firearms charges after Sandy Police executed a search warrant at his home, according to court records filed Friday. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) – The co-owner of a prominent Utah gun group faces several felony firearms charges after Sandy Police executed a search warrant at his home, according to court records filed Friday.

Prosecutors charged Bryan Melchior, 46, with one count of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and five counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Melchior, 46, is the co-owner the Utah Gun Exchange which is known for advocating against gun reform and using an armored vehicle with a prop machine gun on the roof to attend rallies in Utah and across the country.

According to charging documents, Sandy Police went to Melchior’s home in November and located marijuana, firearms, and cash.

“The search revealed 40 firearms, more than a pound of marijuana, numerous THC products and $36,247 cash,” a probable cause statement says.

Because of the drugs in his possession, Melchior would be considered a ‘restricted person’ and therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm, according to court records.

Melchior and the Utah Gun Exchange made headlines during the March For Our Lives rallies in Salt Lake City by organizing counter-protests and following the group to different rallies around the country.

If convicted of the charges against him, Melchior would be prohibited from possessing firearms. An attorney for Melchior was not listed in court records.

Utah Gun Exhange released the following statement on its facebook page Friday night: is an organization that is dedicated to supporting and protecting our Constitution and the inalienable rights upon which it is predicated. In this honorable course, we have continually urged all parties to support, uphold, and sustain the law. We reaffirm that commitment today – we have and will continue to support law enforcement, the Constitutional rights to a fair trial, and every article and amendment of our Constitution, including the second amendment.
In support of that commitment, we would also like to remind all parties and media organizations that these charges have been brought against an individual in UGE’s organization, not against UGE. UGE is currently reviewing these allegations and charges internally to determine the most appropriate course for the organization moving forward to ensure it accomplishes its mission. Once we have completed our review and selected the most appropriate action, we will release more information on our selected course.
To our beloved UGE community, we would simply say that we are grateful for your past and present support and that we understand if these issues have caused concern. We hold ourselves to a high standard in serving you, and this standard requires care and trust that may have been affected profoundly by these issues.
As you consider your concerns, we would ask for you to also consider the premise that our cause is greater than any one person. Our results depend upon all people who share a united love for our country, our Constitution, and our freedom. Our strength is in our unity and organization around that cause, and it is to that cause that UGE has been and will continue to be dedicated to moving forward.

2News will update this story as more information becomes available.

Reade Melchior's court document here: