North Texas Daily

UNT firearm club president resigns less than a week after co-founder steps down

UNT firearm club president resigns less than a week after co-founder steps down

UNT firearm club president resigns less than a week after co-founder steps down
December 12
15:52 2018

Jason Armitage, the president of UNT’s firearm club, Texas Marksmen, resigned on Tuesday. His resignation comes shortly after those of the club’s faculty adviser Craig Howard, and club co-founder and coach Jason Van Dyke.

“It is with sadness that I regret to inform you that I am stepping down as president of the club, and will no longer be a member,” Armitage wrote in a statement. “Recent events have forced me to focus on other aspects of my life.”

The series of resignations come in the wake of Van Dyke’s involvement with the western chauvinist and extremist group, Proud Boys, coming to national attention after Van Dyke wrote the group’s bylaws and served briefly in a heightened role following the organizations founder stepping down.

However, the publicly released versions of the newly written bylaws — which were intended to be redacted to hide the names of the groups “Elders” — were not properly redacted. Within a day of the faulty redactions being discovered, Van Dyke was ousted from the Proud Boys. Van Dyke had been a member and served as legal council for the Proud Boys since early 2017.

Following the Daily’s initial story about Van Dyke’s involvement with the Proud Boys, the university received complaints about Van Dyke. Texas man Tom Retzlaff, who has a lengthy legal history with Van Dyke, sent a series of emails to the Dean of Students Office, which then forwarded the information to the UNT police department as Van Dyke is not a student.

Howard, who is the associate director of transfer admissions, resigned from his adviser position on Nov. 30 after learning about ties between Marksmen coach Jason Van Dyke and the extremist group Proud Boys.

The Texas Marksmen have been a UNT organization since 2010, and was co-founded by Van Dyke. In order to join, prospective members must go through a vetting process which begins on a Facebook page.

Last week, Armitage released a statement in response to Van Dyke’s involvement with the Texas Marksmen.

“We have zero tolerance for anyone affiliated with extremist groups along with discriminatory language or actions from our members or those associated,” Armitage wrote. “While the issue of firearms is currently a heated political issue, the Texas Marksmen does not take a political bent [toward] these issues and is focused on promoting the safe involvement of firearms in people’s lives.”

In the same statement from last week, Armitage said he and the Texas Marksmen would continue to work to address any issues some may have with the organization.

“We regret that such events have had to occur in regards to the Texas Marksmen,” Armitage wrote. “However, I want everyone to know that we are doing everything we can to correct any ill-perceptions students may have about our organization and we will be working actively with the student body to mend bridges.”

Featured Image: A photo from the Texas Marksmen Instagram account. Courtesy Instagram

About Author

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel was the news editor at the North Texas Daily from August 2018 to May 2019, and previously served as a staff writer from June 2017 to August 2018.

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1 Comment

  1. iconoclast
    iconoclast December 12, 17:25

    What a bunch of wingnut bubba losers.

    Reply to this comment

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