Month: February 2013

Three Keys to Getting Your Shooting Range Approved

In the process of building a shooting range, perhaps the most intimidating part is getting it approved by your local government. Even after you’ve done all the work, raised all the money, and planned everything out, the final say still comes down to a handful of elected officials. Don’t let that make you feel powerless, though. Even if the ultimate decision is in someone else’s hands, there are still things you can do to increase your chances of success.

1) Talk to the Right People

Your local government officials need to know as soon as possible that you’re planning to build a shooting range. They’ll appreciate it if you inform them early and often of your intentions, and that communication can open doors for you later on. You’ll have a much better chance of getting your range approved if you’ve established a relationship with local leaders from the beginning.

Early communication will also help you figure out zoning issues. In most cases, land has to be zoned as either commercial or industrial for a shooting range to be built on it. Find out first thing if the land you’re looking at is zoned appropriately. Zoning requirements for building a shooting range vary depending on where you live, and some places may not even have specific guidelines for ranges. Your local officials will have the most accurate information and can help you understand the requirements. Should you discover that the land you plan to build on is not zoned appropriately for a shooting range, ask the planning and zoning committee if it can be re-zoned. Often, city governments are willing to work with local businesses on zoning issues to keep potential commerce from going elsewhere.

2) Educate Yourself

AT Builds Indoor Firing Range for OrlandoThe more you know about what’s required to get your range approved, the better. Become familiar with local noise and firearms regulations as well as environmental restrictions that will apply to your shooting range. How will you handle noise abatement? How will you dispose of lead? How will you keep customers and employees safe? All of these issues will come up when presenting to the city council. If you already know what their concerns are by asking questions and doing research, you can adequately prepare to answer them.

Once you know what standards you’re shooting range will be required to meet, talk to an Action Target territory manager to find out what options are available. Action Target specializes in building state-of-the-art shooting ranges and offers several technologies to meet the stringent requirements of government regulations. For example, Action Target’s Total Containment Trap (TCT) is the most environmentally-friendly bullet trap in the industry and makes lead containment safe and easy. With the addition of a Screw Conveyor System (SCS), all bullets and range debris are safely collected and deposited into a sealed barrel for convenient disposal. Action Target also provides sound-abating safety baffles, acoustically-rated wall systems that reduce reverberation by 98%, bullet-proof transparent lane dividers, and ventilation systems that filter air and protect customers from lead exposure. No matter what regulation your shooting range is under, chances are Action Target has a patented technology to meet it.

3) Prepare to Present

Once you’ve talked to your local government officials and learned everything you need to know about regulations and restrictions, all that’s left to do is present your plan to the city council. For those inexperienced in public speaking, this may be the scariest part of the whole process. To make the experience smoother, ask a city council member in advance what information they want from you, write down a list of questions they may ask you, and prepare all of your answers ahead of time so you don’t forget in the heat of the moment.

If you feel like you need additional backup, Action Target representatives are more than willing to attend the city council meeting with you no matter where you live. That way you can have a shooting range expert standing next to you to answer any questions about the technology and safety features of your future range.

The sales team at Action Target is willing to do whatever it can to make the approval process as seamless and successful as possible for you. If you have any questions or concerns about getting your shooting range approved, call Action Target at (801) 377-8033 and ask to speak with your area representative.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years, but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

This article was originally published in the Action Target Journal on June 14, 2012.

School Shootings – What are we doing to protect our children?

By John Krupa III

The Sandy Hook school shooting shocked the very psyche of this nation. I was numbed by its impact, and as a father of two grade school children, it was heart breaking to even imagine what those parents had to endure in the loss of their children.

As the nation mourned, my feelings quickly turned to anger as I began to analyze the incident. I began to visualize as an Immediate Action / Rapid Deployment (IARD) trainer what possible law enforcement (LE) response solutions could have resolved this situation without loss of life. My conclusion was – none.

Since the shooting, school administrators and law enforcement agencies across the country have become overwhelmed with the task of developing more effective measures to prepare school personnel on how to respond to active shooter incidents.

Where do we start?School

To find the answers to this question, we need to look at the commonalities among previous school shootings from Columbine to Virginia Tech. A close inspection will show that many of the same circumstances existed in just about all of these incidents.

Here are some common traits in many of these incidents:

  • The shooters were aware that teachers and faculty were unarmed. (In some instances, “Gun Free Zone” signs were posted outside the school.)
  • The shooters were aware of the “lock down” procedure and knew that children would not be evacuated or removed from the scene, but instead, would be herded into classrooms behind locked doors.
  • The shooters were aware that law enforcement would eventually respond and knew that they only had minutes to inflict casualties before LEO’s would arrive on scene.
  • The shooters had predetermined that they would not allow themselves to be captured alive and that they would commit suicide to avoid contact with LEO’s.
  • Specifically, in the Columbine incident, the shooters attempted to buy more time to “hunt and kill” people by planting improvised explosive devices and incendiary devices to impede LE response.
  • Also, in the Virginia Tech incident, the shooter chained and barricaded the doors to the building he was in to, again, buy more time to “hunt and kill” people.

What have we learned from these incidents?

In analyzing these gruesome incidents, particularly Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Sandy Hook; unarmed teachers, professors and faculty members were summarily executed when they attempted to resist or confront the shooters.

Many good people – adults on scene at the initiation of these incidents – who tried to do the right thing (unarmed) and protect children and students from being massacred, did so at the expense of their own lives!

So the question that needs to be asked is – “Who really is the first responder?” Is it the LE officers arriving on scene minutes later to handle the situation, or is it the adults capable of taking action that are actually on scene when the incident initiates?

Situational7Maybe we as law enforcement officers need to reevaluate our IARD strategies and reconsider other solutions in defining who the first responder should be.

In retrospect, what if these very same teachers, professors, and faculty members that ran to the gunfire in these incidents were properly trained in the use and application of handguns for personal defense? What if these “first responders” were trained in basic IARD concepts so they could react accordingly and take the appropriate actions to stop the active shooters before they could inflict casualties?

Something has to change! People can’t wait anymore for an LE agency to receive a 911 call of shots fired in a school, dispatch that call to units in the area, and then have it take precious minutes for officers to respond and deploy while the shooter indiscriminately executes his victims. We’ve seen this reactionary response repeatedly in these incidents, and it’s just not working!

Thousands of officers across the country, including myself, have been trained in IARD tactics. I run the officers at my agency through an eight-hour in-service IARD training program annually, and it’s just not enough. The time has come where we need to look beyond reacting to school shooting incidents and find a way to have first responders on-site, ready to go when an incident starts.

Where do we go from here?

Since Sandy Hook, I’ve had many discussions and debates with other officers and trainers from various LE agencies on how to resolve this issue and here are some of the solutions that have been brought up in these conversations.

School Resource Officers (SRO) – The knee-jerk reaction after a school shooting incident is always to put police officers in the schools or hire campus police.

The problem with this solution is budget cuts and man power shortages just won’t allow LE agencies to provide enough personnel to adequately cover all the schools in all the school districts. Think about how many schools are in your school district and ask yourself, where will those officers come from?

Also, because of the thin blue line, each school will be lucky if they have one officer assigned per school day. Keep in mind that the SRO will only be there during regular school hours – 0800 to 1600. There won’t be coverage for after school functions or evening sports events.

There are a lot of holes that need to be filled in this solution process. Grade school, high school, and college students should not have part-time or partial protective coverage – it should be constant. We haven’t even included student coverage for off campus events such as away games or field trips!

Off-duty and retired LEO’s – This is a great idea to resolve the man power shortage issue, but again, where is the money going to come from to fund their payroll budget? Paying off-duty or retired LEO’s at an hourly rate would cost a small fortune, and we’d still have to deal with the coverage issue as discussed above.

Security guards – In addition to the previously expressed concerns, now we’re looking at a cheap “deterrent” and the question is, will they be armed? Having unarmed security guards responding to a shooting incident will have the same results as unarmed faculty – and we’re back to square one.

Armed teachers and faculty – Of all the buzz words that have drawn debates across the country, “armed teachers” has been among the most controversial. While this is nothing new to some school districts in Texas and Arizona, the overall concept, in general, has been met with rigid opposition.

In reality, it makes sense. School districts can have a select group of teachers, professors, and school faculty trained in the use of handguns for personal defense as well as basic IARD tactics in how to respond to and deal with active shooters and how to interact with officers arriving on scene.

Advantages of using armed teachers and faculty:

  • There is no need to hire extra personnel, but instead use existing school personnel with more responsibilities.
  • There is no need to seek funding or create new budgets, but instead rely on the use of school personnel already on salary.
  • School districts can rely on select teachers and sports coaches to provide coverage during and after school activities, sports events (home and away games), and field trips.
  • Having more than one armed teacher in a school (possibly two or three at a time) will allow for coordinated first responder engagements of active shooters.
  • Allows for use of school personnel that have extensive knowledge of the facility they work in and have a better chance of controlling and dominating terrain.

Conclusion

Armed teachers may not be the answer to every scenario, but having the advantage of trained school personnel on-site and ready to take immediate action is the true definition of first responder!

Ultimately, it’s not a question of “if” another school shooting is going to happen, but when and where? Will we be ready?

As always, stay safe, remain vigilant and fight to win!

John Krupa III
Master Firearms Instructor (ILETSB)
President / Director of Training
Spartan Tactical Training Group, LLC

About John Krupa III

John is an active duty police officer with the Orland Hills Police Dept. (IL.) and has more than 22 years of experience in law enforcement. He has previously served as a patrol officer, rapid response officer, field training officer, and firearms instructor with Chicago PD. He is a graduate firearms instructor from the Secret Service Academy, FBI, DEA, and FLETC. John is founder and president of Spartan Tactical Training Group and has previously presented at training conferences across the country with the AFTE, ASLET, GTOA, IALEFI, ILEETA, ISOA, LETC, MidTOA, MTOA, NTOA, and TTPOA.

For more information about training courses offered by John Krupa, visit his website at www.TeamSpartan.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Action Target as a company.

PoliceTrades.com Helps Agencies Find Additional Revenue Sources

Executive Video Summary

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With the downturn in the economy and shrinking tax dollars, law enforcement agencies are searching for new sources of funding for needed equipment. PoliceTrades.com is helping law enforcement agencies find additional revenue through the trade of department firearms. Whether it be duty firearms, confiscated guns, or restricted Class 3 weapons, PoliceTrades.com is turning obsolete firearms into new equipment.

The PoliceTrades.com trade program is simple and completely free for law enforcement agencies. A list of firearms the agency is looking to eliminate is obtained and sent to the PoliceTrades.com bid network of Federal Firearms Licensed dealers (FFLs) for pricing. By using multiple vendors, PoliceTrades.com can obtain the highest trade value for the firearms. The highest bid is then presented to the agency for review. Once the bid is accepted, the agency ships the firearms directly to the FFL for resale. Payments are then made to the agency or to any vendor of the agency’s choice like Action Target. By paying a vendor directly, PoliceTrades.com ensures the money obtained through the traded firearms is used for the equipment needed by the agency.

For example, your police department could be in need of outfitting its outdoor shooting range with additional targets or equipment, but not have the funds to do it. Instead of trying to raise the money or fighting with local government to increase funding, you can turn obsolete firearms into credit with Action Target or any other vendor you choose. Action Target has been a corporate partner with PoliceTrades.com for the last few years and encourages law enforcement clients to utilize this opportunity to get the quality equipment and targetry they need to train effectively.

Many agencies are burdened with large inventories of confiscated and surrendered firearms. Evidence rooms fill up and agencies need a solution to eliminate this excess inventory. PoliceTrades.com offers several solutions to deal with confiscated firearms. One option, PoliceTrades.com can bid on the firearms as they would duty weapons, where they would be resold through licensed firearms dealers.

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The destroyed frame of an S&W 4006.

 

Another option is the parts stripping and destruction program. With this program, agencies can get paid while having the firearms destroyed. This is accomplished by stripping the guns of the valuable parts (i.e. slide, recoil springs, grips, magazines) and having the serialized frame of the firearm destroyed. This ensures the firearm will never be used again, yet provides funding with the parts value.  The agency is also provided with a certified letter, detailing the serial numbers of the firearms and the date they were destroyed.

Class 3 firearms (select-fire and short barrel rifles and shotguns) are another area where PoliceTrades.com can help you obtain revenue. Some agencies are under the impression that these guns can only be transferred to another agency. Through their Class 3 FFL dealers, PoliceTrade.com can purchase transferable Class 3 firearms for resale value and non-transferable firearms for parts value and destruction. PoliceTrades.com will handle all of the ATF Form 5 transfer paperwork.

PoliceTrades.com is the industry leader in the firearms trade business and can help your agency find untapped revenue sources. For more information, you can contact them directly via phone at (636) 536-2288 or mailto: Bids@PoliceTrades.com.

SHOT Show Media Day’s 2013 ATI Safety Award Presented to EOTech

Executive Video Summary

SHOT Show Media Day at the Range logo

EOTech presented with award during SHOT Show for exceptional firearms safety practices during media event

LAS VEGAS – February 4, 2013 – SHOT Show Media Day at the Range announces EOTech as the recipient of the Action Target 2013 Media Day Safety award. This award is given to the media day exhibitor that holds to the highest standards of safety during the shooting event on January 14, 2013. Each exhibitor was judged by a panel of safety auditors who scored each exhibitor on firearms safety practices during the event.

EOTech had a perfect score on criteria such as eye and ear protection, ammunition and firearms control, etc. But EOTech went above the scored criteria by having their own range officer at the shooting station and first aid supplies ready for use in case of an emergency.

EOTech was awarded the trophy at the Action Target booth during SHOT Show by representatives of SHOT Show Media Day at the Range and Action Target.

“We consider range safety an essential part of every live fire event,” said Amy Miller, Media Relations Manager at EOTech. “It is our goal to be industry leaders in every aspect of our professional execution, and the range safety standards we practice are not exempt from that mindset. We make plans well in advance and review them to make sure we have eliminated any unsafe practices before we reach the line of fire.”

SHOT Show 12 - 2
From left: EOTech Customer Service Manager Mike Kroll, EOTech Pro. Staff Roric Padgett, Action Target Co-Founder Addison Sovine, Media Day at the Range Representative Kelsey Williams, Action Target Portable Target Manager Chad Burdette

Action Target, the sponsor of the award, is a leading global supplier of superior shooting range products, equipment, design, manufacturing and training for law enforcement, military, and commercial ranges. Action Target is recognized for developing innovative new firearms training technology and for having the experience to properly apply that technology to solve today’s safety issues on firing ranges all over the world.

“We have been a major supporter of Media Day at the Range for many years, and being the sponsor of the 2013 safety award is an honor for us,” said Chad Burdette, Portable Target Manager for Action Target.

In its seventh year, SHOT Show Media Day at the Range hosted more 120 exhibitors and 1,000 media members of the hunting and shooting industry. This award gave recognition to EOTech as an example of the importance of safely demonstrating products to the media on a live fire range.

“Live fire demonstrations are an essential part of explaining our products and technology,” Miller said, “and Media Day offers us the ability to put our products in the hands of over 1,000 of the industry’s leading writers and media personalities in an eight-hour period of time.”

EOTech was awarded a plaque for its exceptional firearms safety practices and given a free booth at next year’s SHOT Show Media Day at the Range.

For additional information concerning SHOT Show Media Day at the Range, contact Cory Cannon at ccannon@triplecurl.com or Cathy Williams at cathy@cmgmarketingandevents.com.

About Action Target Inc.

Action Target Inc. is a privately owned business headquartered in Provo, Utah. As the world leader in shooting range technology with more than 4,000 products and 40 patents for the systems it designs and manufacturers, Action Target has installed thousands of shooting ranges across the United States and in 25 other countries around the world. Action Target also designs systems and conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military divisions. For more information on Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.ActionTarget.com/store.