Federal Way shooters share the love | Citizens want to build a gun range

Less than two months since its inception, the Armed Defense Training Association is starting off with a bang — and bringing dozens of like-minded Federal Way shooters together.

Federal Way resident April Hiatt fires at her target Thursday at Bull’s Eye shooting range in Tacoma. Hiatt and her husband

Less than two months since its inception, the Armed Defense Training Association is starting off with a bang — and bringing dozens of like-minded Federal Way shooters together.

In one accuracy drill, shooters waited for the go-ahead before turning toward a paper target and firing two quick rounds. The scent of gunpowder soaked the room as shooters took their stations. Shell casings clinked on the floor amid a chorus of pops — and a few booms from one man’s .44 Magnum. Shooters shouted conversations loud enough to penetrate their protective headphones in an atmosphere where the vibe was both friendly and educational.

The association’s first live-fire event was held Feb. 17 at Bull’s Eye shooting range in Tacoma. ADTA co-founder and vice president Chad Hiatt led basic skill drills for more than a dozen participants.

“I am incredibly excited about seeing so many responsible and dynamic individuals come together,” Hiatt said of the promising start for ADTA. “I’m learning new things as far as techniques and methods I hadn’t considered before.”

The genesis for ADTA came from a December 2010 column in The Mirror titled “Federal Way needs a shooting arts center” by Mark Knapp, also known as the Firearms Lawyer. The column pondered the possibilities of a shooting range in Federal Way that could benefit both the public and police.

“There is already an indisputable ‘multiplier effect’ that results from all the retail stores in Federal Way that sell shooting equipment,” wrote Knapp, who is also co-founder and president of ADTA. The column noted that a shooting range “that is also open to the public will draw in visitors with dollars from surrounding areas.”

The column led to a meeting by a handful of Federal Way citizens who then formed the Armed Defense Training Association. Two informational gatherings by the ADTA, held Jan. 26 and Feb. 9, attracted nearly 50 attendees each.

The organization’s goal is to promote responsible events related to firearms and self-defense training. At the recent live-fire event in Tacoma, attendees even kept one another in check when it came to handling weapons. Beforehand, participants received detailed instructions on safety rules and shooting exercises.

As for building a shooting range in Federal Way, the demand is there and the response has been positive, Hiatt said. For now, Federal Way shooters must travel to ranges in Tacoma, Ravensdale, Graham, east Bellevue and Kitsap County, among others.

“We think we can build something closer to home,” Hiatt said. “It’s something we could be moving forward on in the next six to 12 months.”

Learn more

The ADTA will host a skill-building shooting event March 17. More advanced shooting drills are in the planning stages. There will also be “no-fire” seminars (without ammunition) that focus on weapon handling, trigger techniques and more. All skill levels are welcome. To learn more or register, visit armeddefense.org or email membership@armeddefense.org.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Smith, Basler running for District 9 Congress seat

Republican challenger takes on Democrat incumbent.

Federal Way City Hall. File photo
City council approves funds for renters, childcare providers in Federal Way

Renters assistance grant offered through El Centro de la Raza

Federal Way Public Schools headquarters. File photo
$425K settlement paid in Federal Way school district sex scandal lawsuit

$3.5 million tort claim was filed against basketball coach and district in 2018.

Leandra Craft, bottom right, swears in to Federal Way City Council Position 5 virtually around 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 15.
Leandra Craft selected to fill Federal Way City Council Position 5

After three split votes, Mayor Jim Ferrell made the final decision.

Customers wait to order from Piroshky Piroshky at the PAEC (31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S.) Photo courtesy of Brian Hoffman
Food truck program brings diverse, delicious meals to PAEC

Lunchtime offerings will be available through November in Federal Way.

Clockwise from top left: Jamila Taylor, Jack Walsh, Jesse Johnson, and Martin Moore discuss a range of topics at the Mirror's virtual forum on Oct. 14.
30th District candidates discuss COVID-19, police accountability in Mirror’s virtual forum

Martin Moore faces Jamila Taylor for Position 1, while incumbent Jesse Johnson faces Jack Walsh for Position 2.

2 kids found wandering along Enchanted Parkway during night | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Oct. 7-13

File photo
State Supreme Court strikes down $30 car-tab initiative

Justices unanimously agreed that voter-approved Initiative 976 is unconstitutional.

Damoni Nelson. Photo courtesy of 247Sports
Mistaken identity leads to death of Federal Way student

FWHS senior Damoni Nelson, 17, died on Oct. 2 after he was shot in late September.

Most Read