Federal Way and our entire region is full of people who are familiar with handling weapons.
Maybe it is because we are located so close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We also live in a state with strong laws that recognize the importance of possessing and handling firearms.
At least two developers are prepared to build indoor gun ranges in Federal Way. One new range is likely to be under construction soon, and a new gun store will also open for business soon.
The Armed Defense Training Association in Federal Way met with one local businessman recently to discuss his plans. He shared many details about the facility. It will have bays for pistol and rifle shooting and the tactical work that law enforcement needs to prepare for worst-case scenarios. There will also be a computer assisted design machine that can take measurements and manufacture parts that are difficult to obtain.
Our business leaders and the entire community will welcome these new enterprises. They can expect to see shooting competitions, schools for armed citizens and businesses that cater to shooters and law enforcement as a result of what a few local entrepreneurs are planning.
The Federal Way Police Department and other law enforcement agencies (including possibly the Department of Homeland Security, which now has offices in Federal Way) need the additional opportunities for training officers.
Between federal, state and local agencies and all the new gun owners, there is so much pressure on the indoor and outdoor ranges in the area that getting range time for tactical training can often be a challenge.
Several federal and local agencies, including FWPD, train at the Cascade Range and the King County Sheriff’s Range, which are connected to each other near Ravensdale. It’s a fairly long drive from Federal Way if you go with any regularity.
The Armed Defense Training Association (ADTA) is exploring ways to work with many of the existing ranges in the area — and the new ranges — in order to encourage all community members to work together in fostering responsible and productive shooting events, including safety and training. We even hope to sponsor and organize various shooting competitions.
Plan to attend a special program by the ADTA at 6:30 p.m. May 3. The free public meeting will be held at Genesis Realty, 32014 32nd Ave. S. in Federal Way. Guest speaker will be FWPD Cmdr. Kyle Sumpter, our local “Top Shot” contestant. Sumpter is responsible for FWPD firearms training. He will be speaking on his experience as a competitor on “Top Shot,” which airs Tuesdays on The History Channel. It could be informative to ask Sumpter how a new Federal Way shooting range may impact Federal Way police training activities.