Building a Pro-2A Business with Thomas King of Florida Firearms Academy

About This Episode

In today’s episode of Tactical Business, host Wade Skalsky sits down with Thomas King Jr of Florida Firearms Academy. Thomas dismantles misconceptions about firearms, urging proper education and responsibility. His insights on self-defense, legal protection, and community involvement offer valuable perspectives. Join Thomas in advocating for informed gun ownership and proactive safety measures, shaping a future where firearms are respected tools, not feared.

Insights In This Episode

  • By offering free training, classes, and competitions for kids, the store actively contributes to the community by promoting firearm education and safety from a young age.
  • Muscle memory and instinctual training were highlighted as crucial for effective firearm use in high-pressure situations.
  • Thomas addressed legal and ethical considerations in firearm use, stressing the importance of responsible ownership.
  • The firearm industry’s commitment to education and safety was underscored through Thomas’s interactions with attorneys.

About Tactical Business

Tactical Business is the weekly business show for the firearms industry. The podcast features in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs, professionals and technologists who are enabling the next generation of firearms businesses to innovate and grow.

Episode Transcript

Wade: Welcome to the Tactical Business Show. I’m your host, Virginia Beach based firearms entrepreneur and copywriter Wade Skalsky. Each episode will be exploring what it takes to thrive as a business owner in the firearms industry. We’ll speak with successful firearms industry entrepreneurs about their experiences building their companies, leaders and legislators who are shaping the industry, and tech executives whose innovations will reshape the future of the firearms industry. Let’s get after it. Welcome to the Tactical Business Podcast. I am your host, Wade Skalsky, and today I am speaking with Thomas King Jr. Mr. King, how are you doing? How are you? I’m doing good. Yeah. I debated if I was going to drop the junior in there, but I think it adds like an extra level of authority because the more things you can put on your name. So I decided to give it to you.

Thomas: Having junior on my mail or credit cards or whatever actually helped out, because my dad I would get all his mail and other people’s the same name. So having that on here helped out a lot.

Wade: It’s a common name, right? So the good news is oh, look at that. What’s the name of your. Is that Thomas. The Jr. The third or Thomas Jones or Thomas King. The third.

Thomas: That’s a panda. It’s, uh, short for pandemonium because he’s a crazy little puppy. He was, uh, supposed to go to a doggy daycare today, but I brought him in to work today, so I’m upstairs in my office, and I’m just watching the cameras of all the people shooting downstairs, so.

Wade: Well, we can have an entire episode of just going through what’s in your office, and I will have questions about some of the stuff back there, for sure. But let’s talk a little bit about your origin story, how you got into firearms, what was the journey that took you to where you are now?

Thomas: Crazy story. My dad was in the military. He was in the army and he would take me on I-4. We’d drive down to go to Walt Disney World, and he would always stop off and just park anywhere on I-4, and we’d go out in the woods and he’d find some bottles or cans, and he’d set them up and start shooting. And the first time he let me shoot was, I was five years old, a nine millimeter, and I thought, wow, that’s the coolest thing ever. And then when later I was about seven, I went to Mary Help of Christians School camp. And every year I’d go there, there was a shooting team there. So they teach you how to shoot rifles. So I got my marksman, pro marksman, gold bar, first class, all that stuff, and I just thought it was really cool. So later in life I started doing like competitions and stuff, and then I went. I worked on the bond trading floor at the firm of Raymond James and Associates for nine years, and after leaving there, I wanted to spend just some years with my son before he went off to college. I just saw we would go out shooting a lot as well, but I just saw how the Second Amendment was so under attack that I thought I should just do something about it. So I wanted to open something, a store that was just going to really be so pro two.a that you couldn’t help. But even if you didn’t like guns, that you’re going to like this store. So my store, I don’t know if you’ve seen it or have seen the videos or the parties that we throw.

Thomas: It’s not like any other gun store. We made it like fun. And it’s like a museum, actually, but with superheroes and monsters and all kinds of crazy stuff. So it doesn’t have dead animals everywhere around the building like most gun stores. And that’s cool and everything. It’s just, I just thought I’d go a different route. And what we started was we wanted to make sure that we did free training for the kids. So we offer free training, free classes, free competitions for kids, and it includes all the ammo, the firearm, the target. We wanted to make our next generation educated on how they are going to know about respect and honor of a firearm, and not to use it again in any kind of deadly situation. And once they learn the rules and about the abilities of that they can do and how much fun it is, if they too could see that it’s not some crazy thing only used to go out and hunt people down. And we made it to where it’s a competition like the Olympics. The Olympics, one of the oldest sports is shooting, so we wanted people to know this is a great, fun sport. Also, it can be used for home defense and to protect your family in your life. But it’s not just about the negativity that the media portrays and the politicians portray, and it’s just so much more educating. When you come and you sit down and you actually learn about the firearm, what it can do, how to hold, load, aim and shoot a firearm correctly, safely and accurately.

Wade: There’s a ton to unpack there. First of all, kudos to your dad for taking you out when you were five because five years old is aggressive, so I love it. And it was.

Thomas: Aggressive. But you know what? The one thing in my life that I didn’t forget was that will always be stuck in my head. And that was our bonding moment. Later in life, too, was going with my dad to the shooting range. He didn’t like hardly any things I did racing cars or models, but he said, hey, let’s go shooting. We all got up and we all went shooting with my dad. Yeah, you.

Wade: Hit so many themes on the head of what the show is developing a podcast is developing into is that the need to convert people to the to to, to a pro two.a has never been greater than now. For example, I live in Virginia. Our governor just had an assault weapons bill that came up there, and it’s so important for people to understand that there is a heritage from family to family, and there’s a culture. And the more people. That we can bring into that culture. It’s not just for today, but it’s for 100 years from now.

Thomas: I really want to portray so I deal closely with our community. We throw the craziest parties. We just we did one. You ever seen Squid Games?

Wade: Yeah, the Netflix movie. Yeah, yeah.

Thomas: So we just had Squid Games outside here. You had to play all these parts and these crazy fun games. We had hundreds and hundreds of people playing and the first in the top three, one like Ares and Pistols, and we throw all these great fun parties. We did a zombie apocalypse party. Everyone was a zombie and we were the zombies. They were the humans and the people that survived won guns and stuff. So we throw all these crazy fun parties and it’s to educate people to let them know there’s 10,000 members that we have. They come here, shoot, we’ve never had a problem. No one’s ever gone crazy. So people go, oh, wow, you know what? There’s thousands and thousands of guns around me and no one’s hurting anyone. When we have, like, our Black Friday sale we used to have, we used to have to get porta potty. People would sleep out here in front of our door for four days. And it was a kid. You not. It was ridiculous. And because of the sales that we were throwing, and I’d always go out there and say, thank you for making this the safest parking lot in America, because there was a thousand people wrapped around the building waiting in line to get into our Black Friday sales. It was pretty crazy and they all realized nothing bad happened. No one was mean, no one was pushing, no one was cutting in line. It was just a friendly, fun, great time.

Wade: Yeah, the Second Amendment doesn’t have a gun problem. It has a messaging problem, sure enough. And one of the things that makes these stories so valuable and meeting people like you is to see is that the firearm owner is such a broad category that it is such a large tent, that it is big enough for anyone that wants to learn to use guns safely.

Thomas: It’s not for everyone. There’s some people that are just so terrified. So we do this. We do 40 different types of classes with 20 different instructors. Well, we also take you from beginner picking up the firearm, just learning how to hold it to all the way to Grand Master. And you can take that progression course within the year. And it’s we try to make it as educational fun but affordable as possible. So it’s $55 per course. And what I have ladies that come in, they’re 70 years old. They cried picking up the firearm. They’re terrified, never even wanted, but their husbands wanted them. Alerts they were learning at 70 years old. And when they picked it up, they’re like, oh, they’re shaking. And at the end of the session, like, can we buy more ammo? That was just so fun. And now they’ve taken every court, their grand master shooters, they draw out and shoot four shots center mass in under one second. They can move through rooms, shoot bad guys, bowling pins, steel targets, balloons. And I asked them, said, can you please come to our competition night one night and you don’t have to pay for anything. I just want you to show them what you’ve learned in these classrooms. And they’re like, no, I’m so scared.

Thomas: I don’t want to do that. I’m like, no, it’ll just be fun. Just have a good time. Do what you learn. So they went out there and there’s these guys with these Infinity Pistols and they load their own ammo. They’ve been shooting competitions for ten years. She smoked every single one of these guys. They thought her gun was a trick gun, and they wanted to shoot it and test it. And kid you not. So they said, well, how long have you been shooting? She said, not that long. And they thought this was like, they’re on Candid Camera. But then they found out that she was taking these courses here. So they of course, they all wanted to sign up, and now they’re all in these courses because they just never really had their own firearm training courses. They just watched online videos. And how we actually do it, how we train you to shoot so fast and accurate, it’s a whole different level. And I don’t see that on YouTube and all these things like that, but it’s just all anyone can basically do it as long as they’re healthy enough to do it and they have the drive and willingness to do it. Yeah.

Wade: And I think this is really shows the benefit of brick and mortar and the firearms industry. So the internet is great. I love some of the big players. Like I’m a big PSA fan and I think they’re awesome and I buy from them and everything, but I support my local gun store. I’m a member there at the range and everything, and the training that you can get from in-person training, all it does is make my family safer and that is what we will always have a need for, is the training aspect of firearms. Because people there’s and again it’s a messaging problem. Too many people think, okay, I’ll buy a gun and I’m safe. And it’s the that’s not true at all. It’s you’re not safe until you can safely know how to handle a gun, store it and use it in an emergency situation because you’ve had enough reps to do so. In my opinion, that’s a.

Thomas: Big one for us. So during Covid, so many people came in. They’re like, I hate gun. They this is what they do. I never wanted to own a gun, but I think I have to have a gun right now. And we’re like, have you ever done any training or education on any firearm? No. We highly suggest you take the training courses first and then you can use the. And try all these different firearms will help you out on which kind you really need, but you need to try them all to see which one you like. So you’re not spending your money getting something you don’t like, and then you go ahead and make your purchase. Nope. Just want to buy a gun. Just want. I don’t want any drama. So you’re going to hurt yourself or someone else, and you’re going to feel horrible for the rest of your life. And you can’t take that back. And then they go, you know what? You’re right, I should. It’s just like the same thing if you’re gonna. If I’m gonna give the keys to some kid and go, hey, go drive on our interstate. Us 19 out here, he’s probably gonna hurt someone or himself, or even worse. So get to that point where you’re very comfortable with the firearm. That’s what I talk about with most instructors. We’ll talk about muscle memory, and we want you to have this firearm to where it’s muscle memory. You’re not thinking about. Step one.

Thomas: Step two, drawing out step three. And all these things you’re thinking about is this a threat and do I have to eliminate. Is my life in immediate danger? That’s all you’re thinking about. And you already have your firearm pressed out. You’re already locked on target. You’re already staging your trigger. All you’re thinking about is my life now in danger. And that’s where it needs to come to you. Like when you first drove your car, you pushed the gas pedal. You’re like, whoa, going 50, going 40, going 50, going 60. You didn’t know. And now when you get in your car, do you even think, oh, I gotta push my foot down this hard to go 40mph? You don’t even think about it. You’re just doing it. You don’t even have to look at your speedometer at all. Basically, you’re going 40mph because you’ve done it a million times and you don’t think, oh, and in 400ft I gotta put my blinker on in three, two, one. No, you just do it. Well, in Florida they don’t really use their blinkers, so most of them don’t. So but you just do it. It’s muscle memory. You don’t have to think about anything. All you’re thinking about is keeping your car on the road, not hitting anyone. That’s the same thing with a firearm. Once you get to that training level, you should be good to go. And just all you need to do is hone in your skills.

Wade: Well, you wouldn’t to use the car analogy, right? Or the driving analogy, you wouldn’t put yourself behind the wheel of a semi like a fully loaded semi and drive that thing around. If you never had any training on how to do it, and that’s basically what a firearm is, you’re strapping yourself into a semi and you got to drive it across country. And so there are guys that are really good at it, but that’s because they’ve got the miles in, they’ve had the training and it’s the same thing for firearms. And I think you hit on the nail on the head with regards to like training for the kids. So I took a hunter safety course. I grew up in North Dakota and I took a hunter safety course, sixth grade, whatever. And that course, the rules from that course, I cannot tell you how many unloaded guns in my life I have unloaded because of that course. And no. And that’s the thing, is that it’s not that these things are complicated. It’s just you have to know them, and you just have to live your life in that certain way. Like how? Run me through a little bit for the training with the kids. Like, how is that going? I love that you guys do that for free. In terms of what are some of the things that are you’re seeing or are happening? Are the parents benefiting from it, having the kids do it, or what are some of the kind of the things that are unexpectedly happening from that?

Thomas: So we took a little sabbatical because this became so huge that we wanted to open another range, specifically outdoors, 100% just for the kids. So it’s all training, all free, all the time. And what we do right now is we have the kids come in. We only take so many kids per class because we want to really focus on each kid. And their parent, of course, has to be in there. And our local news channel actually did a huge story on it, because it blew up so big that the news channel actually said something good about firearm training. So the kids come in and we have a little test for them and stuff, but we talk about the firearm. We talk about. Most of you have seen it in the movies or played a video game where you shoot it. It is nothing like that. And then they realize when they really go out onto the range and they shoot a firearm, 22 caliber pistol or sometimes a rifle, they go, wow, that was nothing like what we thought it would be in the movies or in a video game. And as far as we know, you know, there’s recoil to a firearm, there’s noise, it moves the gun. So in the video games and movie, that’s nothing like that. Sometimes we let them use a suppressor, but they shoot so many rounds at a target so far away. But we go over how to hold, load, aim and shoot the firearm. And we talk about the safeties. And this is the big part that we really focus on. If you come across a firearm at a friend’s house or another, they don’t know what they’re doing and they are going to grab it and grab that trigger and somebody’s going to get hurt.

Thomas: So you have to be the most responsible person and say, hey, I have a firearm training, don’t touch that firearm. And you got to contact the father, because if you don’t and you leave, well, then another kid may come over and then they grab it and play with it and boom, someone’s going to get hurt. So you are going to be the hero. Saving the kid that day saying, hold on, let me contact my dad because there’s some sometimes let’s say you’re cleaning your firearm and you’re about to and you’re about to take the magazine out and you just got. A call from the hospital that your dad. Your kid just broke his his arm at school, and you run off. Well, your kid’s still there, and he sees this firearm. If he doesn’t have any kind of training, he’s going to pick it up. And nine times out of ten, when they grab that firearm, their finger always goes on the trigger. It’s just an automatic thing. And that’s of course, one of the number one rules is don’t put your finger on the trigger. But they do. They grab it and boom, it goes off. And now they have a discharge firearm and you don’t even know where it’s pointing at. It could be at your neighbor’s house. It could be at them when they’re looking at it. So that’s where people get hurt. So that’s so important for us to focus on that. And then at the end we go through make them take an oath about keeping the safety, about the rules, about the firearm and the contact someone or your family if you come across a firearm so no one gets hurt and you become a hero. Yeah.

Wade: And I think it’s important for parents to understand is that is is teaching your kids about firearms is a skill that they will have for their entire life, even if they don’t shoot. So and I’ll give an example. So I was in college, I was at a party and there were some adult beverages being had, I won’t lie to you, but some there was a like a pistol like, and I don’t remember what it was. I think it was a block or something, and someone was just laying around and someone was like, Holy smokes! And they handed it to me and I knew what to do with it. So like, obviously as I, I unloaded it and I took it somewhere and I separated the ammunition. But what if nobody knew what to do with. And that’s not that’s a true story. It’s like, I don’t know why that they thought it was okay to hand to me, but because I wasn’t like super, I’m firearms guy. But they gave it to me, like, what do we do with this? And it’s a long story of why it was there, but stuff like that actually happens. That’s not outside the realm of possibility, and that is a skill that these kids will have their whole life to be able to handle those situations.

Thomas: Well, somehow God puts you in that way because you saved someone’s life that day. Probably someone would have picked that up and had no idea and go, hey, look guys, and it goes off. Well, they.

Wade: Might have thought it was a play gun or something.

Thomas: And made it a joke. And you know how many times people get shot every year because they don’t know what they’re doing and they hurt themselves? The statistics that people listen to when I talk to people or people come up and say, why do you think you should own a firearm or blah, blah, blah. It’s just astounding to me what people the information that they get from Twitter or Facebook or from the news even sometimes. So I’ll ask them, well, how many, how many people do you think in a couple years ago got shot by a rifle and they’d say 100,000 people and there’s actually 396 people, so you are 19 times more likely to either be stabbed by a knife or by a hammer. So should we ban hammers and knife 19 times more like, you know, like that’s not the statistic I will print. I have it printed out and then I will say, well, okay, overall, all all rifles, all handguns. How many people were killed by a firearm. They say 300,000 last year. And it’s actually is pretty high. It was like 30,000 but 30,000. You take 60% of that. That’s from suicides that they shot the they add that in there and then you take the the police officers that shot bad guys is added in there.

Thomas: So you take another like 30% of that off and then you take the gang related. So the actual people that went around shooting people with a firearm was pretty minuscule compared to anything else. But they just once you educate people and go, huh, that’s not what I heard. I heard like 300,000 people, but it’s just simply not true. And if you are getting your facts from if Facebook or something like that, I would say fact check that. But I’ve read them and I have FBI statistics. If you look at the CDC, their reports come out. It said that over 500,000 to 3 million people that year used a firearm to save a life. So that is significantly different. You can look the statistics up, but now they’re trying to take those statistics down because they don’t want people to really know that firearms can be used for good. And if you really think that the AR or these firearms are so bad, should police officers not have them or are military not have them to protect our borders? We’re protecting our family in our lives. That’s the same exact thing. And we don’t even have the same equipment that they have as an AR or an M4.

Wade: Yeah, well, it’s a messaging problem, right? There’s really no difference between a 22 and an R. It’s the same mechanism. It’s not. You know what I’m saying.

Thomas: 22 caliber.

Wade: Yeah, exactly. And so. Well yeah. You can have an R that’s running the air platform and 22 caliber if you want it to. You can do anything with it. That’s what’s so great about it. But and I think the other thing too is that if you like the statistics, it’s a messaging problem. Look at how many people that are like concealed carry licensed and the amount of crime that is committed by a concealed like a firearms crime though, like maybe like, okay, like I get a drunk driving accident or whatever. Not me personally, but have a CCW person has it commits a crime. It’s not firearms related. The statistics are so low for licensed carriers that if it was of causation was an issue, you’d want everyone to have a firearm. It’s and it’s just a messaging problem. And I think that’s why people who have that approach that you guys have of making it fun, but educational and then generational, I think is a great approach.

Thomas: Yeah. That’s how we keep the Second Amendment alive is through the next generation. But they have to have the respect and honor for the firearm. And that’s what we want to bring back. When in school, every kid had the rifle there. No one heard anyone. Back in the day, people used to go to school with their rifle there in their back of their truck, you would have a rifle in the back of their truck and the teachers would come out and go, oh, look, what’d you get? Let me see it. And they were all cool. They weren’t school shootings. So there there’s something more to what’s going on today with the mental health issue. Um, it could be a number of things, but it is not a firearm that’s doing it. It is the person behind the firearm. And I don’t understand why people don’t realize that we could say the same thing for alcohol. Should we ban all alcohol? There’s so many alcohol related deaths. There’s so many car related deaths because they’re texting. Should we ban phones or cars? No there’s not. So you have to go after the source and really talk about that and then show the good side of what a firearm has been doing.

Thomas: I want my offer to show my police officer to show up with a firearm. If someone breaks into my house, I don’t want them to come there with a nightstick because they’re going to get shot, right? If we ban every single firearm in the whole country and no one had one, who’s going to have one? The bad guy is going to have one. We’re not. And they’re going to be like, yes, I can go break into anywhere I want because I now I’m the only one to have a firearm. We protect our president with the firearm. We protect sporting events with the firearm. We protect our courts with the firearm. Any public, any government building with the firearm or jewelry stores with firearms, any store with the firearm. But at school, if we put a no gun free zone here, that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. We can protect all them with the firearm, but we don’t want to protect our kids with the firearm. That’s what keeps you safe. And that’s why they have the saying if you want peace, you will have to prepare for war.

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Thomas: And with so many people coming across the border and not having food, not having a job and the drugs coming across and people getting addicted to these things, we do a free seminar for how to make you and your home a hard target during a home invasion, what you can and cannot do, what you must do to protect yourself in your house. And that class fills up within seconds. Just like our kids free safety class blows up. Boom, it’s filled up. It is so important for people to understand. Even if you don’t have a firearm, don’t want to use a firearm. This is what you need to do to protect your home. And there’s a lot of home invasions that are happening right now. There’s a lot of home invasion things happening right now. There was over every two seconds. There was a home invasion. That’s over 2 million homes in the United States. It comes to the point where it’s not if it’s going to happen to you, it’s when it’s going to happen to you. So we tell you how to set your house up, not talking about spending thousands of dollars on cameras and lights, but when a bad guy comes to your house or walks by your house, he goes, not that one. I’m gonna go to the next one. And how they are targeting your house. They even mark curbs to say, hey, hit this house, this is an easy house.

Thomas: Or they buy these little cameras that you can get at Walmart. They’re hunting cameras. They can video you from for a week in the bushes just watching what time you get home, what time you eat dinner, what time you’re not there, what time you’re going to sleep at night, and you have a pattern. Most people have a pattern every day. They do the same exact thing. You have to switch it up so they know. Oh, I know on Tuesday for four hours, you’re not here at all. They don’t want to be seen. Right? They want to go into your house unsuspected, get the stuff they want and get out. I guarantee you I can break into anyone’s house and get away with it. You’re not going to catch me. We tell you how they’re going to break into your house. We want you to know how you reinforce your house. We go over just these all these steps that you can do to protect your house. And even if you have a dog, um, they use your dog against you, believe it or not. You know what the number one deterrent is? That they actually ask all these criminals in prison, the FBI and police department what the number one deterrent for having someone not want to break into your house. You know what it is.

Wade: No, I don’t tell me.

Thomas: Most people thought it was a big dog. And even myself, I thought it was a big dog. But this is what we also teach. It is a having your bathroom light on in your house. They say having your porch light. Everyone does that. And your garage light, whatever or motion light. But no one ever leaves their bathroom light on. That means someone’s in the home. Someone’s using the bathroom. Hmm. Interesting, right? That’s what they look for.

Wade: My bathroom lights going on. Now, tonight, I know you can.

Thomas: Set a timer on it, but there’s just these little simple things that people, when they they look at your house, they move right on. During all the civil unrest they had going on, there was Operation Defund the police. So we were the only ones that started Operation Defund the police. And we’re really proud of that. We do a quarter of $1 million giveaway to the police department there in our community. And those are the guys that make nothing to protect our lives. They have bullet shot them, right? So when we did this, we got death threats that were pig lovers. And, you know, it’s funny that you would want to kill me, but because I’m I’m offering safety for other people. Right? It’s so ironic to me. But the police department here, they’re phenomenal. They’re good people. I get there, there’s bad police officers, I get there’s bad police, there’s bad attorneys, there’s bad doctors. But you can’t eliminate all of them. We need police officers or we’re going to go to anarchy here. So I want people to know they’re there to protect you at your house. Believe it or not, if you have a home invasion, of course they’re not going to be there to stop that nine times out of ten, if they can get there quicker or they’re really close by, of course, but they don’t get paid enough money, there’s not enough of them.

Thomas: So that’s why they’re scrambling to get to your house. They’re going to try to get there to stop them. But it’s up to you to be the first responder, to stop a bad guy or a threat to protect your family, you’re going to have to be the one to step up. Eliminate it. And this is one thing that we go over with all the parents. There’s a lot of men, believe it or not, that just say, I can’t do it. I can’t stop this threat. And the wife would say, I can. And you have to be truthful to yourself, because if not, then you’re putting your whole family at risk and you’re going to have to live with up every time you walk past the kitchen. That’s where I shot that guy. And that could mentally take a turn on you. So we let you know what you have to prepare for. There’s so much that goes into this, but we have to let you know. Make sure you’re mentally prepared to protect your family. Well, and that’s.

Wade: The training part that you talk about, right? Where it’s like, is my life in danger or my family’s life in danger? And then once that decision is made in your brain, if you have the training, then everything else, you don’t have to make any other decisions. So it’s like I’m drawing my weapon. I’m firing until this person is not a threat. That’s it. Like that’s. But people don’t go through the mental part of the training. And so then there you don’t have time to react in those scenarios.

Thomas: You know, you have split seconds and this is the part where you’re going to fight for your life, your freedom, your finances. You never see the opposite side after you eliminated your threat, it’ll come and go, hey, great job. You saved your whole family. Good job. You know, they come in and they do their assessment. They take down the information that they have. Was this a justified shooting? And now you got to pay 20 to $50,000 retainer to get an attorney to make sure that you’re going to fight for your freedom. Now, was this a justified shooting? Nope. You know what? It was actually little Timmy that lived next door who was drunk, that came into your house, that thought it was his house. And because you didn’t use some kind of identification, a flashlight, a light to see if he had a weapon in his hand or something, and you just started plugging away, they’re going to call you a murderer. They’re going to come after you. They’re going to come after you. All different angles up Castle Doctrine, you didn’t have the means to escape. Did you go to the four daily rules? What are you, the victim here? Are you an innocent party here? Did you start a fight with someone and then run into your house? They’re going to go to all these scenarios. So let’s just say you’re. You’re at a restaurant and this guy comes out and he starts shooting you out outside and shooting at people, and you take out your firearm and you say, I am at risk.

Thomas: My life, great bodily harm or death or fear of death, I’m going to stop this threat. He’s trying to kill me and other people, and you shoot your firearm and he runs off. You call 911. And these are things that you have to know. If you call 911, you can’t just say, hey, this guy came out and started shooting at me, I’m the victim and blah, blah, blah. And you just let them know, hey, I’m at this location. I am wearing this. My name is this. There has been a shooting. Please come send someone and then you hang up the phone. Whatever you say that is recorded and it will be used or used against you too in the court of law. So your adrenaline is so flowing when we talk about adrenaline two and what happens to your brain if you’re not saying the correct thing, then it’s going to be used against you. So if the officer will come, he will do a Terry search on you. He legally can’t. He just wants it. He’s coming there to protect you and to collect evidence. So let him check you to see if you have a weapon on. He doesn’t know if you’re the bad guy. You have your firearm down. You say, officer, you have your hands up. My weapon is right here, I actually discharged. There’s some empty cases here. There’s a witness over there, and there’s a witness over here who saw the whole thing.

Thomas: Let them know two different angles. Because if I show you this, what do you see? You see a black bottle, right? And you see a little thing right here from over here. But the people over here, they see this whole thing and it has all this writing on it. So it’s something totally different. So this guy over here could think that you’re the bad guy I just took you, took his firearm and started shooting at this guy. We don’t know what, but this guy over here could say I saw the whole thing. This guy ran out and started shooting at everybody. And this guy tried to protect everyone, meaning me. And the guy ran off. Well, they’re going to ask you if they can search your car or if they’re at your house tonight. Search your house even though you know you are safe and and you have nothing in there, you have to let them know. No, I can’t let you search. I am going to plead the fifth. I want to cooperate 100% with you and I will. I have to have my attorney here. Because if you say things that didn’t jive up unless you say you said the guy. Yeah. The guy came out and he ran right out in front of me and I took my firearm. I started shooting at him and I missed, and I saw that. So I reloaded and I put it back in there and I put my holster back.

Thomas: And then in court you say, yeah, he came out and I shot at him twice, and then I, I just held my gun. Well, they’re going to say, well, you’re a liar. You said you put your gun back in your holster and you reloaded. Did I see that? I don’t remember seeing that. No. You need to have your story 100% correct. And if they come into your car, you say, yeah, go check my car. I got nothing in there. If you had like, like a box of ammo, one box of ammo, we all know that’s regular 50 rounds in there. That’s what we used to go practice with the attorney on the other side. He just wants to win. He’s going to say this. Person had enough ammo to kill 50 different people. And the people on the jury that don’t know, that’s just a regular standard 50 round box. They’re going to go, wow, that person’s crazy. Or if you hurt your arm, broke your arm, and you had some pain medicine and one fell underneath the seat, and the police officer family, he’s going to write that down, not to hurt you, but the other attorney’s going to use that against. He had illegal drugs in his car, and now you’re going to look like a horrible, mean, evil 51 people with drugs. So you can’t give anybody any kind of evidence or anything against you, your attorney, if you have like there’s many different kinds you can get.

Thomas: Usca offers it, NRA offers us law, shield offers it depending on what you like and want. Those years usually are like the price of a few Happy Meals a month, but that covers your attorney fees and as soon as you call, you say, hey, there’s been a shooting. I called 911. Then I called my attorney and then I call my family. Hey, I’m maybe not getting home right now, right? Are you going to tell you exactly what you can and cannot say? Don’t say anything. I’m going to be right there. Wait for me. Don’t say anything. And after you plead the fifth, you know the officer may ask you more questions and everything. Those can’t be used against you because you plead the Fifth Amendment. But they may just say, well, what happened? Are you all right? They’re just concerned for you. And you’re going to feel like, well, I gotta tell you. Yeah. This guy, I’m so worried. This. I don’t even know this guy. He looked white, but he was Asian. But he was black. But he was. So you ain’t going to say all these things that are mentally not in your head, right? Because your adrenaline is so far above what you’re normally at, and you’re going to say things or see things that really didn’t happen. So you got to give your attorney. Then you make your statement to the police, and then you’re going to go to court to make sure that it was a justified shooting.

Wade: Well, you don’t have to convince me of this, because in my prior life I was a lawyer. I’m a ghost writer for the firearms industry now, but I was a lawyer for 20 years, and I did criminal defense and I was a prosecutor. So, like, I know everything that you’re talking about, and this is part of the training aspect that’s so important that it’s not just enough to buy a gun. Buy a box of ammo and throw it in your closet in case there’s a problem. I don’t want anyone to do that. And then. But also too, it’s like you have to have training about, like if you’re going to concealed carry, it’s not just enough to get the concealed carry permit. Like you have to know. Like what? Like when you’re pulled over by a police officer, if you have a firearm on you, what do you say? You don’t say, I have a gun because what is every police officer trained on the range to say? Like, what is the what is the signal gun exactly like they are trained. Oh, I draw and shoot when I hear gun drawn shoots. You’re just like I’m ten and two. I am a licensed to carry. What would you like me to do if you don’t think that through or you don’t have people teach that to you, how are you going to know that? Like, are you going to get your information from TV and movies? That’s not cool. That’s not a good plan.

Thomas: That’s cool that you I didn’t know you were an attorney for that. On the other side. That’s pretty neat. So if you do any instructing or teaching or.

Wade: So the way that I look at it what I’m no I don’t, I like I’m a writer now and I and so like I ghost write newsletters for firearms in the firearms industry. I’m a writer for other things and so but I use that knowledge in my writing. Right. So because I agree with you that we have to educate people and it’s just a messaging problem. If more people knew about firearms, knew the statistics that you talked about, know that the people that like everyone thinks it’s like deliverance, right? Like everyone thinks that every firearms person is someone deep in the middle of the forest that is going to if they could if my car broke down, they would trap me in their basement. Like, and it’s just not 99.9999% of the people in firearms are not like that. And I can tell about what you’re talking about. Your range is that it’s the culture is one of the most friendly, helpful cultures of anything else that I experience. Like if I go to my range, the range master’s coming over and he’s helping me and I’m trying to like maybe zero a site or whatever, and it’s not working. And he’s like, oh, well, let’s see what you got. And it’s just everyone wants just everyone to be safe. That’s it. That’s that’s what everyone wants.

Thomas: The firearm industry, believe it or not, most people don’t believe this. But, you know, I have many friends that are attorneys that are in every single one of them. And I kid you not, I don’t know one that doesn’t have a firearm or have firearm training. It’s because they know one day they may have to use it, and they’re there to protect their family. So they want to make sure they are educated enough and they are smart enough to have that type of training. They’re not just going to do what you just said buy a box, throw it in in the in the closet. They want to be proficient with it. So just like driving a car or doing any other kind of task, you got to make sure you know how to do it because it could be deadly if you do it incorrectly.

Wade: Well, and I think one reason, and I have that experience too, and one reason is because, like, if you have the normal world here, then in terms of like in the middle, there’s a whole nother world that people don’t know about. And that’s of the criminal world. And there’s all these things happening every night in every city that you live in that you have no clue, like you said about like how home invasions or robbing or people casing different houses or whatever. And so if you’re not, if you’re a fireman or you’re a policeman or you’re an attorney and, and so you’re like, oh my God, like, I don’t live where I think I live. And so then you go above the normal world and you go into the firearms world, and that’s how you keep yourself safe. And that’s why if we can get people to and that’s why this podcast exists, is to get people to see, it’s like, like you had a totally different experience to get to firearms than anybody else. And so there’s no one way to get into you don’t have to be in the military. You don’t have to be like me and grow up in North Dakota. And you came from a hunting culture, right? Like you can just dad could be driving you to Disneyland and take you out in the field and shoot. So it sounds like you got a lot of irons in the fire. What is the next five years look for? You look like for you 3 to 5 years. Do you have any plans? Is it more just status quo or is there any kind of thing, big things in the work. What do you guys thinking about doing.

Thomas: Well in the next five years about what you’re talking about too earlier was if you want to know how people get into firearms too, or you want to hear what’s going on in your community, there’s many sites out there, but they do not talk about what, go to a gun store. We have people come in all the time like, I’m going to buy a gun, I need to buy a gun. What happened? What? Three guys kicked in my door last night. And this. These stories happen all the time, and they go to. And they are terrified. And they said they don’t want this to happen again. And we want to make sure, look, this is a hard time. It’s scary. You feel violated. But please get some training. Sit down with us, let us help you and then help you figure out which firearm you need that works correctly for you. Because we all have different hand sizes and strengths and all of these things. So let us get you the one that you need and make sure you’re proficient with it. And then you’re going to feel comfortable and safe that you’re not going to hurt yourself. And the next five years we’re looking at we have our new store opening up very shortly. It’s called Two.a Monster. Hopefully we’ll get you some new, more news and I’ll be on another podcast for that. And again, like what I talked about earlier, we’re looking for that outdoor range for the kids training academy. It’s called Kid Safety Academy Corporation, and that is what we’re going to teach you how to do competitions, sports that we have them do it.

Thomas: Here. Now we train you on doing competent. It’s not anything about defensive shooting at all. It’s completely about moving to room to shoot in all kinds of cool things and hitting moving targets and reloading and doing fixing malfunction drills. Just like anything on the competition world, we don’t go into the three gun kind of competition world right now because of the shotgun thing. We do pistol and rifle with them. The big competitions now are three gun, but there’s still other just pistol or straight up rifle competitions. So we’re just teaching and educating them. So when they get out into the world they go, oh, I want to go to, to this range and do this competition or this range. We support all the ranges around here. And I try to get with the radio saying, do you want to do a competition with like our kids against your kids? They’re like, we don’t have kids shooting teams. I’m like, well, you should get one, right? And they’re like, I don’t know. So they think that they’re a liability. But kids learn really fast and once you get them under control where they are, they have to be focused. And we want to teach them about having honor and respect for these firearms so the rest of their lives, that’s how they’re going to teach it. And that’s how it was taught to me. So I’ve always I’ve never had a discharge. I’ve never accidentally shot anyone or hurt anyone or myself. That’s because we just follow the four safety rules. And if you can do that, anyone will be safe.

Wade: Yeah, well, and I think you you touched on it too, where the importance is teaching the history of it. And so like, it’s like it’s a culture like this is like an honor thing. Like we this is important that you understand, like this is all these different parts of it. And it’s better to be proactive than reactive. So when someone comes into your store and they’re like, I just had this really emotional, traumatic event, give me a gun, that is not the time to go learn how to use a gun. The time to learn to use a gun is right now. So it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It’s like if you’re afraid of the society’s going to have some challenges and breakdown. If you’re afraid of that, there’s going to be government regulation on two.a. If you’re afraid of crime increasing, or all those things that you think might happen in the future, it is not a wise move to wait until those things happen and then you don’t have time. If you’re not preparing now, you’re just almost too late, right? And if that’s how you think. And so the key and that’s a quote from somebody I stole named Joe Dolio. Right. For, um, and you’re not preparing now. It’s already too late. And so the key then is, is that it’s like you have to figure out, like you said, what kind of gun is your gun? Because everyone has a different gun that they like. For whatever reason. I’m a Glock guy. Mostly because my firearms instructor that I take lessons from is the Glock guy. So he’s and I was like, okay, well, I’m six four. It’s a big gun. Great, great, whatever. But that’s not true for everyone. Like, some people are going to be a sick person or some, you know, or whatever. And so it takes time to go through all those things. And I think you hit the nail right on the head. It’s like you got to be proactive. Yeah.

Thomas: If you really think about it coming up in November, we have an election and it’s going to be a crap show. And it doesn’t matter who wins, either side is going to be crazy. You better be prepared for that. And I don’t mean all you have to freak out, be a prepper and have guns and stack it. The Boy Scouts motto is always be prepared, and that’s a great motto to have. You don’t have to go crazy and spend your whole life savings and get things, and you just need to be prepared to protect your family at all costs. And it doesn’t hurt to have backup food, batteries, medicine, things that you may need for 1 or 2 month period. It’s just good nature to do that. Everyone should have that anyways. There’s hurricanes, there’s fires, there’s earthquakes, there’s all kinds of things and that you prepare for. But most people will not prepare for a home invasion or civil unrest. Well, the world has changed and there’s so many people here that are not here legally and they don’t have money, and they need to eat and take care of their family or their drug habit.

Thomas: So be prepared. Make sure you’re doing what’s right. As for the gun portion, make sure you find that gun. I have people come in all the time going, I have this lady. I kid you not. She was in her 70s and she said, dude told me to buy this gun at some gun store. I don’t even name it. I don’t know why they would do that. And she said, I tried it and it I just can’t shoot it. And we’re like, well, you mind if I take it out? We. She had a big 44 Magnum and I took it. And she’s the dirty. She’s like, never even taken a class. We’re good. And I’m like, I can’t give you the money that you paid for it. See if they will. And maybe they’ll exchange it. If they won’t, I’ll put you in something. I’ll trade it for something that you’re going to be able to hold, load, aim and shoot correctly all day long and shoot. And I’ll make the difference up for you, but go back to see if they’ll treat it out or give you your money back for this thing.

Wade: Well, and all the people that I interviewed that are successful in this business, it’s they are not transactional. And so what I mean by that is that they’re relational, meaning that that every interaction they have with a customer or a potential customer is how do I build the relationship? Not really worry about the transaction. Let me get them into the right gun. Let me. It doesn’t matter. Like maybe I’ve had this 40 for God I. Wish someone would buy this 44 that I bought that no one ever bought. It’s been at my store for seven years. Oh, great. This old lady doesn’t know what she’s doing. I’m gonna give it to her. It’s like it’s the relational point is. Because at the end of the day. And you just said it, we don’t live in the same place that we used to live in. We don’t have the luxury anymore of being transactional in the firearms industry. Everyone has to be relational. We all have to be advocates of some way. Even if it’s like, I’m going to donate $5 to this organization that’s going to advocate for my rights, right? Like, you don’t have to open a gun store and run trainings for like, you were doing an amazing job. You’re in like top 1% or 1% of advocates for firearms, right? You don’t have to be that though. But you should consider doing something. And everyone’s like, I just want to be left alone and shoot my guns. I’m like, yes, that’s great. But if everyone takes that position, we’re not going to be able to do that very much longer.

Thomas: Absolutely. And here’s just a message to the people that do have firearms. We have people and I’m not making fun of anyone. People have been shooting for ten years. There’s officers, there’s military people. They say they’ve been shooting for 1020. They go out on the range and they are tea cupping the firearm or they’re crossing their thumbs. Please. If even if you think you know how to shoot, even if you’re hitting a bull’s eye every time, go take a lesson or two to your local range from an expert to to stay on the safety side and make sure you know what you’re doing correctly. Because if you’re training correctly, then you’re going to advance. If you keep doing the wrong same thing, wrong over and over, you’re not going to advance and get any better, and it could be even worse, or it’s unsafe to do.

Wade: Yeah. Well, and also too, is that you only have to do a little bit over time, right. Like you don’t have to be Rambo in five seconds. Right. But if you have an attitude where I’m going to go to the range once or twice a month, I’m going to take a lesson once or twice a month or once every even. I don’t even care. Take one lesson every other month. You’re going to be safer or one class every other month because the depth of firearms is you will never run out of things to learn, because if you start to get really good with the shooting, okay, great. Are you in cardio shape that you can run if you have to like, or do you know how to do medical right, like I’m in my medical phase right now, so a lot of my training right now is with concealed carry and medical. Right. And that’s the thing is, like, are you more likely to get in a gunfight or are you more likely to come upon like an accident where someone is hurt? And this is the thing was, the information is power, but only if it’s applied. Just like a gun is only useful if you know how to use it. It’s like information is only useful if you know how it’s applied.

Thomas: And the medical thing 100%. If you have a firearm, take a gunshot wound, trauma class, you’re going to CPR. You’re going to learn how to pack a wound. You’re gonna learn how to save a life, keep a trauma kit in your car at all times. So even if there’s a car wreck like you’re talking about it, you could save a life and you’re going to be a hero. And you’re going to be a good guy and someone for the rest of their lives. They’ll say, that’s the guy that saved my life. Thank you. They’ll probably send you a birthday happy birthday every year or something. But be that person that does good in the world. Just because you have a firearm doesn’t mean that you’re a bad guy. You were the good guy, and you’re going to be the guy that stops a mass shooting. That stops someone from trying to hurt your family. Now, if you’re that guy that has a gun and you’re a road rage guy and pull out a gun, you don’t need a gun. You need to actually mentally go in and get checked out and get your head back on. Your life should be all about being happy and working forward and making a legacy for yourself and your family later in life. It’s not about getting mad. If you let people get you mad, you let that person control you. Be that better person and laugh. When someone cuts me off in the road, I think, wow, they must be going home to save their kid from choking. That’s what I’ll think, because I don’t want to think a bad thing about this guy. I’m not going to get upset. I’m not going to allow these people to get me upset because I’m going to control my own feelings. Be that person that’s always under control and always has respect and honor for your firearm.

Wade: Well, I totally agree with you, and I can’t think of a better way to end our discussion today. And I 100% want to have you on again, because I just love what you’re doing, especially the stuff with the kids. So I want you to hang on after we we get off here for a quick second. But how do people find you if they want to contact you? Are you on social? How do people find you? How do people find your shop? Like give me the run through. All right, so we’re.

Thomas: Florida Firearms Academy on Facebook. You can see all of our funny videos, our parties. You can come to our parties for free. We’ll give away 20 to $50,000 in ammo and firearms and free food. The last party we just had, we had the piranhas group here, the chamber group was here, we had the SCA, we had the Fraternal Order of Police here. We had the judge was just here, and he was here this morning. He was at the party. There was just so many organizations that came out to support us. And all the money that we raised that day, we bought chairs for the church across the street. They didn’t even know we were going to do this. They were so excited. When I showed up at church Sunday, I told them not to announce my name, but he said, hey, these chairs are so beautiful and accomplished and if you fall asleep during our service, we’ll understand. It was funny. So we try to do good back for the community and that’s what it’s all about. I hope your gun store or gun range is doing the same because you will get a full network of people coming in supporting you and realizing that firearms are not just for horrible things. Either way you can reach us is that we’re at 13317 West Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, Florida. We are going to branch out, and if you ever want to contact, you can reach us at 813221. And I’m Thomas King. I am the CEO and owner. That is rare for many businesses to sit there and come out. You can come talk to me all day long. You can come talk to 20 of our different instructors. We have lady instructors, we have girl with a gun. We have all ladies tactical classes. Just a lot of cool different classes that we do. And you can also find us on our web page at f a Tampa comm.

Wade: Amazing. Well, again, I’m so excited that you came on the show today and I’d love to have you on again.

Thomas: Thank you. I really appreciate it and appreciate what you’re doing too as well.

Wade: You’ve been listening to the Tactical Business Show by Join us again next episode as we explore what it takes to be a business success in the firearms industry.