December 12, 2019

Letter to the Editor: A message from the owner of Advantage Tactical Company

Dear Editor,

My name is Keith Tompkins and I am the majority owner of Advantage Tactical Company, LLC.

There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation and stretches of facts about our company.

I am a Georgia native. I serve as an officer for Georgia’s 3rd District GOP. I’m a veteran of the US Navy. I have a wife and two sons that are all very near and dear to my heart.

First and foremost, it is the utmost desire of my company to be a positive addition to the Heard community and the businesses of the same.

Secondly, I would like everyone to know that I am the grandson of 2 lifelong residents of Heard County, Kyle & Eva Tompkins.

As I have spoken with more and more of the people of our community, it has become abundantly clear that my grandfather dedicated much of his life to not only serving our country (retired military), but also serving the citizens of Heard County through programs such as the Boy Scouts of America, organizations such as the local Masonic Lodge, and individuals who just outright fell upon hard times.

A big reason I started Advantage Tactical Company was to continue contributing to the good name of my family he literally spent a lifetime building here in Heard County…and anyone who knew him, knows that if he were here today, he’d support this business 100%.

All of my business partners and I are military veterans. One is retired Air Force, one served in the Air Force, and the other was a Marine. We have a very high level of respect for our country and the communities in which we live and work. We all desire to echo the legacy of service to the communities in which we live and specifically this community like my grandfather, Kyle, so diligently did.

I also would like everyone to know that we are a private school. Do we have a firing range? Absolutely. However, at this time, we are using it only as part of our firearms safety training classes. Nevertheless, we have spent many hours and many thousands of dollars to make our firing ranges safe…not only for any student using it, but also for the surrounding properties adjacent to our campus.

All of our berms exceed the recommendations of the NRA for thickness and height for our specific distances. We have specifically made sure, via overhead photography, we are not shooting in the direction of any school.

We have had a former Naval Officer/range master and a law enforcement veteran with 38 years of service who is also a range master who built the ranges for 2 police academies consult with us on the safety of our range.

I would hope that everyone understands that the rifles fired at our facility are no more “high powered” than most hunting rifles that are regularly used in Heard County. The safety of our range is our highest priority and we have spared no expense in making sure we are abundantly safe.

Many people have ran out and bought firearms, many of them for the first time in their lives, in order to protect themselves. In this regard, there is an obvious need to educate the public about the safe operation and storage of their firearms.

Additionally, I would like our community to understand that we do not exclusively offer classes related to firearms and their safe use. We also offer many other classes such as classes related to personal responsibility, homesteading, wilderness survival, CPR/First-Aid, and disaster preparedness to name a few.

Again, it is our utmost desire to be a positive addition to the Heard community and the businesses here as well. We want to be a good neighbor within this community and we are complying with all applicable laws.

We have been very open and up front with the county about what our business does. There has been nothing “sneaky” about it…and we certainly have not tried to side step the board, local law enforcement, or any of the codes here in Heard. If fact, in most cases, we have tried to go beyond most requirements to leave no doubt as to our compliance.

My prayer is for our community to have a clear understanding about what Advantage Tactical Company does.

Keith Tompkins

Comments

  1. John Roberts says

    I for one think this would be an Awesome addition to Heard County. I believe it is very important that gun owners are educated. I also believe that Heard County needs more businesses to increase jobs and income within the County. The simple fact that we may have a safe range to go to and use for both gun safety education as well as target practice will be a benefit to all Heard County residents. Many people have purchased weapons in recent months, they have not been trained in the use of these weapons nor do they understand what these weapons are capable of. They are going outside and shooting at paper targets and other items without the proper backstop or thought as to where their bullet may end up. on another note, offering other classes such as personal responsibility, homesteading, wilderness survival, CPR/First-Aid, and disaster preparedness is something that is needed in our society. I have worked in public safety and the military for over 35 years to include nearly 10 years as a Heard County Firefighter Paramedic. As good as our Emergency Services are in Heard County in a situation of major proportions, a major disaster such as tornados, winter storms with long term power outages ect our Emergency services would be quickly overwhelmed. Our residents may find themselves needing to take care of themselves for an extended period of time, Hours, days or even weeks. Advantage Tactical Company is offering classes which may save lives and help Heard County residents care for themselves in an emergency situation. I am at a loss for what our Commission could be thinking. Heard County NEEDS this business in our county. We want this business in our county. John Roberts

    • Rebecca parmer says

      I think this is a wonderful opportunity for this county and would be very interested in learning about signing up for some classes.

  2. Hazel Reeves says

    I agree that this is a wonderful opportunity for this county. The owners obviously went to every applicable office in the Court House to be sure they did things correctly. They can’t be causing much of disturbance since they have been in operation since the reign of the last Commissioner Chair person. I hope every woman in Heard County will take advantage of this “close to home” opportunity.

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