Seminar targets firearms safety

A safer community is the goal of a new free firearms seminar being offered by Pacific Indoor Tactical, a recently-opened Oak Harbor shooting range and gun shop.

“Ultimately you want people to be safe and responsible,” said lawyer Brent Thompson, who is leading the Jan. 28 seminar. “When people purchase a firearm, many times they’re not getting the information, education and training they should be.”

A defense attorney with the Coupeville firm, Platt & Buescher, Thompson said he’ll explain Washington state firearms laws, which are often misunderstood or misinterpreted. Permits, possession and self-defense will be among his topics.

Firearms legislation is constantly changing, which also leads to confusion, he said.

For example, Washington state’s new “extreme risk protection order” allows a family or household member or law enforcement officer to petition the court to have a gun taken away from an individual considered at extreme risk to themself or others.

Pacific Indoor Tactical co-owner Lucas Yonkman said Thompson’s emphasis on knowledge fits in with the philosophy of his new business. He opened the sprawling space on Goldie Road along with co-owners Michael Ryan Wallin and Mike Fletcher.

“We wanted to take a different approach when we opened Pacific Indoor Tactical through education and training,” he said. “This fits right in.”

Yonkman, a disabled Army veteran, became known as a calm, well-spoken voice for gun rights upon returning to his hometown five years ago.

The video of Yonkman’s admission that he was armed legally with a concealed weapons permit during a 2013 Oak Harbor City Council discussion of guns in parks went viral. He subsequently ran for Oak Harbor mayor and lost.

Yonkman said Thompson approached him offering to teach the class, which he’s also done for North Whidbey Sportman’s.

Yonkman and Thompson grew up in Oak Harbor and know each other as graduates of Oak Harbor High School, Class of 2002.

“I grew up and went to school with Brent,” Yonkman said. “He’s been very successful in defending firearm rights.”

“If we educate collectively, we’ll be safe, we’ll be responsible and that will help us protect the whole community,” Thompson said.

Free seminar on Washington state gun laws, 2-4 p.m., Jan. 28 at Pacific Indoor Tactical, 951 NE 21st Ct., Oak Harbor. Limited to 30. Call 360-720-2619 to register.

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