Must be 18 years old and legally qualified to own a handgun. Background check consent required - may be waived if you hold a current Washington State concealed pistol license. For more information see below for our Member's Guide, Membership Eligibility, and Membership Terms and Agreement.
Background check may take up to three (3) days to process.
by Chad Hiatt
Your membership and successful background check permit you to participate in our live-fire range events (more on that, below). As we're a non-profit, volunteer organization, annual or monthly membership dues only go to our club operations -- materials, range agreements, insurance and operations, development programs, community outreach. and so forth.
Your membership in the ADTA is subject to our Membership Terms. It's important that you read and understand these terms before participating in our activities, and to indicate you accept these terms via your Profile (follow the View Profile link in the far upper-right corner of this web page). In short, we all understand we're participating in potentially dangerous activites, with potentially serious consequences (even death) if we don't keep safety foremost in our minds. I know you'll accept your own important role in that responsibility.
Our operations are governed by our Constitution and By-Laws, available for you to read in the For Members section of our web site. The ADTA is managed by a seven-member Board of Directors, who are directly elected annually from and by the ADTA members. As an ADTA member, you're welcome to attend, listen, and contribute at any of our board meetings.
Free Membership Meetings & Seminars
On the second Thursday evening on each month at 7pm, we hold a regular membership meeting and free seminar. Our seminar topics vary, and are typically presented by our own members. All membership meetings are open to the public; we invite you to bring your friends and family. Membership meeting topics to date have included dry practice, hand-to-hand defense techniques, knife techniques, situational awareness, and more. If you have a topic you'd like to learn more about, or have a topic you'd like to share with others, please let me know!
Membership meetings usually start with a summary of recent events, details of upcoming events, and club business. We then go into our presentation, many of which involve hands-on participation. At the end of the meeting, we reserve time for member announcements, and offer members the opportunity to 'show and tell' items they've brought to demonstrate or exhibit to the group. After the meeting, we're available to help you with any membership questions or event registrations.
If you normally carry a firearm, you're welcome to do so at our membership meetings. Our meetings are supervised by our ADTA Range Safety Officers (RSO), who will ask you at the door if you're carrying a firearm. If you are, and you don't intend to either exhibit it or participate in any hands-on activities, you're welcome to keep it holstered on you through the meeting. If you do intend to ehxibit it, or participate in any hands-on activities, we have an unloading station where you can unload and demonstrate that your firearm is clear. Our Range Safety Officers will then flag your firearm as clear and securely hold your ammunition for you to pick up at the end of the meeting. We use brightly-colored flagging tape for each weapon that's been verified clear by our RSOs. If at any meeting you see a firearm being handled that is not flagged, we ask you bring it to our immediate attention.
As a member in good standing, I encourage you to participate in our live-fire range events. The ADTA maintains agreements with several ranges in the area. On our scheduled dates and times, we book out the entire range area. With our own range safety officers supervising, our member instructors will help you through warm-up exercises, then skill-building drills throughout the event in groups, small groups, or as one-up shooting stages. We don't do competitions; you're only working to learn and improve at your own pace, participating in the exercises you're comfortable with.
We run our events as a "cold range," meaning all firearms must be and remain unloaded, and cased or holstered. You may not handle handle a firearm except under the direction of an RSO, or when you're at the designated firing position and are instructed to, "load and make ready," by the event instructor. You are welcome to carry and load magazines and speedloaders at any time, but you may not insert magazines or rounds into your firearm until you are instructed to "load and make ready". Don't worry -- we're a friendly and helpful group, and we'll walk through our procedures with you at each event. If you have any questions, please ask.
If you'd like to arrive at the event carrying your regular firearm already loaded, please leave it holstered. Our RSOs will give you the supervised opportunity to safely unload your carry firearm before the start of the event's exercises, so we can confirm the range is cold before we begin.
Most of our exercises focus on semi-automatic pistols. We encourage you to bring your semi-automatic pistol, an appropriate muzzle-down belt holster, at least two magazines, a two-magazine belt pouch, and ammunition. We'll supply the targets and event-specific supplies. If you'd like to bring a revolver, please bring a holster for it, and at least two speed-loaders with belt pouches. Most exercises entail discharging ten to twenty rounds per drill, so it's important you can reload at the line to get the most benefit from the event. If you don't yet have your own equipment, let us know ahead of time, and we'll try to make accommodations so you can participate and still learn -- many of our members have extra gear they can bring to help. If you'd like to bring more than one firearm, ask an RSO for help if you'd like to change the firearm you have holstered during the event -- your other firearms should remain unloaded and cased.
We usually hold one regular two-hour live-fire event each month, usually on a third or fourth Thursday evening, typically from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Only members can participate in live-fire events. A modest range fee will apply, paid ahead of time to the ADTA via our website, to cover some of our facility and materials costs specific to the event.
Because of the holidays, we usually do not hold a live-fire event in December.
We want the ADTA to be approachable by anyone, from people who've never held a gun before to people that have been shooting in more-advanced environments and want regular, self-paced practice opportunities. Once or twice a year, we hold a special Introductory event (also called our "New Shooters Clinic").
Our New Shooters Clinic has two parts. Part one, free and open to the public, is a hands-on class featuring presentations on gun safety, how a pistol works, dry practice, how to load and unload a gun, and how to use a semiautomatic pistol and effectively hit a target. Part two, following the New Shooters workshop, we encourage you to schedule and participate with an ADTA mentor for additional live-fire instruction and self-paced practice at our local community gun ranges. ADTA mentors are volunteers, and part of our non-profit association. To participate in the ADTA Mentor Program, you must be an ADTA Annual Member and you will be responsible for the range and ammunition costs (typically $40 to $50 per mentoring session).
Range Safety Officers and Instructors
We all want to learn, and we all want to ensure we do so safely. Our volunteer ADTA Range Safety Officers (RSO) help out at all of our events that include firearms. Range Safety Officers wear bright yellow vests -- be sure to tell them, "thank you!" for helping out.
Would you like to learn to be an ADTA Range Safety Officer? Each year, we hold a free one-day hands-on class for ADTA members that want to become RSOs. Candidate RSOs then apprentice at events under the direction of an established RSOs. RSOs are then vetted and accepted by the board of directors.
Our live-fire and dry-practice events are led by volunteer member-Instructors. Instructors wear bright orange vests. Instructors defer to the Range Safety Officers, but otherwise, they configure the skill-building portions of our live-fire events, and help you develop your own skills. They're sharing their own knowledge and experience, and are open to your feedback and discussions of alternatives and techniques after the event. Let's all grow and learn!
Do you have firearms skills you'd like to share with the group? Ask any Instructor how to get started.
As an organization, we maintain liability insurance that reasonably protects our organization, our leadership, our volunteers, and our members when helping with or participating in ADTA activities. We have a clean safety record, and we all work hard to maintain an awareness and adherence to safety throughout our learning -- I know you'll do the same.
Because we're all volunteers, we use our website and e-mail for most all of our coordination. It makes things self-service, and we try to continually develop our web content to keep it interesting to members and prospective members alike. If you have an idea for an article or content on our web site, let us know; we'll help outline the idea out and get it up online for everyone to benefit from.
Events are posted online in our Upcoming Events Calendar. Register for events right through our website. In most cases, we can't accept registrations at the door -- by then, we're focused on presenting the event's content.
Membership dues and event payments are also collected electronically, online, via our web site. We use PayPal for electronic payment processing -- you don't need to sign up for a PayPal account, as PayPal lets you pay as a guest with a credit card without requiring registration. You'll receive an e-mailed receipt. We can't accept payments by cash or check. We can accept online payments anytime, and in-person credit card payments at the end of our regular membership meetings (but not at our live-fire events).
Each month, we send out an e-mail newsletter update of upcoming events, recent activities, and updated content.
Our online Members Directory is a quick way to find fellow ADTA members. Please update your own Profile with information you'd like to share in the directory.
Inviting Friends and Family to Learn
We think it's everyone's duty as responsible and capable adults to be prepared to defend themselves and their loved ones, to learn to protect innocent life, and to have the means to escape or end an imminent threat should it be necessary to do so. The skills we help each other develop are important to share with your friends and your family.
Forward our e-mail newsletter to other people you know; encourage them to visit our website (armeddefense.org) and click "Get Our E-Mails" to sign up to receive our announcements and updates.
Invite your friends and family to come with you to our regular monthly membership meetings and seminars, which are free and open to the public.
As a member, by prior arrangement and the approval of the event Instructor, you're also welcome to bring a guest to our live-fire events. Guests may not participate or handle firearms at live-fire events, but they can observe to learn if the ADTA would be valuable for them as well. If you'd like to bring a guest to an upcoming live-fire event, please inquire at the end of our regular monthly membership meeting.
Welcome to the Armed Defense Training Association!
We all want to learn, but we want to do so safely, alongside other responsible individuals that we can trust to handle firearms appropriately. As an organization, the Armed Defense Training Association mandates that only active members in good standing may participate in live-fire events. ADTA elects to perform screening and review of applicants and members to help maintain a safe, productive, trustworthy and friendly learning environment. Most of our meetings and seminars; which do not include live-fire exercises; are generally open to the public as well as members. Our classes and presentations are a great way to get to know us prior to deciding to become a member and participate in live-fire events.
Membership in the Armed Defense Training Association (ADTA) is open to upstanding, responsible adults of our communities, including in general people who:
Membership is at the discretion of the ADTA Board of Directors.
What does the background check entail?
The purpose of the ADTA background check is to help establish the credibility and character of applicants. All ADTA applicants are required to consent that the ADTA may perform background checks upon the applicant at its discretion and expense, including at any time after membership is established. In general, background checks include public record searches, particularly criminal and court records.
Should a background check contain negative information, and that information is taken into account by the ADTA in a decision to deny or terminate membership, we will provide details of the background check sources we used. Applicants are encouraged to contact those sources to correct information they report, if necessary. The ADTA may require applicants to agree to cover costs incurred to perform additional background checks to investigate or resolve disparities.
If an applicant cannot pass a background check to the ADTA’s satisfaction, but subsequently obtains a valid Washington State Concealed Pistol License (CPL), the CPL will be accepted in lieu of the background check.
It is each member’s responsibility to inform the ADTA should an event occur which may impact their eligibility to participate in ADTA events, such as:
The ADTA Board of Directors may review any member’s present eligibility. At the discretion of the Board, membership may be terminated at any time without refund or compensation.
ADTA is a member-led organization. We welcome your feedback and comments. Please direct inquiries to our Membership Committee, reachable via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit one of our public monthly membership meetings and seminars, and we can talk in person during general discussion after the event.
These are the ADTA Membership Terms, as amended March 10, 2013. Acceptance of these terms is required prior to participating in any ADTA activity. We recommend that you print out a copy of these terms for your records and reference; this is a legal agreement between you and ADTA.
“I warrant that I am an adult, possess current and valid photo identification, may legally possess a firearm, and am physically and mentally able to safely participate in ADTA activities. Should any of these conditions of eligibility change, I understand that it is my responsibility to promptly notify the ADTA, and to not participate in ADTA activities until I receive its official response and permission to do so.”
“I understand and agree that membership in ADTA and permission to participate in ADTA activities are subject to the sole and final discretion of the ADTA Board of Directors.”
3. Risk of Injury, Death, and Damages
“I understand there are risks involved in participating in ADTA activities. I understand that there are risks involved in the exercise of material discussed, presented, or otherwise made available by the ADTA. I understand that those risks may include (but are not limited to) personal injury or trauma (whether cumulative, acute, or chronic), my death, damage to my property, my loss of work, or prosecution for my inappropriate action; whether by gunshot, the negligence of others, faulty equipment, equipment failure, lighting conditions, excessive noise, distance to medical care, or any other cause.”
4. Participant Responsibility
“I accept, as my personal responsibility, my health and safety. I agree that it is my responsibility to maintain a vigilance and awareness of hazards to my health and safety, and should I note unacceptable risks, it is my responsibility to bring them to the attention of other ADTA members, and to then either act to safely mitigate them or elect to depart from the ADTA activity. I acknowledge and accept that venues, activities, exercises, and materials may have hazards of which I am unaware, and I elect to participate at my own risk and under my own responsibility for my health and safety.”
“I voluntarily assume full responsibility for any risk of loss, property damage or personal injury, including death, that may be sustained by me, or any loss or damage to property owned by me, as a result of my participation in these activities, whether caused by my own negligence, other parties, or otherwise.”
“I certify that I am physically and mentally able to safely and responsibly participate in ADTA activities, have not been advised to the contrary, and have no cause to believe otherwise. In the event my capacity to safely participate in ADTA activities is impacted or compromised, I will notify the ADTA and will not participate in ADTA activities until I receive its official response and permission to do so.”
“I agree to not participate in ADTA activities if I am (or have cause to believe I may be) under the influence of any substance, drug, or other medication that may impact my ability to safely and responsibly participate.”
6. Emergency Medical Consent
“In the event I am incapacitated or otherwise unable to give my consent should I experience a medical emergency, I hereby authorize emergency medical treatment to be rendered upon me, and I further authorize trained health care providers to administer routine and/or emergency medicines as they may deem necessary.”
7. Hold Harmless
“I voluntarily elect to participate in ADTA activities. In consideration for permission to participate, I assume all risks associated with these activities and shall indemnify, waive, release, and forever discharge and hold harmless the ADTA, its members, its directors, its executives, its employees, and any other individuals or entities connected in any way to ADTA from any and all claims for damages, death, personal injury, property damage, litigation costs, or attorneys’ fees arising from, attributed to, or contributing from, in whole or in part, any act, omission, fault or error of these persons or entities.”
8. Media Consent and Release
“I accept that the ADTA documents its activities, and that documentation may include photographs, video recordings, and audio recordings. By my participation, I grant the ADTA complete, irrevocable, perpetual and unrestricted right to use materials; which contain images, audio, or video recording of me; in any form, in whole or in part, and for any lawful purpose, at its sole discretion without further consideration to me.”
“If, at any ADTA activity, I do not wish to be included in photographs, video or audio recordings, it is my responsibility to exit the area or group being documented or recorded.”
“If any term of this agreement is held to be invalid, void or unenforceable, I wish the term to be deemed severable from the remainder of this agreement and the remainder of the agreement to remain in full effect without impairment or invalidation. Titles and section headings used in this agreement are for convenience only, and do not comprise, construct, or contribute to the terms of this agreement.”
“It is my express intent that all of these terms shall bind, in the event of my disability or death, the members of my family, spouse, heirs, assigns, and/or personal representatives. I establish this as a Release, Waiver, Discharge, and Convenant Not to Sue ADTA nor any individual or entity in any way connected with ADTA.”
“I have read all the terms of this agreement, understand them, and agree to them voluntarily of my own free act and deed. No oral representation, statements or inducements apart from this written agreement have been made. I am at least eighteen (18) years of age and fully competent to enter into this agreement. I execute this agreement for full, adequate, and complete consideration, fully intending to be bound by it.”