Next up in our “Meet the Team” series is Robby, A3’s training and education coordinator. We sat down for a quick interview to answer some of the most important questions about his background and why he loves his job here at Ann Arbor Arms!
Q: What is your role at Ann Arbor Arms and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
ROBBY: I am the Training and Education Coordinator here and I spend my days doing exactly that – planning for classes now and in the future and communicating with students to answer educational questions.
Q: What’s your background in the firearms industry? How did you get interested in firearms in the first place?
ROBBY: I grew up like many kids hunting with my dad, who was actually a firearms instructor himself. When I got older, I joined the military as a part of the US Arms Infantry. After serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, I returned to the states as a veteran and began working with the New Mexico Police Force. Eventually I worked my way up to SWAT Team leader for 5 years. Then I switched gears and began working at Ann Arbor Arms as a trainer and educator.
Q: Can you talk a bit about your background as a veteran – where and when did you serve? How has that shaped your life?
ROBBY: I served in Afghanistan from 2003 – 2004 and then again in Iraq from 2005 – 2006. Those experiences definitely shaped my life because I gained a massive appreciation for the freedoms and privileges we have here in the United States. Experiencing those third world countries first hand and seeing how many of their basic necessities like food and water are not met makes you really appreciate what we have. I also gained a huge appreciation for our Veterans and have since become active in a variety of different Veteran organizations and associations like Blue Star Dogs, American Legion and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars).
Q: What do you enjoy about instructing? Why do you do it? What do you hope your clients learn?
ROBBY: I love to share my experiences and background with civilians to help teach them to be better protectors of their family. Guns are a serious matter but even more serious is the education and training required to safely own a gun. I hope that through my training, I can help people feel more comfortable using guns as a tool and be more confident that accidents or mistakes do not happen. In reality, it’s not the gun that kills someone, it’s the person pulling the trigger so I want to make sure that I train and educate as many gun owners as possible to handle their arms safely.
Q: What’s your mission? 10 years from now, what do you want to have accomplished?
ROBBY: It’s not that I can really put a finite number on this goal, but my goal ultimately is to train as many people as I possibly can to be safer gun owners. Like I was saying for the last question, safe ownership of legal firearms can only be as safe as the person handling the firearms. I want to ensure that everyone I can possibly train is ready to handle their firearms in a safe way and eliminate as many accidents as possible.
Q: What’s something that people wouldn’t know about you when they first meet you?
ROBBY: Hmm, that’s a hard one… Well I did play college baseball! I was a catcher at Adrian College and I Was pretty good too…if I do say so myself.
Q: Do you have any civilian life situations where your gun knowledge saved your life?
ROBBY: As a civilian, no. Obviously I have used my skills extensively when I was serving in the Army and in my Police duties. But, like I always say – the best skills you can have as a civilian are actually medical skills. You are so much more likely to need to treat a firearm injury than actually needing to fire your gun.
Q: What is your favorite gun to shoot?
ROBBY: I have a personal build Ar 15 pistol – favorite hands down!
Q: And to wrap it all up, why Ann Arbor Arms for you?
ROBBY: I’m here for the family. I feel like we are all here to support the same mission which is to make everyone feel welcome when they come to train and educate – basically Ann Arbor Arms matches my mission perfectly in that they, too, want to train and educate as many people as possible with no judgement whether or not you have prior firearms knowledge. I have even walked into gun stores myself and had experiences where I probably know more than most of the people in the store but still get treated with judgment. It’s uncomfortable and it makes people feel bad – we’re not in the game of making anyone feel stupid. We truly just want people to learn and be safe!
Now that you know Robby in a nutshell, sign up for a class with him any time to learn from his years of experience and learn something new no matter how experienced you are!