TacTek Arms, which focuses on firearm education and training, has opened for business on Country Club Road

by: TYLER FRANCKE | WOODBURN INDEPENDENT - Craig Andersen, president and co-owner of TacTek Arms in Woodburn, cleans the barrel of a custom-built AR-15 rifle.TacTek Arms, an independent, start-up gun shop specializing in new and custom-built weapons as well as firearm safety education, opened for business last week at 2223 Country Club Road in the Woodburn Crossing Shopping Center.

The store will carry a limited selection of concealable semi-automatic pistols, AR-15 rifles, Ruger, Henry and Galco products, and other accessories. All of the shop’s AR rifles are built in-house by TacTek staff, and can be highly customized to the end user, including a variety of calibers and add-ons (optics, lasers, etc.).

by: TYLER FRANCKE | WOODBURN INDEPENDENT - Cal Souther, co-owner of TacTek Arms, demonstrates the proper and safe handling of a handgun.Cal Souther, a Woodburn resident, said the store is something he and his business partner, Craig Andersen, had been discussing for several years.

“As we looked more into it, it just seemed there was a real demand for firearm instruction and training,” Souther said.

Other than a passion for firearms and firearm safety, the store’s principal owners and proprietors have at least one other interest in common: the law. Souther is a retired Woodburn lawyer and former assistant attorney general for the state of Oregon, who specialized in general business litigation and constitutional law, while Andersen is a practicing lawyer in Washington and a former assistant prosecuting attorney who now specializes in criminal defense.

Andersen said his interest in firearms started in the early 2000s, when he was part of a federally funded drug task force in Washington. About five years ago, he built his first assault rifle from the barrel up, during down time while preparing for a stressful trial.

“It was very cathartic,” he said.

But over the years, the two men’s personal interest in firearms blossomed into a desire to educate the public about gun safety and proper gun use.

“Of course, we believe strongly in the right to bear arms, but we also recognize there is a huge responsibility that comes with that, to carry your arms safely and store them safely,” Andersen said.

Both are National Rifle Association-certified instructors, but their legal backgrounds allow them to go deeper in their custom courses than they might otherwise be able to. As such, TacTek’s courses emphasize the safe use of guns, correct techniques of gun handling, basic safety in the home, basic pistol usage and operation, self-defense and the defense of others, as well as the proper and legal use of the force and the consequences of the use of deadly force.

“I think one of the most appalling things to consider is that someone can walk into a store, buy a gun and leave with no idea how to use it, when they can use it, where they can carry it and so on,” Andersen said. “We’re here to educate people as much as we are here to supply their defense needs.”

The two men said they believe there is no such thing as a gun “accident,” that such incidents are always due to negligence, ignorance or some combination of the two.

In addition to the store’s custom courses, TacTek will provide training to qualify for an Oregon concealed handgun license (CHL), and will collaborate in certain classes and co-ed seminars with B.A.B.S. Firearms Training, a Gladstone-based organization that specializes in firearms instruction “for women, by women.”

TacTek is a federal firearms license (FFL) holder and can provide FFL transfer services.

For more information, call 503-779-7008.

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