A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oak Tree Gun Club and Armatix


Oak Tree gun club is a popular shooting facility in Southern California.  I shoot there a number of times each week.  Currently there is a dialogue on their Facebook page in reference to their business relationship or lack of a business relationship with a company, Armatix, who develops "smart gun" technology.

Maybe some of you have heard about "smart guns" or micro-stamping technology.  Some of you may be aware that at least two major firearms makers have stopped shipping firearms to California due to being required to use this technology in products sold in California.

In any case, I thought I'd take a moment to include my own thoughts on this subject of the relationship between Oak Tree and Armatix.  This Armatix incident is not the only example of the way Oak Tree does some of their business.  I like the place and many of the employees but they need to put attention toward some of the business practices, operating procedures and executive management. 

Click on "Read more" to continue.

The story started here - http://www.examiner.com/article/california-doj-asked-how-smart-gun-without-microstamping-made-safe-roster

One more story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/03/06/the-smart-gun-controversy-at-oak-tree-gun-club/

My own point of view:

I am surprised that the Oak Tree owners / management would let Armatix anywhere near their facility let alone rent space to them.  I personally think that sending them packing at the end of their lease would send a message to their customers, and to Sacramento.  If Oak Tree wishes to support their customers and the shooting industry in general in my opinion, giving a home to companies like Armatix is contraindicated.   

The first response to the Examiner article which was posted on the Oak Tree Facebook page was this:

Oak Tree Gun Club "There are 2 FFL Licenses at the facility, under California Gun Girls, LLC - one is for retail firearm sales (01 - dealer in firearm sales other than destructive devices), the other is for reloading (06 - manufacturer of ammunition for firearms). Theselicenses are my licenses. I run the commercial reloading operation and retail firearm sales at the facility.

The other FFL was obtained by Armatix, and it is an import FFL. The Armatix "technology" that James Mitchell was referring to is a Range System, which utilized sensors placed down-range, to establish safe shooting angles. Because Oak Tree is a large training facility, this was something that was considered. We would not import the "technology" so they obtained an import FFL for this purpose. There was never any agreement to purchase the range system.

I hope this information helps explain this situation.

Sincerely,

Betsy James

California Gun Girls, LLC"
Like · Reply · 7 · March 3 at 1:09pm

Oak Tree can spin this anyway they wish but it still may send a bad message to the shooting public.

The issue here is not whether Oak Tree is or is not involved in the sale or development of "smart guns"  It is a matter of Oak Tree renting space in their premier shooting facility in Southern California to a company that develops technology to strip the rights of legal firearm owners?  This is how many people perceive the relationship.

These types of technology has already caused at least two companies to stop selling products to California. The technologies strongest attribute is giving anti-firearm government representatives "ammunition" to take away rights and choices from the people.   The technology forces gun makers to pay or license this technology and go outside of their own manufacturing capabilities and add cost and complexity for them.  This is almost akin to passing a law requiring every firearm sold in California be fitted with a GPS tracking device made by the folks that provide ankle bracelets for criminals.

The dialogue continues:




I am sure the story will continue and opinions will vary.

On a final note in regard to the last comment by David Kim in regard to micro-stamping.  When a firearm is used in a crime of mass shooting that makes the news there are many witnesses.  The firearm is easy to trace back to the shooter.  In more common crimes the technology is there already to look at bullets etc.  But, in many illegal crimes, the gun is not registered, may have no serial number, was obtained illegally.  All the micro-stamping in the world will not change anything other than add another government agency to track some sort of database that will be filled with nothing but law abiding citizens. It would also drive more companies to stop selling their products to California.

March 12, 2014 Update

Today I went to Oak Tree in the morning to do a bit of trap shooting.  Driving, as you cross over the 5 to turn onto Coltrane, there used to be a Armatix sign with the Oak Tree sign.  The Armatix sign was gone.

When I was done shooting I walked down to where the Armatix offices once were.  The signs were gone as are traces of the Armatix business.

I do not know if Armatix is any longer on the property or whether the removal of signs was in response to the news stories and posts in regard to whatever relationship Armatix and Oak Tree had with each other.

I welcome any Oak Tree response or contact from them to hear their point of view which I will be happy to add, in full and unedited, to this piece.

3/5/2015 update.  Dropping rating from 5 stars to 3 stars on Yelp.

If you look at my earlier part of my review you will notice I initially had a bad impression as there was somebody behind the counter when there were a lot of people waiting for service and there was only one other individual waiting on those folks.  The clueless guy turned out to be Tim Mitchell as I later learned.  I felt that if he had personal conversation on his personal agenda he should step out from behind the counter.  This was in the old shotgun shop which is now the Beretta shop as a side note.

So why the big drop from five stars to three?  The facility is nice and the crew and employees are outstanding.  If one of them caused my problem this morning I would have just escalated the issue to management.  Unfortunately, the person causing the problem was management.  

Oak Tree is supposed to open at 10am.  There were a group of folks waiting to start shooting on the trap fields this morning.  Just as I was ready to start shooting, one of the crew told us we could not start shooting for a bit.  I asked how long?  They did not know.  I went to Mike, the shotgun facility manager.  He said he did not know how long the delay would be either.  He was told by his boss (Tim Mitchell) to keep things shut down.

It seems, from my own observation and some feedback, that Tim Mitchell had a group of his own that he was taking up to the sporting clays area.  His group came first as did his desire to keep things shut down until he drove back down the hill.  This was the second time I had seen him put himself ahead of the people that support his business.  

So.... rather than just update this review I will take a bit of economic action as well over 2015.  I have a bit over $100 remaining on my shoot card.  Normally that would last a few weeks.  Now it may last the rest of 2015.  I will be shooting less trap here and will spend more time shooting sporting clays at a facility that treats ALL their customers like they matter.  The main reason I will return to Oak Tree is because there are a lot of great employees.  Unfortunately the executive management leaves a lot to be desired.

Side note:  The metallic side of the pistol range has needed repairs on broken targets more often than not.  On one occasion the range did not open for over an hour and a half on a scheduled open day as repairs that had started in the morning on a non-maintenance day continued until lunch.  The staff apologized to me and I overlooked the incident at the time.  Unfortunately, over time the lack of organization and planning has been the rule more than the exception.  

4/8/15 Addition 

Click for full size image
In regard to the new website .... the Beretta store .... Unless clothing is used or made in the past it is not vintage.  The store sells new sporting style clothing.  I guess you could say "vintage style" in quotes or do something like that.

I have not looked much at the new website yet but I will.  I tend to look for mistakes now after a few incidents involving Tim Mitchell and a few issues with things not working or not being open according to your schedule due to poorly scheduled maintenance.  I was a big fan but after the last Tim Mitchell incident I have chosen to support your business less than I had been doing as there are other facilities I also use that have been in a state of improving rather than degrading.  The website is nice but you really need to address some other areas.  You can put new paint on the buildings but if your highest level of customer service and representation does not expand his own personal interests to those of his customers (other than his own personal inner circle), you may lose the support of more folks.

- end - 

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