Writer Misty Newman gets gun tips from Kurt Pietrzak of Maricopa Shooting Service. Photo by Adam Wolfe

By Misty Newman

I had the pleasure of speaking with Kurt Pietrzak, the owner of Maricopa Shooting Service. He first opened his doors in 2003 after he was injured as a Paramedic of 20 years. He has always been passionate about guns and this was something he could do at his own pace and from his home.

He started his business venture with Gunsmith courses and from there moved into getting CCW Certified. The first CCW class was held in 2004 and since then he has had at least 1 CCW course per month. Maricopa Shooting Service provides two types of training – a concealed-weapons course and a gun-safety course. Kurt also gives individualized shooting lessons held at a gun range in Hidden Valley. He is also an instructor for the new NRA program, Refuse to be a Victim.

Maricopa Shooting Service also specializes in guns; they sell revolvers, 12-gauge shotguns and semi-automatics to name a few. Kurt has an FFL so he can legally purchase and take possession of firearms. If someone finds a gun online and it’s through a private dealer, then Kurt will send that company a copy of his FFL so he can purchase the gun.

For those guns he doesn’t have access to, he has a friend in Florence that sells class 3, including suppressors. According to Pietrzak, it is now legal in Arizona to hunt with a suppressor. “The benefit of using a suppressor is heavy ear protection is not needed and the sound of the gun going off won’t scare other animals that are close. You still hear the crack of the bullet, but not the big boom,” he said.

Gun safety is a top concern for Kurt and he greatly emphasizes this in his trainings. “Bad guys always find a way to do bad things,” Kurt said. “It’s not the gun who kills; it’s the person standing behind it.” According to Kurt, there are four safety rules everyone should follow when handling a gun:

1.    Never point at anything you’re not willing to kill.
2.    Keep your finger off the trigger.
3.    Every gun is loaded until you check it yourself.
4.    Know your target – what’s in front of it and what is behind it.

Pietrzak knows all too well how close a person can get to being shot.

“You can get away with breaking one rule, but you break two and bad things happen,” he said. “I have had someone shoot off a round between my feet and another time they shot along my trailer. You must pay a lot of attention when you shoot. The best people to teach are those with no experience because they don’t have bad habits.”

Kurt also has very insightful advice for training correctly and under pressure.

“The way you train is how you will truly fight. Go out in the desert and yell at the target – because you normally don’t do this,” Pietrzak said. “Practice makes permanent, so be forceful. Use your body language and your tone of voice to make up any scenario you want to. You can also make it a competition which will put more pressure on you. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Imagine the target is trying to kill you, and it will take you to a whole new level.”

When asked about the value Maricopa Shooting Service provides, Kurt had a quick response: “To make you better equipped for self-defense. Every woman should carry a gun.”

Pietrzak suggested that all women should own a semi-automatic. He stated that “fine motor skills go away in a fight or flight situation, you get tunnel vision and your hearing goes away. You must decide if you are going to fight or flight beforehand.”

To sign up for a course or to purchase a firearm, visit MaricopaShooting.com or call 520-568-1820.


Misty Newman grew up in Idaho and was raised in the outdoors. She loves to go camping, hiking, fishing, & rafting. In her past life, two of her favorite recreational activities included bungee jumping and rock climbing. She was a ranger for a state park, a Recreation Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club, and the photo editor at the College of Southern Idaho. She moved from Idaho in 2007 and has lived in Maricopa since. She now enjoys exploring AZ with her two beautiful children. Visit http://www.maricopaoutdooradventures.com/

See her previous InMaricopa Outdoors stories:

Avid adventurer changes life, now helping others

Pacana Park remains in the heart of Maricopa

Introduction to InMaricopa Outdoors

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