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Security and firearms training with straight-shooter Sam Hines

Our series on creative and non-traditional businesses continues with Sam Hines, owner and director of Training of Advance Security Training and Personal Protection (ASTAPP).

Our series on creative and non-traditional businesses continues with Sam Hines, owner and director of Training of Advance Security Training and Personal Protection (ASTAPP).

Hines is highly equipped to handle his business, with 19 years of law enforcement experience. He attended the FBI Firearms Instructor School and is a NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. In addition, he received the Army rank of Lieutenant Colonel and a Bronze Star in Operation Iraqi Freedom III.

With recent changes state legislators made to our gun laws, it is more important than ever to be knowledgeable of and in compliance with the regulations.

Carlee McCullough, Esq.: Tell us about yourself and how you came about starting a company like ASTAPP?


Sam Hines: ASTAPP is a culmination of my military training and law enforcement experience. I love training, motivating and teaching others.

C.M.: What were the primary factors you considered before starting your company?

S.H.: The number one factor was determining if there was a market or niche for the business. Next, I realized I had unintentionally acquired all the skill sets necessary to support a business in the market. Finally, I found myself passionate about instructing.

C.M.: Describe the types of training courses offered at your facility?

S.H.: We conduct the Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Course, armed & unarmed security license training, as well as security company employee training, beginner to advance firearms marksmanship, chemical spray, baton, speed cuffing, defensive tactics and newly added executive/dignitary protection courses.  

C.M.: Awesome, what kind of clients do you have?

S.H.:  This business has no blinders or limits. Anyone who will handle a firearm in any capacity is a potential client. The home or business owner, criminal justice student, security officer, law enforcement officer or recruit, neighborhood watch group, various social clubs, single parents, all need to know gun safety at the very least.

C.M.: In your opinion what does it take to run a business?

S.H.: A lot of hard work, but more importantly, organization and efficient execution of your business plan.

C.M.: What is the greatest reward in running your own business?

S.H.: Well, I came up with this cliché a long time ago, “If I work half as hard for myself as I have worked for others, I would be successful at whatever I do.” Thus far it has worked for me. The key reward is I own it. I determine the outcome. I determine my salary. I determine whether I deserve or get a raise. I like those factors. They motivate me.

C.M.: Is now the best time (in this economy) to become an entrepreneur?

S.H.: Yes depending on the type of business and your drive to be entrepreneur. If you are not so lucky, this economy will force you to become an entrepreneur.

C.M.: Do you employ any web or online marketing?

S.H.: Yes, I have a website: www.ASTAPP.org, which will also allow anyone to access me through email, office phone, fax or mobile. A list of my courses, times and prices are listed on the site.

C.M.: What books or resources would you recommend for individuals starting out in business?

S.H.: I’m a military guy, and it was a requirement in some places to read Colin Powell’s, “My American Journey” and “The Art of War” by SunTzu.  I also like undergraduate and graduate level books in business management and marketing. Their strategies are normally up to date. However, you must know what’s happening in your immediate environment and community. Therefore I am big on local print. I always get accused of getting my money’s worth out of newspapers, because I read the entire paper. I always learn something I didn’t know and what opportunities are right at my fingertips.

C.M.: Any closing remarks?

S.H.: Remember, safety, safety and more safety when handling weapons.

(For additional information about Advance Security Training and Personal Protection please visit www.ASTAPP.org.)

(Please send your questions to Carlee McCullough, Esq., Contract Compliance Officer, City of Memphis-Office of Contract Compliance, 125 N. Main St., Suite 546, Memphis, TN 38103 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)


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