As the owner of Gunsite Academy, a 2,000-acre training facility for members of the armed forces, law enforcement and civilians, in Paulden, Ariz., Owen Buz Mills has dedicated his life to firearm education. Mills says, “Shooting is a sport like swimming, it is good and competitive, and one day it just may save your life.”
He and his wife have made an effort to instill that same love of the shooting sports in their two children, as well as their two grandchildren.
Mills was introduced to firearms early in life by his father who served in the military. His father’s role in the U.S. Navy allowed him to expand his knowledge of the shooting sports and later serve in the military as well. He is now a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
Mills’ work in firearm education began as early as high school when he first became an NRA member and worked as a counselor at a Boy Scout camp. “I’m a big supporter of the NRA and what they do for kids. With the Eddie Eagle GunSafe and Youth programs, they do great things for kids’ firearm education. Shooting teaches kids safety and responsibility,” Mills says.
Mills says he learned a lot from Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, who founded Gunsite Academy in 1976. Cooper was also a member of the NRA Board of Directors before passing away in 2006. Mills says, “I became very interested in his training method, and when I got an opportunity to buy [Gunsite], I did.”
As an NRA Benefactor member, Mills’ work in supporting the Second Amendment doesn’t stop with education and his four years on the NRA Board; he also serves on The NRA Foundation, Investment Oversight Committee for the Foundation, Industry Relations Task Force and the Bylaws & Resolutions, Education & Training, Public Affairs and Publications Policies committees. As a commercial pilot and a pilot for the Sheriffs’ Air Group SAR unit, Mills has testified before Congress in favor of arming pilots.
Mills says, “We should exercise all of our rights. They’re like a muscle, if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them. We need to let everyone know we’re here and that we’re not giving up.”
NRA BOARD SPOTLIGHT
Individual profiles of members of the NRA Board of Directors and their efforts to preserve our right to keep and bear arms.