Mike grew up in rural western Kansas. His family was very active in hunting, shooting, and reloading. Firearms and teaching have always been in his blood and are his passion. In Mike’s spare time, he enjoys all things BBQ & smoking meats, making sausage, shooting competitions, playing with his St. Bernard and Newfoundland dogs, and hunting. Mike is an NRA Instructor #256101148, Arkansas Concealed Carry & Enhanced Concealed Carry Instructor #22-1542, Range Safety Officer with NRA, and Master Shooter and Range Officer with the USPSA shooting sport.
Karen grew up in rural eastern Kansas, in a small town that doesn’t have a stoplight but is slightly bigger than Cord. If you blink, you might just miss it. Karen is a Range Safety Officer with NRA. She loves animals (really anything furry), especially rabbits and dogs! Karen enjoys spending time outdoors, tending to her flowers, hiking, shooting, and fishing. The dogs are always by her side and are huge helpers.
Mike and Karen are competitive shooters with USPSA and have fun traveling to matches together. We’ve worked together for over 20 years and enjoy spending our off time with our hobbies. Our last name is pronounced like “Lease” and not as it looks in English.
In 2021 we moved from Colorado, where we lived for 16 years, to Cord, AR. In Colorado, we owned an insurance and real estate brokerage that focused on the best interests of our clients for their insurance and real estate decisions. We trained agents to implement the same values and care for their client’s services that we provided from 2001-2021. Colorado changed quite a bit over the years and we knew it wouldn’t be our forever home. We wanted a place to call home where folks are friendly and have the same values as we grew up in Kansas but we needed a state with a beautiful landscape. Arkansas is the perfect fit for us, and it’s no wonder they call it the natural state with all its natural beauty!
In the fall of 2021, we were blessed to find the perfect property to call home and open the gun range with a training facility in Cord. Our dream came true in the Spring of 2022 with Independence Firearms & Training. Our goal is to help new and experienced shooters improve their shooting and self-defense skills by offering training with the same passionate and caring attitude that built our past businesses. In addition, we want to promote youth shooting programs to introduce a new generation to safe and rewarding firearm activities.
On the outdoor range, we try to get away from the standard static shooting at bullseye targets from 7 yards and introduce a more dynamic shooting environment for everyone that’s typically only available to competitive shooters. We offer a wide variety of fun moving targets, interactive steel targets, and a mixture of cardboard and gaming targets. In addition, this fall, the bowling pin league should be up and running to offer fun for the whole family.
The indoor laser range is available to help shooters save on ammo while getting realistic training at a fraction of the cost during live fire. We can train all types of shooting experiences and real-life scenarios in the laser range, and the best part is it is available rain or shine. For anyone nervous about learning to shoot, the laser range offers the perfect way to gain confidence and learn shooting skills in a stress-free environment before transitioning to the live fire range. Gun rentals are available if you’re looking to try out a few different styles of guns or pick the best one for your next purchase.
Our training classes cater to a wide range of skill levels from beginners to advanced shooters providing an energetic and safe environment to help everyone reach their shooting goals. The training center offers pistol and rifle shooting skills classes, scenario based training like our live fire REACT class and video scenario self-defense class in the laser range, USPSA practice course, church safety team training, medical training, reloading and more. We have a CCW class each month if you’re interested in getting your Arkansas Concealed Carry License. Mike offers private instruction and holds private courses for groups and families. Whether you want to touch up your shooting skills or be the best protector possible for your family, we have a class that can help you attain your goals.
We offer private event rentals for families, reunions, birthdays, companies, churches, clubs, and any other gathering. Your group will not only have fun on the range but be able to participate in the other games and activities available like horseshoes, corn hole, disc golf putting basket, or enjoy fellowship under the pavilion. Our laser range and training class area have a commercial kitchen available for rent with a waterproof covered deck overlooking our beautiful pond and peaceful setting.
The pro shop is stocked with merchandise focused on concealed carry and medical gear. We carry the most popular guns, ammo, medical supplies, and concealed carry gear from the top brands in the industry. Mike is always willing to help with suggestions for the best choices for everyone’s unique needs.
Our naturally positive, caring personalities help our students get the most out of the training classes in a relaxed environment. Our goal is to ensure the everyday person can learn and shoot in a safe, fun environment. Check out the resources on FirearmsAndTraining.com for more information on the classes we offer, memberships, range reservations, and more. We always go the extra mile for people, and you’re welcome to call or email us with any questions.
We look forward to meeting and shooting with you!
Mike & Karen Lies
The range is very close to the town of Cord. By the 3-way stop off Hwy 25 where the Country Crossroad convenience store is, it’s about a quarter mile west of the junction.
From Hwy 25 (White Dr) turn onto Circle Drive until you see our sign on the north side of the road. Enter through the red gate and follow the gravel road until you see another sign for the Range and Classes.