Get to Know the Team at Poway Weapons & Gear Range

Take a moment to get to know the people here at Poway Weapons & Gear Range. We only hire the most qualified and friendly staff to assist you. We take training, safety, and customer service very seriously and go above and beyond to make sure you have an enjoyable and safe experience whenever visiting us.

Our Dedicated Team is Excited to Work with You!

John Phillips
John Phillips Founder

John Phillips

John’s background has been built around law enforcement.  After college where John focused on his Finance Degree, John became a part of the federal drug enforcement efforts conducting drug interdiction efforts around the world as a member of the U.S. Government’s Specialized Operations Group.  John has continued to build on his law enforcement career with over 24 years of federal instruction, consulting and providing specialized training to various law enforcement and military units across the U.S. under the Poway Weapons & Gear Range umbrella.

After retiring from law enforcement John founded and continues to pilot, ArchAngel Inc., a private security firm focused on security consultation and executive protection for A-list celebrities and some of the Forbes list “Richest People in the World”.

In 2002, while at the helm of ArchAngel, John also founded and ultimately sold Satellite Security Systems, a GPS technology solutions company that directly supported law enforcement and Homeland Security efforts.  His efforts were well received and he was ultimately fortunate enough to grow and sell the company in 2006 to a public technology firm.

John holds various law enforcement, instructor, security and regulatory certifications. He is a member of the FBI’s, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Tactical Officers Association, and a National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Instructor.  John also serves as a AcuSport Retail Advisory Board member and as a National Shooting Sport Foundation Range Advisory Council Member.
Danielle Rudolph
Danielle Rudolph Retail Manager

Danielle Rudolph

Danielle was born and raised in Murrieta and has lived in Southern California her entire life. An avid runner, Danielle competed in cross-country and track all four years of high school, and in college when she attended California State University, Fresno. A Public Health major, she began working at Sports Authority during college, and continued her seven year stunt there after school, eventually working her way up as management. Danielle enjoys utilizing her managing and retail merchandising experience at PWG, something she never pictured herself doing in her younger years.

"Growing up, I was told guns were dangerous and wasn't allowed to be around them,” Danielle explained. Somehow, it sparked an interest for her, and Danielle’s perspective on the industry completely changed at PWG.

"After working there for a short time, I was finally able to get my family to come in and see the place, and they were even more amazed than I was,” Danielle smiled. "They were so in awe that I got them to sign up for a class and even shoot a few guns. This is why I love working here. I believe this is a place that can change the way people think about guns and the gun industry. I saw that change in my parents and it was pretty spectacular to see that change in them."

Danielle enjoys running marathons, taking her dog on hikes, fishing, taking her boat out, cooking, and even baking.
Chris Bush Director of Training & Safety

Chris Bush

Chris, originally from Arizona, is a fourth-generation Soldier. Chris started shooting pistol, rifle, and handguns from a very early age. After joining the Army, Chris found himself doing multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan first, as a Light Infantry Medic and then as a Special Operations Combat Medic. He went to a myriad of shooting and tactical schools, as well as becoming a Certified Instructor in both Tactical medicine and Firearms through the US Military.

Chris retired from the Army in 2014 and began working as a Senior Instructor in Antiterrorism for the Department of State. After traveling to 42 countries teaching weapons, tactics, leadership, combat medicine, and emergency preparedness for three and a half years. Chris has decided to make San Diego his home and will be leading the PWG Training & Safety efforts. He is excited about bringing his knowledge and experience to our guests and members. Chris has a very similar philosophy to that which has been at the core of PWG's training vision from day one: "Every time you train, train with the motivation and purpose that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill." – Tim Kennedy
Martin Hewlett
Martin Hewlett Firearms Instructor

Martin Hewlett

Martin, a San Diego County native, is a second-generation police officer and was introduced to firearms at an early age by his father. His fondest memory is of reloading shotgun shells after school so he and his father could go trap shooting later in the evening and spending weekends on the shooting range with his father and all the other police officers. As an adult, Martin earned several advanced degrees and completed approximately 30 years of law enforcement service here in California, retiring at the rank of Captain. He still serves as a paid reserve police officer focusing on policies and training. During his career, Martin experienced virtually all facets of law enforcement, to include research and development of firearms, tactics, and training programs.
Vicki O'Neil
Vicki O'Neil Director of Social Media and Communications

Vicki O'Neil

Vicki was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Most of her youth was spent on a small family horse farm.
After many years exploring new opportunities she arrived in San Diego and joined a family of military, police and large game hunters. Experience around guns and rifles had been minimal, yet she was eager to learn and explore.
Becoming part of the great team at PWG her appreciation for the industry makes her strive in serving the best information to our community and support. “Being part of the PWG Staff is quite a privilege. PWG is the leading force in this industry and it certainly exciting to be a part of the path”.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith Certified Armorer / Gunsmith Apprentice / Senior Associate

Mark Smith

Mark became fixated on mechanics and craftsmanship at an early age that later merged with his passion for firearms. He began working on cars with his father at the age of 16 and understood very quickly that perfection wasn’t a goal, but a requirement. After spending time in the United States Navy as a Construction Mechanic in the Seabees, a stroke of fate brought him to Poway Weapons & Gear. Working from the original store front, he spent his summer building the range during the construction phase.

Specializing in semi-automatic firearms, he is expanding his genre out to weaponsmithing, revolvers, bolt-action and lever actions with the guidance of Robert Soldenski, his instructor. Marks is trained and certified in diverse brands like Glock, Sig Sauer and Zev framework. In 2015, he ventured out to Rifle Dynamics and received thorough training on building AK 47/74 rifles from founder and AK mentor, Jim Fuller. With much respect to Law Enforcement, Mark has worked on many duty firearms as a top priority for the fighting professionals.

Cultivating in the art of Duracoat firearm finishing since 2012, he has painted designs in U.S. Armed Forces camo, distressed, foreign military camo, nature camo, rust/pitting cover up, personalizing signature, color matching two-toned colors, and now Durablu for that classic bluing look!

Mark also takes a secondary role of maintaining the Meggitt targeting equipment, facility maintenance and retail support.

"The majority of my customers use their firearms for duty, personal protection, hunting and sport shooting." Mark stated, "It's a personal thing to me; I treat all firearms as my own and will maintain, repair, upgrade and/or modify with finesse to deliver a functioning firearm that my customers can have confidence in operating."
Jaki Falch Events & Special Projects Coordinator

Jacki Falch

Jaki is a Pennsylvania native with strong traveling ties, which pushed her to the University of Hawaii to pursue a Bachelors in Human Development. While she was there, she worked for her college football team and traveled most of the west coast. After completing her undergraduate degree, she spent time overseas in Germany, Finland, and Japan while simultaneously earning her Masters in Health Administration.

Jaki has experience in a variety of teaching fields but took a leap while seeing opportunity in using her passion for organization and planning to pilot PWG's Annual Community Expo of 2017. After shooting her first bullet at PWG, she immediately felt a connection to becoming a well armed and well trained member in the firearm community, which she hopes to model for members and guests. “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…” – George Washington