Use of Deadly Force: the Unarmed Assailant

Shooting 1971 Summary.    The following is a summary of information presented by one of our members at our monthly Action Training Group meeting in July. The purpose of the presentation in Spokane Valley was to initiate discussion about self-defense issues so we can start creating Reality Based scenarios that develop situational awareness for armed citizens, church safety teams and law enforcement personnel in the Spokane and North Idaho areas.  Criminal defense attorneys & civil practitioners also need to understand the dynamics of what actually occurs during the decision making process under high stress situations. Read more

He Trains My Hands to Protect the Body of Christ

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 dealing with church safety & liability issues from a book entitled He Trains My Hands for Battle.

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel 3:17-18

Training Your Security Team. The number of professional training firms has grown. One of the most well recognized national ministries in the field of church security is Sheepdog Ministries. Your team needs to participate in regular Reality Based Training (RBT) to avoid exposure to the risk of church liability. Such events involve volunteer actors playing roles such as an active shooter, innocent bystander, plain clothes law enforcement officer who enters the room with weapon drawn, etc, These events normally require simulated ammunition or Simunition or might even be conducted with SIRT laser pistols which do not use simunition. The key is to create the stress of a chaotic life threatening event that causes team members to react to foreseeable situations.

Well recognized legal precedents provide that law enforcement agencies that fail to train for foreseeable situations will be held liable.

Firearms and use of Force Training: Training must be tailored to avoid specific church liabilities in a safe and caring atmosphere.  Potential church liability is a compelling factor when anticipating the allegation that armed school personnel are not in compliance with the guidelines for law enforcement officers spelled out by the U.S Supreme Court in Popow vs Margate, 476 F.Supp. 1237 (Dist. N.J. 1979) (Officer’s firearms training of going to a range twice a year; no training with respect to low light conditions, moving targets or firing in residential areas. Entirely foreseeable that an officer from the City of Margate, a largely residential area, would have to pursue a moving suspect at night under low-light conditions). See also Young v. City of Providence, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1847 (R.I. 2004).  Read more

Brief in Support of Retired LEO Denied Federal LEOSA Card

Petitioner has standing and states a claim upon which relief may be granted because LEOSA and the Administrative Procedure Act is appropriate for the relief sought. Johnson v. New York State Dep’t of Corr. Servs presents facts that are very different from the facts presented herein.  In Johnson, the Plaintiffs asserted a right to carry under LEOSA.  The court  held that Congress did not intend to create a private cause of action, but rather a private right. The Johnson court stated:

For the same reasons as with consideration of the second Cort factor, the creation of a federal remedy would be inconsistent with LEOSA’s statutory scheme because Congress left the states with the authority to issue concealed firearm certifications. Therefore, this factor also weighs against the determination that Congress intended to establish a private cause of action.

Johnson, supra (emphasis added).  Read more

Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) & the Air Force

Purpose. Certain law enforcement officers who work for the Air Force, have requested that the Law Office of Mark Knapp draft an Opinion Letter analyzing issues related to Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) Identification set forth below. The officers have indicated that they have been treated differently than other DOD and Air Force employees and that LEOs and their families are endangered thereby.

Facts. Law enforcement members of the 375th Security Forces Squadron have raised certain issues pertaining to the Qualified Law Enforcement Officer Identification cards. The LEOS asserted that their right to carry a weapon off duty is being violated by Air Force policy. One grievance has been filed via the officers’ collective bargaining representative which is National Association of Independent Labor (NAIL) Local 19. The grievance raised issues under the Second Amendment and Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) of 2004 and as amended in 2008. Read more

Spokane Criminal Defense Law Firm

Criminal Defense. A big component of our Spokane area criminal defense practice is dedicated to restoring the right to own firearms. Up until a few years ago, the NICS did not recognize restoration of rights for non-felony domestic violence convictions entered in Washington state. With many Domestic Violence (DV) convictions, a person is still prohibited by Washington state law from possessing firearms under RCW 9.41.040 (2)(a)(i).

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Domestic Violence. The Domestic Violence convictions that prohibit possession of firearms under Washington state law are the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another, after July 1, 1993: Assault in the fourth degree, coercion, stalking, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass in the first degree, or violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence. Read more

Expungement of Convictions, Gun Rights & Criminal Defense in Spokane, Washington

Criminal Defense. As a Spokane Criminal Defense attorney, Mark Knapp often gets calls regarding restoration of gun rights, expungement and the right to possess firearms under Washington state law. In Washington state, expungement does not restore the right to possess firearms. A Petition to Restore the Right to Possess Firearms is the procedure that is required pursuant to RCW 9.41.040.

Restoration of Gun Rights. There are many pitfalls and potential problems that arise in the process. Although some situations seem simple, it is best to have an attorney handling your case that focuses on firearms issues and restoration of gun rights. Read more

Personal Self-Defense is Fundamental to Liberty & Economic Freedom

The cartels just across the border from El Paso, Texas erupted in violence several years ago. Ciudad Juárez was ground zero in Mexico’s war against drug cartels. The violence spread until citizens in Michoacán organized what became known as Autodefensas or self-defense organizations.

Dr. José Manuel Mireles, the leader of the self-defense group in the Mexican state of Michoacán, was released from prison on the morning of May 12, 2017, after serving nearly three years in prison. Cartel Land is a documentary film that tells the story of how, under Dr. Mireles, the Autodefensas, recruited and trained fellow citizens to stop the Knights Templar in Tepalcatepec. Starting in February, 2013, the citizens of Tepalcatepec confronted the Knights Templar cartel, which had been terrorizing the population of the Tierra Caliente area of Michoacán. Read more

Criminal Assault Laws, Self-Defense & Display of a Weapon With Intent to Intimidate

Display With Intent to Intimidate. The Spokane area Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC handles many kinds of criminal defense cases. Many present issues of self-defense. The ability to claim self-defense depends on whether there is an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. The issue of self-defense often arises when a weapon is displayed during a road rage incident or some altercation.

The Washington State Legislature enacted RCW 9.41.270, the Display With Intent to Intimidate law, in 1969. The statute prohibits display of a weapon in “a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.” Read more

Spokane Church & Action Training Group: Use of Force to Detain

On June 5, 2017, several members of the Action Training Group, Inc. met at Genesis Church in Spokane to discuss church security, use of force to detain and citizen’s arrest laws for church safety teams in Washington state. Rustin Rathbun, presented the information for the Genesis Safety Team and the ATG. A good discussion of Washington law followed. We had some very informative discussion as to when Church Safety teams are permitted by law to detain individuals who commit crimes on church premises.

The following points are from my notes and include several conclusions reached by my own independent research and conclusions. The conclusions herein are my own and should not be construed as legal advice. The facts of each specific situation dictate a very wide range of different legal outcomes.

The starting point for church safety teams is that even though a team of volunteers is not licensed to perform professional security operations, the church itself comes under the laws that pertain to shopkeepers. Read more

ATG Presents Safety Team Programs for North Idaho & Spokane Area Churches

Action Training Group Monthly Membership Meeting. Kenny Moore spoke at our monthly ATG Membership Meeting at the Post Falls Cabela’s on May 26. Kenny led the security team at the Candlelight Church team in Coeur d’Alene when they got started.

Kenny, a retired Lt. Colonel, USMC, shared that the best approach is to look at the very best current Church Security available in the United States, and tailor programs to meet the specific needs of each church environment. Read more