High-Capacity Magazines & Gun Trusts in Washington State

Can an NFA gun trust protect you and your family from potential penalties imposed if you loan a “high-capacity” magazine to a co-trustee or leave a high-capacity magazine to your beneficiaries when you die? Transfer or sale of magazines holding more than ten rounds will be a gross misdemeanor with civil penalties in Washington state after July 1, 2022. Even transfers of guns designed and manufactured with an “ammunition feeding device” holding over ten rounds that cannot be detached, such as a tube magazine or an extended magazine tube for your shotgun, will be prohibited. The only exception will be for .22 caliber rifles with tube magazines and all calibers of lever action rifles.

What does it take for the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC to be listed in the Who’s Who of Top Attorneys? https://zurl.co/5ce0

The civil penalties apply to online sales and do not provide an exception for sales to military and law enforcement. While sales and transfers to law enforcement agencies (but not individual officers) are exempt from criminal penalties, law enforcement agencies will probably not be able to purchase such items online if the law is strictly construed with potential triple damages against sellers for unfair or deceptive business practices under the Washington’ State Consumer Protection Act.

Continue reading “High-Capacity Magazines & Gun Trusts in Washington State”

Benefits of a Washington Gun Trust or NFA Trust.

All Gun Trusts are not equal. A Gun Trust or NFA Trust should be designed for all of your firearms and will provide Asset Protection and multi generational ownership for your firearms.

Since 1993, the Law Firm of Mark Knapp PLLC has specialized in NFA Gun Trusts and working with courts to restore clients’ right to possess firearms in Washington.

No CLEO Signature Required
The ATF no longer requires that individuals obtain approval from their Chief Law Enforcement Officer (the “CLEO”) as part of the application process to obtain a Title II firearm from another individual or Class 3 dealer.Continue reading “Benefits of a Washington Gun Trust or NFA Trust.”


The Road to Perpetual Warfare

The United States seems to have embarked on a dangerous road toward perpetual warfare. Many people have recognized that the Iraq War and the promises of opening the Middle East to Democracy were more about opening we the People of the United States to manipulation.  

In a sense it was about oil. But the overarching objective for global corporatists has been to maintain the dollar as the currency in which the IMF requires international banking reserves to be held. International bankers, like the Rockefellers and other family dynasties, have quietly stayed behind the scenes by working through groups like the Council on Foreign Relations and tax, exempt foundations that fund university studies. For example, the Ford Foundation is allegedly the biggest contributor to Black Lives Matter.

Continue reading “The Road to Perpetual Warfare”

Purim: Self-Defense in Jewish History

Today, March 6th, begins Purim 2023. This Jewish holiday is often treated like a blending of Christmas, Halloween and Easter with candy, gifts and costumes for kids. Most Christians ignore it. But there is a deep significance that goes beyond the over-romanticized marriage of newly crowned queen, Esther — who replaced Vashti when she was thrown out of the kingdom —  and King Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persia-Median Empire.

The story is in the Book of Esther where Haman (the King’s adviser probably a descendant of Amalekites, ancient enemies of Israel) prevails on the King to decree a genocide against the captive Jewish population. The date was set by purim; i.e., the drawing of lots. The fact that Esther was secretly Jewish led to her appealing to the King not to allow the destruction of her people. According to the Hebrew calendar, Purim lands on the 14th day of the month Adar, which is the sixth month of the (Jewish) year. Adar roughly corresponds to March in the Gregorian calendar, give or take a few days.

The photo below depicts Jan Žižka, a  contemporary and follower of Jan Hus and who led the resistance against overwhelming professional troops by raising a volunteer army of untrained farmers armed with pikes and a few muskets and pistols.   Žižka was a successful military leader and is now a national hero in the Czech Republic. He was nicknamed "One-eyed Žižka", having lost one and then both eyes. Jan Žižka led Hussite forces against three crusades and never lost a single battle despite being completely blind in his last stages of life. Like Esther, he stood for his people and stopped a genocide. The Moravian War helped launch the Reformation years before the time of Martin Luther.

Queen Esther stood for her people while facing possible death for daring to approach the king without being summoned. King Ahasuerus issued a new decree because, under the ancient laws of the Medes, the King cannot revoke a decree that he has previously entered and proclaimed.

Continue reading “Purim: Self-Defense in Jewish History”


What experiences in life helped you grow the most?

Ironwork is rigging heavy loads and erecting steel structures. I was in the trade for ten years and went through formal Apprenticeship training with classes for three years.

Working on towers, high-rise buildings and bridges was an experience that I enjoyed. The men were a breed apart from any others. There were virtually no women in the trade while I was an Apprentice and Journeyman in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I even got to work on the Golden Gate Bridge. Most of the hands I knew have passed on or retired now.

Continue reading “Ironwork”

Bellingham Herald Reports Nothing About Whatcom County Acquittal?

Kamuran Chabuk never set out to create a case history for legal advocates in the self-defense arena when he and his girlfriend went to check on a noise in their neighborhood. It sounded like someone near where they lived might have needed help. The neighbor making the noise was very drunk and he and another potential assailant followed the young couple to their home, continually harassing Chabuk and his girlfriend right up to their front door. Mr. Chabuk took out his gun and told the two men to leave the private area outside his residence. The two men, continued to advance towards Chabuk- even after one of them had been shot. Kamuran shot the most aggressive of the two; the aggressor did not realize he had been shot. The aggressor continued to advance even after Kamuran shot him a second and third time

Continue reading “Bellingham Herald Reports Nothing About Whatcom County Acquittal?”

What is Disparity of Force?

The well recognized concept known as disparity of force is not one that most lawyers learn in law school. Most of us learn a great deal about how to exclude evidence when police conduct an un-Constitutional search, fail to read a suspect’s Miranda rights, and similar aspects of criminal procedure.

Use of Force. Use of force, on the other hand, is not even a major topic within the criminal law curriculum or on most bar exams. In all states, the laws require that there must be an imminent threat of death or serious physical harm before using deadly force. There is normally a duty to avoid using deadly force unless there are no reasonable alternatives based on all the facts known to the individual confronting a threat.

Duty to Retreat. A minority of jurisdictions require retreat when possible to do so. Such jurisdictions, often located in Southern U.S. (where armed dueling was a problem long after it became antiquated in the North), are now seeing legislative efforts to abolish the Duty to Retreat because of the legal disadvantages that result for armed citizens who deploy deadly force in self-defense.

AOJ-Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy. The determination of whether an aggressor is presenting deadly force is based on whether a reasonable armed citizen, knowing what the defendant knew at the time of the shooting, discerns that the aggressor possesses the Opportunity and Ability along with the aggressor(s) making verbal or physical threats—i.e., Jeopardy—to inflict death or serious physical harm.

So if a person behaving aggressively is close enough to kill you and has a weapon there are probably enough facts indicating to a reasonable person that lethal force is justified to stop the perceived threat. The response should be proportionate to the threat, however.

Unarmed Aggressor. But what if the aggressor is unarmed and claims that he just wants to talk? It is advisable to state loudly, “Stop! Don’t come closer, I have a gun and I will shoot you!” Depending on all the circumstances, you might even draw and display your weapon at low ready. If the aggressor keeps moving towards you, it is reasonable to believe the aggressor is going to try and take away your gun. Thus, a deadly threat is materializing along with the ability and opportunity for the aggressor to inflict death or serious physical harm.

Disparity of Force. Disparity becomes relevant when a threat materializes from an unarmed aggressor or aggressors with the ability and opportunity to cause death or serious injury based on multiple aggressors, special skills (like martial arts expertise), or where the potential victim is weakened due to a medical condition or some other disability. The fact that women lack the upper body strength of a man is still recognized by most prosecutors and judges.

The mere fact that someone is bigger than you does not constitute disparity of force. If two or more attackers are indicating they are about to do serious harm, a defender may not have time to warn the aggressors. Depending on how close they are to you, announcing that you have a gun may put you at a serious disadvantage. Maybe one of your opponents has a concealed weapon or an accomplice that you have not yet identified.

Speculation is not normally permitted in court cases. The point here is that you are not expected to defend against a group of people indicating that they intend to seriously injure or kill.

Multiple Aggressors. In the Chabuk case, for example, there were four members of a group arguably acting in concert. Two were aggressive and relatively close to Mr. Chabuk when he shot the most aggressive of the two. Kamuran might have been justified in shooting the other potential assailant who was closing the distance even after Chabuk shot the primary aggressor the first and second time.

Multiple assailants. There is no requirement that the defendant’s fear be caused by only the person slain. His self-defense is lawful if based on reasonable fear of imminent harm from either the person slain, or others whom the defendant also reasonably feared. 

See State v. Harris, 122 Wn.App. 547, 90 P.3d 1133 (2004).

See also State v. Irons, 101 Wn.App. 544, 550, 4 P.3d 174 (2000).

You must not do anything to provoke a confrontation. Nevertheless, someone with a pacemaker, a plate in their head or other condition that makes a physical altercation dangerous to his life can confront disparity of force with deadly force. Whether one-on-one or faced with multiple attackers, each case has unique facts that will often be ambiguous and subject to interpretation to a certain extent.

The other two members of the group following Kamuran Chabuk were further away and did not seem to be acting very aggressively. Given the fact that they stayed at a distance and had not indicated any particular threat, there would not seem to be a justification to shoot the other two notwithstanding the fact that they were tagging along with the two imminent aggressors and might have prevented the Defendant Chabuk, from running away.

We expect to discuss some actual case law precedents in future updates. We also plan to publish an article about how the news media deals with cases like the Chabuk case. There were many articles that gave the prosecutorial side of the story with virtually nothing to indicate that disparity of force might be an issue in the case.

There were also articles in 2015 about how the judge in the first trial took the verdict away from the jury and ordered a new trial. A casual reader might almost conclude that the trial judge was soft on violent crime! The reporter quoted the prosecutor’s comments and an appeal was anticipated and forthcoming. When a Whatcom County, Washington Judge acquitted Chabuk, there weren’t any news articles—that we have located—announcing Kamuran was found not guilty.


What Should You Tell the Police After a Self-Defense Shooting?

Bob Smith, our expert witness in the Chabuk trial, provided the following insight that relates to some important points we made to the judge concerning what Kamuran Chabuk could have done differently to avoid being prosecuted after shooting an unarmed aggressor where there were at least two or three potential assailants:

“Recall also that we countered the point of the prosecution in the first trial regarding Chabuk’s alleged legal obligation to announce that he was armed. There is no such legal obligation. This was one of many such points that the first judge pointed out in his decision granting a retrial.”

Continue reading “What Should You Tell the Police After a Self-Defense Shooting?”

Deadly Force

The Court of Appeals has held that “the amount of force that is necessary to prevent the infliction of great personal injury may vary with the number of persons the defendant reasonably believes are about to commence striking him with their fists.”

State v. Irons, 101 Wn. App. 544, 558, 4 P.3d 174 (2000).

On November 14, 2022, the Whatcom County Superior Court found Kamuran Chabuk not guilty of a 2nd Degree Assault charge nine years after a self-defense shooting in Bellingham. The Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC obtained an acquittal after a bench trial before Hon. Judge David E. Freeman.

The case presented some critical factual issues including the presence of multiple aggressors, disparity in the size of the so-called victim, and the potential for a concerted attempt on the part of at least two aggressors to take away the Defendant’s gun and use it against him.

The aggressor survived the shooting. Nevertheless, the language in WPIC 16.02 provides a template for self-defense cases in which there are multiple aggressors or a group that seems to be acting in concert. The appearance of a threat by one member of the group might justify use of force against other members of the group, depending on the circumstances as they reasonably appeared to the defendant at the time.

WPIC 16.02 Justifiable Homicide—Defense of Self and Others 

Multiple assailants. There is no requirement that the defendant’s fear be caused by only the person slain. His self-defense is lawful if based on reasonable fear of imminent harm from either the person slain, or others whom the defendant also reasonably feared. State v. Harris, 122 Wn.App. 547, 90 P.3d 1133 (2004); State v. Irons, 101 Wn.App. 544, 550, 4 P.3d 174 (2000).

After a jury convicted Kamuran Chabuk of 2nd Degree Assault at his first trial in 2015, the judge ruled that prosecutorial misconduct required a new trial. The State appealed and, in 2019, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division One upheld Judge Ira Uhrig’s decision to take the verdict away from the jury. Whatcom County’s Chief Prosecutor for 44 years, Dave McEachran, had stated at trial that Chabuk had an absolute duty to announce that he had a gun. He also implied that Chabuk provoked the pursuit by videotaping Kiener and his friends and that Chabuk had a duty to retreat.

In the first trial in 2015, the State made a deal not to call its expert witness to testify about use of lethal force if the defense would agree not to call Bob Smith, retained by the defense to analyze issues such as disparity of force. In the 2022 trial, Smith was instrumental in explaining to the Court why Chabuk had no reasonable alternatives—based on all the circumstances known to him—despite the fact that Kiener might have been unarmed.

Continue reading “Deadly Force”

Posse Comitatus Act

Will the Marines Stand With the President in a Dangerous War Against the American People and the Second Amendment? Which branch of the military constitutes the remnant most likely to uphold the oath to the U.S. Constitution against domestic and foreign enemies?

The following is a summary of a document entitled The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law, by Charles Doyle and Jennifer K. Elsea. A 2012 report prepared for the Congressional Research Service. We will identify any opinions and conclusions that do not simply summarize the history & legal precedents contained in the source document.

The U.S. Constitution provides for use of the militia to execute the Laws of the Union to suppress insurrections and invasions and to protect the states from usurpation of their “republican form of government.” Additionally, state legislatures may request federal military intervention to suppress domestic violence. Congress enacted the Insurrection Acts and other laws pursuant to its express Constitutional authority.

Insurrection Acts. The Insurrection Acts have been invoked many times in history and outlining such events clears up some of questions while also raising a number of issues. There are several federal laws that also deal with authorizing land and naval forces. The most important law for purposes of the present discussion is the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act.

Posse Comitatus Act. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits use of the military to execute the law unless authorized by Congress within its Constitutional authority to suppress insurrection and invasions; thus, the Insurrection Acts and other laws that provide exceptions to Posse Comitatus Act. Violation of Posse Comitatus is a criminal offense.

Continue reading “Posse Comitatus Act”

Uvalde Schools Implemented Extensive Security Measures Including School Resource Officers

The school district in Uvalde, Texas, had an extensive safety plan in place when nineteen children were killed. The killer accessed an open door and killed children and teachers for about 74 minutes while police officers allegedly refused to enter the barricaded room where the slaughter was taking place. These things occurred even though Uvalde’s spending on school security and monitoring services in Uvalde more than doubled since 2017, rising from about $200,000 to about $435,000 for the current school year, according to school budget documents.

The district adopted an array of security measures that included its own police force, threat assessment teams at each school, a threat reporting system, social media monitoring software, fences around schools and a requirement that teachers lock their classroom doors, according to the security plan posted on the district’s website. Texas police are now saying that the armed school officer who was first reported to have engaged the gunman in a firefight was not on campus when the shooting started.

Continue reading “Uvalde Schools Implemented Extensive Security Measures Including School Resource Officers”

Machine Guns & Automatic Weapons in Washington State

We sometimes get questions as to whether a machine gun qualifies for Curio/Relic status under federal regulations. Any such items must comply with the National Firearms Act of 1934 and also local state law.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives will not allow transfer of ANY automatic weapon into Washington state since July 1, 1994 (except departmental purchases). Thus, there are no exceptions for antiques under Washington state law per RCW 9.41.190 and the definitions under RCW 9.41.010.

Prior to legislative changes in RCW 9.41.190, it was theoretically legal to own an automatic weapon if you were in the armed forces, provided that BATFE would provide the $200.00 tax stamp.

RCW 9.41.190 stated the following:Continue reading “Machine Guns & Automatic Weapons in Washington State”


Restoring Gun Rights & Vacating Convictions

We handle criminal cases, including felonies, and firearms law. We can also help get some convictions vacated:


Washington law permits vacating some misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions.

When the court vacates a conviction, you are released from penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense- but not from the prohibition against possessing firearms.

Continue reading “Restoring Gun Rights & Vacating Convictions”


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

Restoration of Gun Rights.

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.

Since 1993, the Law Firm of Mark Knapp PLLC has specialized in NFA Gun Trusts and working with courts to restore clients’ right to possess firearms in Washington.

See Press Release from Top Attorneys of North America.

Washington State Firearms Attorney.

We have been focused on gun rights for the last fifteen years. With 32 years of practicing law, we know how to navigate the many pitfalls and potential problems that arise in the process of restoring gun rights. 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. Continue reading “Expungement of Convictions, Gun Rights & Criminal Defense in Spokane, Washington”

Restoring Gun Rights & Vacating Convictions

We handle criminal cases, including felonies, and firearms law. We can also help get some convictions vacated:


Washington law permits vacating some misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions.

When the court vacates a conviction, you are released from penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense- but not from the prohibition against possessing firearms.

Continue reading “Restoring Gun Rights & Vacating Convictions”

Schools are for Educating Students, Not Politics

For many years there has been a movement aimed at separating children from the traditional authority of the family. Parental rights are the law of the land according to U.S. Supreme Court legal precedent.

Meyer v Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters are two landmark cases reinforcing parental rights. In Meyer, the Court struck down a state statute that criminalized teaching students in any foreign language in public or private schools.  In the Pierce case, the Court struck down an Oregon law requiring attendance at public schools.

In Troxel v. Granville (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Washington state law that allowed grandparents to petition state courts for child visitation rights over parental objections. The Court upheld parental rights against statutory grandparent rights. The court found Meyer and Pierce controlling,

James Payne and his wife are the parents of twin nine-year old boys. The two boys attend a school in the Highline School District which is in the SeaTac-Burien area near Seattle. Mr. Payne retained the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC to write a letter to Holly Ferguson and the school board demanding that the District stop posting political propaganda in school hallways and classrooms. The District’s lawyers responded in writing with a December, 2022 letter refusing to remove posters allegedly promoting the transgender, LGBQT agenda. Mr. Payne also objected to Black Lives Matter posters and other material allegedly endorsing Communist figureheads like Che Guevara, a sociopath who killed and tortured many innocent Cuban people.

Highline School District claims that these signs do not violate parents’ and children’s civil rights by creating a hostile learning environment. Ms. Ferguson, who has a law degree and seems to be the chief diversity officer for the District, responded to one of Mr. Payne’s emails as follows:

“These signs are not considered “political” for the purposes of policy and procedure 4412.  That policy is talking about “political activity” in the context of lobbying officials, or other overt political acts, such as campaigning.”

Continue reading “Schools are for Educating Students, Not Politics”

The Time to Stop the Carnage is Now; Enforcing Washington State’s Firearms Preemption Law

Advocates for Change. The Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC has persuaded many municipalities to make municipal laws and policies compliant with Washington State’s Firearms Preemption law.  Thus, state, municipal, and private institutions are discussing whether to change their policies. There is increasing recognition that armed citizens can help stop random violence. Throughout these institutions there is also a tendency not to discuss the issue publicly. Some will not discuss the issue at all. We all need to bring pressure to bear to call attention to state and municipal organizations that interpret laws in ways that violate plain legislative intent and endanger the public.

Statistics Can Prove Anything. Many articles have now been written by security experts, public safety professionals, economists, doctors and Second Amendment advocates. Most of the discussions only generate massive statistics that confirm whatever you want to believe. Nevertheless, the Spokane Public Facilities District that operates the Spokane Arena, Performing Arts Center (Opera House) and the Convention Center in Spokane has made up its mind that it will continue violating the plain language of Washington state law. Apparently it’s Board intends to do so until forced to change the policy of prohibiting concealed carry permit holders on its premises.

Continue reading “The Time to Stop the Carnage is Now; Enforcing Washington State’s Firearms Preemption Law”

Julian Huxley, Second Amendment & UN Suzerainty

Suzerain- Main Entry: su·zer·ain
Pronunciation: ˈsü-zə-rən, -ˌrân; ˈsüz-rən

Function: noun

1 : a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due: overlord;

2 : a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs.

Jeremy Rabkin, a professor of law at George Mason University School of Law, recently authored an article published in Imprimis called “The Constitution and American Sovereignty”. In the article, Rabkin explains how the concept of national sovereignty, as we understand it today, developed during the Seventeenth century along with nationalism.Continue reading “Julian Huxley, Second Amendment & UN Suzerainty”