How I Came To Be The Firearms Lawyer

Now that we have called local citizens to join us in our new training group, I want to tell about myself and what we are doing. Over ten local leaders met a few weeks ago in Liberty Lake and we now have events scheduled for 4:00 PM, every 3rd Thursday of the month at the Fernan Rod & Gun Club.

I went to Law School in 1986-89. Within a year after graduating, I left Post Falls, Idaho to practice law in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Then I came back to North Idaho three years ago with my wife- after being away from Post Falls for almost a quarter century!

I went right to a local range and gun store in Post Falls and introduced myself as the famous Firearms Lawyer here from Seattle area. The owner of our local indoor shooting range chortled, “What the hell is a firearms lawyer? I’ve been in this business for many years and never heard of such a thing as a Firearms Lawyer!” So let me explain how I came to be the world famous firearms lawyer.

For a few years I was working as an attorney for the provider law firm for Prepaid Legal, answering questions on the phone and trying to keep body and soul together. Many folks would call asking where they could go with their CPLs and other such legal perplexities.

While talking to the Prepaid Legal members, I had a computer with internet access right in front of me. So I was able to easily research such questions- like can an employee of a drinking establishment carry a firearm while working and how to get gun rights restored after convictions for felonies & Domestic Violence.

Soon I was inundated with calls from folks calling to ask about such things. I soon decided to make a complete law practice out of everything that has to do with gun laws.

I created a website dealing with guns and disaster preparedness- Preparedness seemed politically correct. The government has spent billions starting in the 1950s to prepare the public for everything from nuclear holocaust to earthquake evacuations- especially after September 11, 2001.

In 2001, our federal government poured vast amounts of money into educating Americans about everything we need to have in case of an emergency- everything except for the most valuable item- the means for defending our families from the violence which can be the aftermath of events like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

I also reasoned that if a major disaster engulfed Seattle-Tacoma area it would make sense to let law enforcement know in advance who I was and that I was one of the good guys with no evil intentions.

Then I took all kinds of armed self-defense classes- from groups like the Firearms Academy of Seattle, Massad Ayoob and Front Sight and started teaching others what I had learned about tactical and practical defense of myself and others and the laws of armed defense. I obtained my CPL, joined the NRA and Paul Bunyan Shooting Club in Puyallup and also got involved in competitive shooting.

First I shot steel target at Paul Bunyan and then USPSA action pistol matches, then rifle & shotgun all in the same event; i.e., 3-gun matches.

Around that time the editor of our local Federal Way newspaper asked me to write a column that we called the Firearms Lawyer.

I was writing articles that appeared 2 or 3 times a month; thus, the Firearms Lawyer was a unique column for a weekly community newspaper. The police in Federal Way soon knew who I was. So I was on my way to achieving at least one of my objectives!

Then the editor of the Federal Way Mirror suggested I run for judge. The publisher seemed mostly Liberal and the editor apparently thought controversy would help circulation- nothing like a Constitutionalist, gun nut in a seven-way race for the municipal judgeship. Things were already very weird due to some scandals that had transpired in the Federal Way Municipal Court.

I joined the Chamber of Commerce to engage in some electioneering; several Chamber members wanted to get an indoor gun range started in Federal Way.

We started the Armed Defense Training Association. A local businessman built a gun range in Federal Way; at about the same time. That led to the ADTA hosting shoot-on-the-move events at various locations, including the new Federal Way Indoor Range.

Most ranges don’t allow rapid shooting while moving down range. Nevertheless, the owners of several ranges agreed to let us have certain areas of the ranges to ourselves. That takes a bit of persuasion because we had to convince them that we could train inexperienced shooters with very high standards of proficiency.

None of us began with the kind of NRA credentials that are normally expected for the more advanced drills that we provided. But we grew and the ADTA is expanding to other communities in Western Washington. Some of us are now determined to create similar opportunities in Spokane Valley and North Idaho.

The ADTA group is nonprofit and all volunteer. The armed citizen group also presents educational sessions at which local law enforcement officials often appear to discuss topics of community interest. The emphasis is always on safety and getting training from professionals. The ADTA is more like a workshop for regular practice and also a place where many new shooters can get started in a user friendly atmosphere.

So my network of contacts, many with amazing leadership and business skills, opened many doors and helped us to recruit well over a hundred ADTA members- almost half of them women! Many new shooters came to us with limited or no shooting experience. The ADTA now has two clubs- we started a second chapter in Mount Lake Terrace. Another ADTA chapter is now forming in the Olympia area.

A few of us hope to start an armed citizen group like the ADTA in the Spokane area or Post Falls. We just need about five committed individuals with some basic organizational skills.

A self-defense shooting group is a great opportunity to work with your local police and other authorities. Law Enforcement will get involved just to keep an eye on what you are up to!

And when they see that you are a positive influence for good community relations, cops love to help out! There is nothing worse than having all your citizens running around with Concealed Weapons Licenses, brand new guns and no training or knowledge about the laws of armed self-defense. Not so much the case in North Idaho as it might be in Seattle!

If you are interested in experiencing a more action-oriented style of shooting, remember- we are looking for a few good men & women to make it all happen.

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