Church Safety Teams Should Include Legal Counsel

Does your church have a Safety Team? Mark S. Knapp is a Spokane area attorney licensed in Washington state and ready to advise you on legal and practical aspects of church security issues. Mr. Knapp has been practicing law for 30 years. We started advising clients on firearms related issues in 2001 and incorporated as the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC several years ago.

We advise people and groups regarding firearms, gun rights, self defense, and criminal defense issues all over Washington state. Many employment related issues also involve firearms and gun rights. We were in Federal Way for 25 years. We have now been located in the Spokane, Washington area for the last 6 years.

The legal issues confronting churches today require a great deal of careful consideration. Church Boards & Deacons must consider liabilities for how parents pick up their child from the nursery and Sunday School, outside church activities and every adult that has access to children under the care of your church ministries.

You have to make choices as to who will be on your Safety Team, how to train the Team and who will carry concealed. How much should the Church Board get involved in creating policies for the team, choosing the leaders and funding Team activities?

Most of these discussions will create some kind of a paper trail that is discoverable if litigation results from an accident even if the injuries result from stray rounds discharged by church safety team members defending the lives of the pastor or church goers, criminal activities and medical emergencies. That means lawyers and other experts second guessing every decision you and your teams make. Not making a decision can also constitute errors that may or may not be covered by Errors and Omissions insurance policies or other liability coverage.

Even if insurance could cover every conceivable liability, there is a moral obligation to protect church members and staff. The Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC can review insurance policies,  prepare written legal documents such as disclaimers, contracts and help draft policy statements. We can also present Seminars on the laws in Washington state pertaining to use of force at your church and outside activities related to church ministry.

Mr. Knapp has taught seminars on the Use of Deadly Force in Washington, Washington Firearms Law and personal protection in the home, outside the home and for churches and schools.

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