Does your church have a Safety Team?


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 31 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 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 careful scrutiny and observation of 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.

If 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, there is a potential litigation will ensue . 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, review 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.

Action Training Group, Inc. Promotes Self-Defense Training

Why did so many people decide that purchasing a gun is the best response to the lock downs? Is it the realization that a pandemic can trigger economic collapse? One thing is for sure. Many of those who broke all previous records by purchasing so many guns and so much ammunition are new gun owners. Even long time gun owners with a great deal of experience should consider regular training in order to prepare for the possibility of using a firearm in self-defense. Despite the perception that showing the predators your handgun will scare them off, many violent criminals are well-trained and are not intimidated by armed citizens.

So is there a low-cost way to train more aggressively and then maintain your skills after you increase your skills with a handgun?

The Action Training Group is a nonprofit association of armed citizens who support each other in organizing opportunities to shoot safely. We draw from the holster and design drills that increase concealed carry confidence and improve shooting skills regardless of your level of proficiency.

Mark Knapp, a Washington state firearms lawyer, believes strongly in our Constitutional right to bear arms. He is the Founder of the Action Training Group, Inc., an Idaho non-profit corporation. He recently sent the following message to ATG members and friends of the self-defense group:

The Action Training Group

Church safety has become a huge issue across the United States. Many training programs and support operations have sprung up offering training and information for security teams.  The development of armed church safety teams and the relatively new industry  that has grown up to equip and train church teams is part of a massive move toward professional firearms training for gun owners that offers everything from rudimentary gun safety classes up to intensive tactical sessions for armed citizens which are also attended by SWAT teams.

In the Spokane area and North Idaho, we created Action Training Group, Inc. The ATG is an all-volunteer Idaho nonprofit corporation that has been hosting shoot-on-the-move Action Shooting events at the Fernan Gun Rod & Gun Club’s range near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We were previously hosting events at the Sharp Shooting Indoor Range in Spokane and the Spokane Valley Rifle & Pistol Club near Mica, Washington. Our live-fire Action Shooting and educational events provide a forum for armed citizens and members of church safety teams to exchange information and train together.

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Idaho: Attracting Gun and Knife Manufacturers

The State of Idaho has been continuing to attract firearms related industries. We published the following article a few years back and we are in the process of updating this report with new developments. The biggest question is when and where will a new gun range be developed in North Idaho? There are great opportunities in Kootenai County with a large number of potential users in nearby Spokane, a regional airport and other recreational activities.

The biggest obstacle, we have been told, are bureaucrats, who have even obstructed local police agencies from constructing a gun range intended to be shared by the five North Idaho Panhandle Counties. Who will step up and provide the political and business leadership to make this a reality for the police and the public?

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Journalists Need to Explain How the Second Amendment Keeps Everyone More Safe

“Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.”

Ephesians 5: 11

The Philippines is just one of the many countries worldwide where journalists, lawyers and judges are slain and their killers go free. Mexico is very dangerous for anyone that reports on the cartels and the cartels routinely eliminate large numbers of police officers within any city where the authorities take a stand against cartel domination. Mexico is a nation where almost every firearm in the hands of its own people is illegal.

Even Mexican police officers are often disarmed when off duty because so many of them have been involved in the murder, rape and slavery perpetrated by the cartels across whole regions. So can the Philippines learn anything from Mexico?

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Martial Arts Shooting Seminar in Coeur d’Alene Area

I am signed up for the FIREARMS SHOOTING SEMINAR presented by Soke Jeff Hall & Mike Mackin at Fernan Rod & Gun Club near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho..

Hōjutsu-Ryu is a martial arts discipline involving combat firearms training at a very effective level. I talked to Mike this week and there are still slots available for the three-day live-fire seminar.

July 12-14, 2019
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho


Silver Bullet Training Northwest

It’s not enough to just buy a firearm and ammo and carry it around. Carrying a gun requires responsible and correct training and legal knowledge, to know the correct time to display, draw and point muzzle or break off the defense. It requires familiarization with your chosen firearm, proper grip to reduce recoil, sight alignment, and trigger squeeze, so the sight picture remains steadfast.

Static target shooting is not the same as dynamic movement shooting. It’s a large legal responsibility to carry a firearm, and you should consider the following questions.

  • Should it be carried openly or concealed?
  • What should you do first after a justified shooting incident?
  • What if the attacker tries to grab my firearm?
  • How do I defend against them from taking my firearm and using it against me?

Mike Mackin

Mike Mackin is a Northwest NRA, BCI, and Black Belt Martial Arts Certified, Insured and Licensed Instructor. He’s been Teaching combined Martial Arts, Defensive Force Protection Hand to Hand, Concealed Carry Permit and Basic Handgun Familiarity to new and experienced students for over thirty years in both the USA and England.

He has trained over 4,000 students for their Concealed Carry Permits in the Northwest.

…“Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me…” (Psalm of David 144:1)

Upcoming Events

Don’t miss this opportunity to train with Jeff Hall in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for only 3 days!
July 12 – 14
Participation is limited, and at an amazing price! $150 for 3 days of training.
Read more here.

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. However, 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 they intend to do so until it is forced to change its policy of prohibiting concealed carry permit holders on its premises.

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Physical Control of a Vehicle & DUI Defense in Spokane, Washington

Physical Control and DUI in Washington State. What is the difference between a charge of Physical Control of Vehicle and DUI in Washington state? The State needs to prove that you were driving while impaired in a DUI case. However, the Prosecutor does not need to prove you were driving or even behind the wheel in a Physical Control case. Although in either case the Prosecutor has to prove you are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, he only has to show that you were in control of the vehicle. Depending on the circumstances, that can mean being outside the vehicle with the keys in your hand while you are impaired. Additionally, a criminal defense attorney will explain that even if you have not reached the statutory ,08 BAC level, you can still be convicted of DUI- provided that the Prosecutor can convince the judge or jury that you are impaired.


Results of BAC Tests. Even with a low BAC or no breath test, the officer will describe your condition with details that may help to convict you. Law Enforcement Officers are trained to testify in a manner that is most likely to convince a judge or a jury that you were driving while impaired. If there is .08 BAC, the court will instruct the jury to presume you were impaired and the defense attorney now has to show that the Breathalyzer machine was not functioning properly or that the test was not administered according to proper procedures.

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Spokane Criminal Defense Lawyer

We have been representing clients in criminal defense matters across Washington state for almost 30 years. These include many domestic violence cases. We have also been representing clients in Spokane cases over the course of many years.  So why should you retain the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC to represent you?

Mark S. Knapp

Initial Consultation. A criminal defense lawyer, Mark Knapp, will answer all your phone calls immediately. That means you will be talking to the attorney, not a receptionist. In most non-felony cases , we charge a flat-fee retainer to appear which includes attending the Arraignment and the Pretrial Conferences. If trial preparation becomes necessary, there will also be an additional Trial Retainer. Felonies can be more expensive.

Arraignment. If you retain a criminal defense lawyer before the Arraignment, we can often waive arraignment so that you will not need to attend. If you must go to the Arraignment without representation, you will normally plead not guilty and bail is often discussed. Even if you have already been released on personal recognizance or have already posted bail, you should have counsel when you appear for the Arraignment. There are situations where the judge might order a new bail bond.  This situation results from a violation of your terms of release. Examples are getting a new DUI right after you are released from jail on another DUI. Or attempting to contact a victim where there is a No Contact Order.

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