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.

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Thanksgiving & Roots of the U.S. Constitutional Order

Where are your loyalties- to the UN? To the religion of humanism? Or are you looking toward traditional values of individual freedom, U.S. sovereignty and inalienable rights that are founded on Biblical principles? The Scripture speaks of covenant responsibilities that God requires of people that would be free (like the duty to defend life, liberty and property as set forth in the U.S. Constitution)- not “rights” bestowed by the State!

Do you know that the concept of a written Constitution itself was a development that grew out of the practices of the early American religious colonies? The Pilgrim fathers (and mothers) consciously entered into covenants (compacts, mutual promises or contracts) that imitated the Old and New Covenants (i.e., Old and New Testaments). The Old Testament abounds in examples of covenants between God and man and between people within the ancient social framework of Israel. The fact remains that a people that are covenant keepers will be strong and prosperous.

The Pilgrims were dissenting religious believers that were originally from England. These Separatists first attempted to create a community of believers in Nottinghamshire village of Scrooby around 1606.

Their objective was to practice their faith without being contaminated by the elitist and worldly culture that surrounded them in England. In order to avoid the reality of being imprisoned for worshipping in their homes, the Scrooby Separatists fled to Amsterdam.

The Netherlands was a Calvinistic stronghold that had struggled for years against Spanish invasions launched on behalf of the Catholic Church. Amsterdam was very tolerant toward various religious groups. In fact, Amsterdam had already become very commercialized and prostitution, alcoholism and other vices were on display as much as the religious freedom that the Pilgrims sought. The Ancient Brethren, another group of English Separatists that had immigrated to Amsterdam earlier, lost many of their children to the worldly atmosphere of Amsterdam.

The realization that Amsterdam could easily corrupt their own community, brought the Pilgrims to Leiden:

After a brief stay in Amsterdam, where they were dismayed by the discord within other immigrant English congregations, the Pilgrims were granted permission to settle in the cloth manufacturing city of Leiden. They lived there under the religious leadership of Pastor John Robinson for twelve years gathered openly as a church. However, life in a foreign country was not without problems. The only occupations open to most immigrants were poorly paid, and they found themselves growing old in poverty. The twelve-year truce between Holland and Spain was to end in 1621, threatening a resumption of hostilities. Also troublesome to the Separatists were the hardships endured by their young people, who were forced by circumstance to work at exceptionally hard jobs. Others were assimilated into the Dutch culture, leaving their parents and their community profoundly disturbed.

The impovershed community began looking to Virginia (the whole Eastern seaboard of the North American continent) as a place of refuge where they could carve out a Scriptural way of life free of the commercial culture and vice with which they struggled in Holland and England. They approached the Virginia Company that had funded Jamestown.

They informed prospective investors that they hwere industrious, frugal and “knit otogether in a sacred bond’ by their hardships in Amsterdam. Apparently the investors agreed that the Pilgrim experience inured to their “mutual good” and funds were provided for the tiny band to set sail for what became the Plymouth Colony:

A group of English investors known as the “merchant adventurers” financed the voyage and settlement. They formed a joint-stock company with the colonists in which the merchants agreed to “adventure” (risk) their money, and the settlers to invest their personal labor, for a period of seven years. During that time, all land and livestock were to be owned in partnership; afterwards the company would be dissolved and the assets divided.

The Second Amendment is a Covenant that supersedes treaties. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the first major case involving the important issue of whether the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. The landmark case originated in Washington, DC where, like Chicago and other cities, law abiding citizens were not allowed to defend themselves against lawless criminals! Since Heller v DC was decided, cities all over the land are changing their laws ro conform to the Second Amendment.

The Washington, DC case has provided the legal basis for a series of cases to percolate through the courts. The United Nations and domestic gun ban advocates will be seeking a worldwide treaty banning small arms (firearms are already prohibited to private citizens in all but a few nations as a result of the UN anti-gun agenda). Will the U.S. ratify the consensus of dictators all over the world by bending our Constitution to “international norms“?

The roots of our American Constitutional order are buried in ancient Israel’s covenant with Yahweh! We need to be careful today what kind of laws, covenants and treaties we make as a people.

A people that recognize their heritage in God and that are grateful for blessings every day (not just on Thanksgiving) will prosper and remain free.

Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Proverbs 22:28
(King James Version)

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.

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Arming Teachers

Retired Special Agent of the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and tactical use of force instructor, Gary Griffiths, offered the following observations related to ongoing discussions related to arming teachers and other school personnel as specially trained employees of a school district. These employees work in a capacity other than as security staff but are trained to protect themselves and others when threats arise in their working environment. Proposed legislation empowering school districts to implement the “embedded” school personnel concept utilizes the term School Marshals.  Please feel free to network with us in reaching out to elected officials, law enforcement agencies and school districts interested in advocating for School Marshal programs:

“There is simply no way to absolutely prevent school shootings from happening in this or any other free country.  Even requiring all students to enter the school campus through a metal detector, like they’re entering an airport is not 100% certain to prevent this sort of tragedy. (Google Red Lake Minnesota, 21 March 2005). The recent tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX also illustrates that even excellent physical security can be instantly negated by a staff member too lazy to follow security protocol.”

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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.

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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”

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.

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 Warrior Heart: A Manual For Men & Women of Valor


Long before I attended law school, I began reading the Bible. The following is a short excerpt of an electronic book that we are offering to provide at no charge. Just request a copy of The Warrior Heart at the email address on our Homepage.

He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

Psalms 18: 34

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Use of Force Policies & Law Enforcement

In 2017, Chuck Delgado spoke to our Action Training Group regarding the circumstances when he shot and killed an unarmed attacker when he was a Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy in 1971.  Chuck was neither charged nor disciplined because the use of force was justified.  Nevertheless, the shooting was contrary to use of force procedures in place in the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in 1971. 

The following is an After Action Report provided by Mr. Delgado.

“If you wait until you see the muzzle flash of the adversary’s weapon, you waited too long.”

-Bob Smith, Use of Force Expert

Policies Are Great If They Don’t Get You Killed.  At the time of the 1971 shooting, the policy of the Spokane Police Department was to the effect of, “You only shoot after being fired upon.”  In a section of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Training Manual, concerning the shooting of an unarmed subject read something to the effect of, “you can only employ lethal force on an unarmed subject if attacked by three or more.” In those days there was little or no understanding of the “Disparity in Numbers” argument in a self-defense situation.  That line of thinking was not unique to our local agencies, and that is why so many police officers were killed during the mid-Seventies and often with their own weapons.

Remember who used to write the policies back then?  The old guys with the gold bars on their shoulders.  The officers who haven’t worked in the field in years or even decades.  But that has changed since I was in the uniform.  It is now more common to see the practitioners who actually work in the field, i.e., patrolmen, patrol corporals and patrol sergeants involved in those studies which lead to policy changes. The present day use of force seminars sponsored by local police agencies are presented by patrol officers (patrolmen, corporals and sergeants) and detectives involved in research and development of use of force policies.

Gold Bars Don’t Make Policy Today.  I have never attended any of those presentations where the speaker was a Lt. or Capt.  There were few exceptions to guys with gold bars presenting use of force education to officers. One exception was Dean Lydig, who was the detective Captain at the time of the shooting.  Two days after the shooting, the post shooting investigation was completed.  Captain Lydig called me into his office, closed the door behind me, sat me down and handed me the entire file, and instructed me to read every page:  The autopsy report; the WSP ballistic report; the background of the deceased; witness interviews; crime scene pictures of the damage done by the deceased in his efforts to gain entry to the complainant’s dwelling, etc. He did not disparage the patrol Lt. or the patrol Capt. who I overheard say, “Chuck is in a heap of s—!” but Capt. LYDIG did say, “How could anyone reasonably expect you to physically prevail  (I was 154 lbs., the adversary was 244 lbs with martial arts traing) with a guy like this?  Had you try to physically subdue this guy, I’d be here looking at your autopsy reports.”  In those days there was little or no understanding of the “disparity of size” argument in a self defense situation.  I should further point out that on my first day back to work after the shooting, my Sgt., pulled me aside, looked directly into my eyes and said, “If tonight you go on a call like the call last Monday morning, you do exactly the same thing you did at 0113 hrs on Monday, you understand me?” 

That was the difference between Patrol Sgts. and the brass.  Policies are improved by guys like me who broke the rules.

Gun Fight at GU.  I should bring the readers attention to the gun fight which took place at the Gonzaga University on November 22, 1971 A call was put out of a man with a rifle on the campus.  The Gonzaga district patrol car was two-man unit. Two well-seasoned veteran cops, were dispatched to the call.  Another two-man unit, which was close, but in a different district was occupied by two rookies, requested to back-up the primary unit.  Radio advised the rookie unit it was not necessary to back-up the primary unit, since it was a two-man unit.  As soon as Bob, the senior officer in the rookie unit, advised dispatch that he understood the instructions to disregard the back-up, he put the Motorola mike on it’s mount and told the junior officer “Screw it, we are headed for Gonzaga!”  Those two rookies saved many lives that day, including the Old Veteran cops. A gun battle erupted, the Veterans missed the bad guy, who was ultimately killed by the rookies. It should be noted that Bob was in my Spokane Police Academy class. We graduated November of 1969.

Wait & See Policy in 1971.  The conventional policy in 1971, prevalent for most police agencies across the country, was “Wait until you see a weapon!”  At that point it is too late.  I am a graduate of the Spokane Police Academy, as well as a former Martial Arts student.  I have been taught that ACTION IS FASTER THAN REACTION.  If the defender allows the aggressor to initiate the threat of deadly force, prior to the defender being prepard to neutralize the deadly force, it is too late. As a deputy sheriff, at the first furtive/suspicious movements, I had my sidearm out of the holster and in my right hand.  If I was within striking distance of the subject, where I may have compromised my safety by reaching for my sidearm, I would immediately take the individual down and handcuff the subject.  During the 1970s so many cops were being killed, many with their own sidearm, because they were not taught the defensive tactics taught today along with ineffective use of force policies.  Even now the cops are waiting too long to shoot.  I read recently that between 2013-2015 11% of the LEOs killed in the line of duty were killed with their own weapon.  They’re still failing to control the scene and allowing the adversaries to get to close or waiting too long to shoot. Once you lose control of the scene, your safety, as well as the safety of the citizens you should be protecting, is in jeopardy.  It has always been said that there is a weapon on every call a cop goes on…the cops weapon.

Weapon Retention Skills Are Paramount.  Many LEOs were killed after being disarmed by the bad guy.  Think about JoAnne Chesimard who killed the N.J State Trooper and  and is now in Cuba.

FBI research confirms that LEOs were waiting too long to shoot!  My shooting was part of that research. Sadly, because of such things as the Black Lives Matter movement (based on the false narrative of hands up don’t shoot) and a citizenry which has been dumbed-down by corporate news media, public education and the NFL, the average citizen believes police are killing Black people due to invidious racial prejudice.  This same misinformation and media bias is a powerful tool aimed at armed citizens.  We have an uphill battle.


Action Training Group. That is exactly why more people have to get involved with groups such as the Action Training Group.  Although the ATG is nonpolitical, members need to work individually with their legislators and with politically inclined gun groups like the NRA to keep the policies from being watered down.  If the lethal force available to the police is unduly restricted, the responsibility for armed citizens to deploy deadly force in defense of our own lives and the lives of our loved ones will also become severely restricted.  Right now, armed citizens in Washington state theoretically have broader authority to use deadly force than LEOs.

According to the Legislative Note included with RCW 9A.16.040:

Legislative recognition: “The legislature recognizes that RCW 9A.16.040 establishes a dual standard with respect to the use of deadly force by peace officers and private citizens, and further recognizes that private citizens’ permissible use of deadly force under the authority of RCW 9.01.200, 9A.16.020, or 9A.16.050 is not restricted and remains broader than the limitations imposed on peace officers.”

The reality, however, is that the average person, including lawmakers, judges and attorneys and jurors, thinks that officers have broader authority in regard to the use of deadly force.  Law Enforcement Officers and armed citizens need to recognize that we all have an interest in educating the public regarding issues involving the criteria for use of deadly force.  I once read something like, “You deserve what you are willing to tolerate.  Get involved with the legislative process, because if you don’t use your rights, you will lose those rights.”

Chuck Delgado, November, 2017


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.

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.

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