Criminal Assault Laws, Self-Defense & Display of a Weapon With Intent to Intimidate

Display With Intent to Intimidate. The Spokane area Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC handles many kinds of criminal defense cases. Many present issues of self-defense. The ability to claim self-defense depends on whether there is an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. The issue of self-defense often arises when a weapon is displayed during a road rage incident or some altercation.

ATG Presents Safety Team Programs for North Idaho & Spokane Area Churches

Action Training Group Monthly Membership Meeting. Kenny Moore spoke at our monthly ATG Membership Meeting at the Post Falls Cabela’s on May 26. Kenny led the security team at the Candlelight Church team in Coeur d’Alene when they got started. Kenny, a retired Lt. Colonel, USMC, shared that the best approach is to look atContinue reading “ATG Presents Safety Team Programs for North Idaho & Spokane Area Churches”

Action Training Group Reaching Shooting Public & Veterans in Post Falls

On Tuesday, April 25, my wife and I visited a Disabled American Veterans meeting at the American Legion in Post Falls, Idaho. The objective was to invite the members to get involved in the Action Training Group, a shooting club that focuses on Church Safety training drills. We need volunteers to train new shooters, organizeContinue reading “Action Training Group Reaching Shooting Public & Veterans in Post Falls”

SAFEST Committee Forming in Federal Way for Armed School Volunteers

The Citizen’s SAFEST (School Alliance For Every Student’s Tomorrow) Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 19th at 7:00 PM. My email address and phone number are at Please contact me if you are interested in being involved with our committee or just wish to attend.

Many of us see the need to protect our schools with more than dialogue and political band aids. Elected officials and others that implement public policy have an instinct to keep themselves safe politically- especially regarding anything that has to do with guns.

At the February 12, 2013 meeting of the Federal Way School Board, I made sure that the Board knows that federal and state law empower the District to authorize armed personnel to protect our schools and that such personnel are not required by law to be law enforcement officers. I articulated the following points:

1. The FWPS should enable only highly trained and carefully vetted individuals to protect our schools;

2. These individuals might be called “Supplemental Staff” (or even Special Security) and will obtain training and equipment at their own expense; they should also qualify on the range in order to meet or exceed the same standards of proficiency as LEOs;

3. These Supplemental Staff will be available to back up School Resource Officers and FWPS security personnel that presently guard our high schools and middle schools; additionally, staff should be embedded in our elementary schools for which security is now only randomly available;

4. A Federal Way Citizen’s Safety Committee is prepared to meet and look at any sensible options for school safety;

5. My conviction that armed staff is the most effective means to protect the schools without immense cost is only my personal opinion (after several years of researching the options) but the Citizen’s Committee will advocate for any solutions that are feasible and effective;

6. There are already many parents and others- including the D.O.G.S.- that provide a presence in our schools that may help deter violence;

7. The objective is not to arm teachers! Nevertheless, teachers, administrators, principals , school bus drivers and maaintenance people should be eligible for training if they meet all the criteria established by the Board for those that particpate in the program- at their own expense;

8. The Citizen’s School Safety Committee will submit written recommendations to the District; meanwhile the Board should consider authorizing Superintendant Neu to work with us by discussing options and possibly involving the Federal Way Police Department’s advice.
We understand that many of the existing security precautions are not appropriate to be discussed but wish to at least understand any potential objections so that we can research various questions and become a valuable resource for the community.

Most of our leaders will not risk taking a stand until the right kind of people- their political peers- at least approve of holding the discussion!

There already are many WATCH D.O.G.S. in our schools ready to lay their lives down for the kids:

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) – Is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. Today, more than 2,610 active programs in 42 states participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program.

A local community activist named Kurt Peppard also made a statement. He stated that he is one of the WATCH D.O.G.S. and he knows a correctional officer that is highly trained and tactical. The officer told Mr. Peppard that he would not want to see armed volunteers in the schools and that the concept is a bad idea.

On the other hand, I have personally spoken to many highly trained individuals from various levels of law enforcement and military that are very passionately committed to the concept outlined above and that would participate in such a program given the opportunity. Some of them already put in many hours as volunteers with the City of Federal Way.

Think of Sandy Hook Elementary Principal, Ms. Dawn Hochsprung, who heard the shots and headed toward the danger. She was one of 26 at the school killed, including 20 students, who were murdered. She could have stopped the carnage if she had one simple piece of equipment- a pistol.

Ridgefield, Washington is in the news because they are using armed security guards. School resource officers are widely recognized for developing beneficial relationships in schools and communities but Supplemental Staff can also provide mentoring and other uplifting interactions with the youth in our schools.

There is a need for armed volunteers that are not in uniform- even if we could afford a resource officer for every school. The random nature of the threats requires that there be random potential for a trained adult to appear and deploy armed force at any time. The deterrent is in the fact that the active shooter has no idea how many armed volunteers exist or where they will be.


Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Law Classes for Armed Citizens Announced for Federal Way

Saturday, June 25th ADTA Law of Armed Defense Meeting:
Location: Regional Library at 34200 First Way South in Federal Way.

The class is for members, the public and especially for armed citizens interested in knowing more about armed defense of self and others! We will cover Washington laws pertaining to your duty to carry a firearm responsibly and how to deal with the legal decisions ypu will encounter before, during and after an actual defensive encounter in which you are armed with a gun. We will also invite you to join the Armed Defense Training Association at the meeting but we will not pressure anyone. Our nonprofit corporation provides opportunities to participate in shooting activities that develop action shooting and tactical skills.

Since we first raised the issue of a gun range for Federal Way we have had a positive response. Several business leaders are spearheading the newly incorporated Armed Defense Training Association (ADTA). We held our first meeting to answer questions and recruit membership on January 26th, 2011.

Our members pay an annual membership fee that helps provide monthly events at local ranges. The goal is to provide members with opportunities to draw from the holster, shoot on the move from cover and to proceed into more advanced tactical training scenarios. We are negotiating reduced rates for range time and expect to bring in instructors for training in various defense techniques; e.g., weapon retention, pepper spray, knives, etc.

We now have over sixty members, mostly from around Federal Way and encourage people from every background to get involved.

Our goal is to build a range in one of Federal Way’s empty commercial buildings. We raise funds by various events, many of which may be open to the public. These will include hosting seminars with instructors and other speakers. ADTA members will be able to participate in all these events at reduced or no cost.

The number of gun enthusiasts in the Federal Way area includes quite a few active members of service clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. It is not surprising that men and women that volunteer countless hours to their community are also passionate about being ready to “preserve and protect” a community which we are constantly working to improve.


The benefit of having ADTA members that put serious time and effort into training together will make all of us safer in schools, businesses, churches and anywhere we go during our normal routine. We might even stimulate the economy as the ADTA starts to host bigger events!

Check out what we are doing at Proper firearms training creates discipline and respect that will enhance public safety. Additionally, there are many new gun owners with recently obtained Concealed Pistol Licenses in King and Pierce Counties. Many states require testing that includes proficiency with your weapon in order to obtain a Concealed Pistol License.

The State of Washington only requires a background check to obtain a CPL but that does not excuse armed citizens from understanding the laws pertaining to keeping and bearing arms. We also need to be prepared for the possibility of stressful tactical situations. Firearms safety will always be emphasized at every level of training. The tax payers will pay nothing and Federal Way will reap all the benefits.

We have made it clear that we welcome Progressives, liberals, Republicans and Democrats- from every religious and political persuasion or no religious persuasion! We will not tolerate anyone that advocates breaking the law, however. Recent events in Tucson show how dangerous it can get when anarchy, rebellion and lawlessness of any sort is tolerated. Join us for safer and more prosperous communities!

Our club is sponsoring training events that are not typically available to the general public.

We’re eager to meet you, answer your questions and hear your ideas.

What is the Armed Defense Training Association?

1. We promote the safe and ongoing development of responsible self-defense skills.

2. We organize regular events (including live-fire, no-fire, interactive demonstrations, seminars, and social outreach events) to build interest in responsible self-defense and to provide training opportunities for individuals to practice and improve their defensive skills and knowledge.

3. We assemble involved, like-minded individuals, that as a group we can explore developing unique resources and facilities (the Shooting Arts Center)

4. We advocate to all individuals to consider their roles as rational, self-determined, law-abiding adults who may someday be required to immediately act in defense of life, either their own or their loved ones.

5. We participate in our communities of family, friends, neighbors, cities, and region, for their growth and health.

E-mail for more information

Federal Way Communicating Strategically via Twitter

Twitter is useful for emergency preparedness, reacting to rapidly changing events and strategic responses to various threats and opportunities. The following is a copy of my last Tweet @FirearmsLawyer:

MBRs $10 @Bunyan range Mar.23/30- Mar.23rd/30th event
#ArmedDefense #FederalWay #NRA #shootonthemove #SOTM

Please note that the message above is an example of a Tweet that could help us with our problem of telling ADTA MBRs about a change in the upcoming events schedule. Federal Way and surrounding communities can also use it to coordinate emergency response efforts or churches can use it to organize an evangelistic mission. I know the Tweet seems almost like code at first glance (or gibberish) but it has to be 140 characters or less.

The March 17 event will now be at Paul Bunyan (not Bull’s Eye Range as previously indicated) at 5:30 PM on both March 23 And 30th. The communication by means of Twitter will be successful if we can get most of our ADTA members following us on Twitter!

Note that Tweets can contain links to websites. I will post a similar message and tell people to join our organization at our ADTA website linked above if they want to join us for the March 23rd/30th Live Fire Event at 5:30 PM for both dates. Please make particular note of the lists below:

#ArmedDefense #FederalWay #NRA #shootonthemove #SOTM

We can ad #Auburn #Kent #Tacoma, etc. I made most of the lists up extemporaneously; we can instruct MBRs to follow one list for now:


The number of lists is as infinite as our imaginations but we can use these lists to reach other communities (and ADTA Members). Additionally, ADTA MBRs should follow FirearmsLawyer at #ArmedDefense as you are up & running on Twitter. I think we already have an ADTA FACEBOOK account but TWITTER is better for reaching people in real time when we need to reschedule and/or react quickly.

The military uses it and so do various activists, including terrorists (with GPS coordinates included in their Tweets)!

We still need to communicate with each other via e-mail but the Tweets will get messages out fast to many people if all of you are following us vigilantly on TWITTER. We have to be able to make changes in our plans almost immediately- at the last minute- or we will lose MBRs because of confusion about the calendar of events.

We are training to think tactically and Twitter is a good way to reach multiple communities for SOTM events and situations. Remember, we are Federal Way’s newest service club and we have as much or more to contribute as Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.

As you start to follow, you will start to discern the power of TWITTER. Do not make the mistake of thinking TWITTER is some silly new fad! I hardly use FACEBOOK but TWITTER is powerful! If you have trouble finding me on TWITTER let me know. It will be easy to keep our MBRs motivated if we follow each other on TWITTER.

Armed Defense Training Association’s Events at Paul Bunyan

We canceled the Law of Armed Defense Class previously scheduled for April 2 but will be announcing the new date and location very soon. Watch the ADTA calendar page for this and other upcoming events.

Members of the Armed Defense Training Association recently participated in two live-fire events at Paul Bunyan Range in Puyallup. Dave Farrow and Bruce Wood, both experienced USPSA competitors and Range Officers, ran the courses of fire for the ADTA. Additionally, Dave is President of Paul Bunyan and Chairman of USPSA activities at Paul Bunyan.

At the first event, on March 23rd, Dave explained the rules for using the action bays at Paul Bunyan and a safety-check. Safety-checks are critical for any shooters that want to shoot-on-the-move because there is more going on than most of us have experienced in normal target practice and it is absolutely essential to understand the range commands, procedures and rules that keep everyone safe.

Some ADTA members still don’t have the right equipment. Choosing a firearm is an entirely personal decision. Nevertheless, .44 magnums, .22 pistols and .380s are not ideal for normal self-defense purposes. Most police departments require officers to carry a round that is at least .38 caliber. I have seen USPSA and IDPA competitors shoot revolvers much faster than most of us shoot semi-automatics. The speed with which a revolver can be reloaded would surprise most of the critics that want to ban high capacity magazines.

It is true, however, that most of us can reload a semi-auto faster than we can reload a revolver. If you choose to bring a revolver to an action shoot, you should have some speed loaders or moon clips and start practicing how to reload on the move.

And think about your holster, too. Some shooters showed up without any holster. If you are on a budget, Uncle Mike’s has very good Kydex holsters for all calibers. Outside the waistband holsters are safer for action shooting and will be required by ADTA in most instances. You can invest in a good inside the waistband leather holster for everyday concealed carry. I have several but increasingly wear OWB under my suit coat. IWB holsters are often needed for casual wear during hot weather when you won’t be wearing a coat.

We have to make sure we keep our muzzles pointed away from the top of the berms. One accidental discharge that gets over the top of the berm will destroy years of hard work by many generations of shooters that built Paul Bunyan.

We had twelve ADTA members participate in the second event, on Wednesday March 30th, including a few that shot on the previous Wednesday. We had some very experienced shooters and some inexperienced shooters, too.

Bruce administered safety-checks and Dave got us shooting a course of fire that was very similar to a relatively easy USPSA course of fire. We engaged multiple targets, reloaded while transitioning to a window. We engaged three steel targets with the strong hand from the window and then proceeded to another series of cardboard IPSC targets.

There was good sense of fellowship and some frustration as we experienced some of the stress that is normal while developing proficiency and making transitions under the eagle eye of Dave Farrow. Dave let us know when we made mistakes that involve safety and also had some helpful hints for better shooting techniques.

The evening was not complete without taking turns on shooting at a Texas Star that spins around with plates for targets. Then we engaged in a “billet drill”- five shooters in front of five targets shooting six shots into a target as fast we could. I am suggesting that we take up a collection and make both Dave and Bruce ADTA members. I hope they will continue to be involved even when we start holding live-fire events at the West Coast Armory. The ADTA Board also will be meeting and formalizing our intent to donate some nine millimeter ammunition to Paul Bunyan’s youth programs.

The following is a report from one of our members that attended the second ADTA event and recently participated in his first USPSA practice at Paul Bunyan:

Subject: BEFORE you get to the Range preparation-
Learn the commands, safety check procedure and where the safety area is and its purpose.

It is complicated and there is STRESS!! You need it to be second nature.

Practice drawing, reloading and firing with blanks/dummy rounds/snap caps.

Wear a big strong belt. Get all your gear on your belt as you will have it at the range.

Best procedures for perfecting your draw, presentation and other information about getting started can be located at Getting Started- USPSA Practical Shooting.

Research them on line, books, acquaintances.

Bring at least 3 magazines and belt mag holders, ‘More is better’. I saw some with a rack of 6-8 magazines on their belt.

Holster on one hip(outside the waistband)- muzzle straight down (I didn’t see any ‘FBI cants’); magazines on other hip.

No Rambo stuff – clothes, gear or attitude.

No cross draws, shoulder holsters (the muzzle points away from downrange. More on this below).

Range preparation:

Your time to shoot is announced:

START of shooting sequence-

Step to the firing station

Face downrange and await instruction from Range Officer.

Know how to prepare your weapon for the start of the firing sequences at the firing station.

Face downrange. You have an unloaded pistol with NO magazine in gun in your hip holster.

Range Officer will tell you to “Make ready” (Remove pistol from holster keeping muzzle downrange, insert loaded magazine in your pistol and cycle a live round into the chamber, place safety on and return pistol to holster).

Stand facing downrange waiting for Range Officer behind you to issue these commands:

“Are your ready” (no response required unless there is a problem; nod head if want to); “stand by” ;”BEEEEEP” . Draw and Engage targets.

END of shooting sequence-

Know how to show clear to the Range Officer when directed.

To ‘Show clear’ after each shooting session:
While muzzle is facing downrange – remove magazine, cycle out last round, lock or hold open slide to display empty chamber, close slide and dry fire straight downrange.)

Oh, did I mention to keep the muzzle always pointing downrange?

If you break 180 by turning too far to the left or right you will be disqualified and not allowed to complete the match for that day. (See ‘DQd’ below).

Move and Shoot-

When you move between targets, change magazines. It saves time from running out (10 with one in the chamber is IDPA round limit/mag. IPSC-USPSA does not have a limit in the open category.)

One way in which IDPA differs from USPSA is that there are situations in which you will be required to retain the magazine when you reload.

When shooting at targets through a window, don’t stick your pistol through the window (you are thinking ‘the closer I get to the targets the better’). The window is small and if the pistol recoils or you jam it going into/out of the window – it can cause a firing interruption, or worse- a dropped gun- a DQ!

So many things will get you disqualified (see ‘muzzle downrange’ and ‘dropped gun’ above.)

Read and study the USPSA and IDPA rules material!!!

We represent a fledging organization and first impressions count. Make them good ones. You represent more than just yourself.

View YouTube “idpa or ipsc shooting” and see what you will be doing BEFORE you arrive. for Renton facility. A good video.

Watch everyone else to see what they are doing. Copy/steal any technique that works! This is the American way.

Range Duties-
After the “all clear” (RO confirms recent firing sequence is done, pistol is clear of rounds and re-holstered) is sounded, help paste paper targets / paint steel and pick up spent brass (most reload so they want it back).

IDPA has a strong focus on shooting from cover which is important to our objectives. USPSA, IDPA and Steel Targets are all good ways to build skills. Paul Bunyan’s steel match is the third Sunday of every month at 10:00 AM and IDPA at Paul Bunyan is on the fourth Saturday of evey month.

Many folks have observed that we are bonding together as neighbors in love and good fellowship that will continue to grow!

Federal Way gun owners are letting us know that they are serious about the proposed gun range for our city.

We appreciate all the support we have received for our Armed Defense Training Association to achieve our training objectives.

I don’t know whether we will be shooting like SWAT operators but we can all become proficient at shooting on the move and from behind cover. LEOs call such procedures Reality Based Training. Front Sight and excellent local schools like the Firearms Academy of Seattle (in Onalaska, Washington) are well worth the considerable time and expense — if you plan to own a weapon for self-defense.

Incidentally, at FAS you will shoot on the move, from cover and under low-light conditions! We are lining up similar opportunities locally by negotiating range time as a group and then bringing in various instructors and other professionals to make the events safe and productive.

We received encouragement to get going with this plan of action from several business leaders, including members of the Chamber of Commerce. Before the recent proposal for a Shooting Arts Center was published in the Federal Way Mirror, I spoke to the Noon Kiwanis Club and a local Rotary Club about armed self-defense. Soon after I spoke at Rotary, a Rotary Club member asked when we are going to get started with a range.

All ADTA scheduled events are posted here. As our membership grows, ADTA will continue working towards establishing a local Federal Way shooting facility with the flexibility to provide tactical shooting events.

We hope the proposed range will be a resource for law enforcement (at very little cost to local government) and ADTA members for training. There are quite a few of us working to make all these things happen!

Please watch this location for updates!

Another Federal Way resident, Rick Cook (USMC), and I wrote a book entitled, He Trains My Hands for Battle. The book is a primer on Scriptural Kingdom principles relating to armed defense. In order to obtain an electronic copy ofthe manuscript that you can printout on your own printer, go to and use the e-mail address there to send $9.00 via Pay Pal. You can make additional copies for church groups and other nonprofit organizations at no charge. Please contact us if you wish to present a seminar or class based on the materials.