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DSA In the News

Fall trial in courthouse gun case

Published on 3/25/2011

The man who prosecutors say brought a handgun into the Redwood City courthouse branch where he was headed to a hearing over child custody will stand trial in the fall on a felony firearm charge.

James Douglas Knapp, 45, of Sacramento, is charged with one count of possessing a firearm in a public building and one count of possessing a loaded firearm in a public building. He pleaded not guilty in Superior Court yesterday and set an Oct. 17 jury trial date. 

Knapp was arrested July 12 after sending a backpack through the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint at 400 County Government Center in Redwood City. The center houses county offices, the Sheriff’s Office and courtroom. Knapp was going to family law court regarding a child custody issue, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Security guards at the checkpoint reportedly spotted a .45-caliber handgun in the backpack as it passed through the machine and detained Knapp. Knapp consented to a search of his car and deputies reported finding another gun magazine in the glove compartment.

Knapp reportedly told authorities he had not realized the gun was in his bag.

He remains out of custody on a $50,000 bail bond.

The last similar incident was in September 2007 when Frank Turney of Pacifica was arrested after trying to walk through the same courthouse metal detector with a loaded handgun. Turney was going to his son’s arraignment on assault charges.