Mistake In Washington State Gun Control Bill Calls For Annual Home Inspections

February 19, 2013 10:32 pmViews: 2747

Could we have Washingtonsstate gun inspections at home?


A so-called mistake in a Washington state gun control proposal raise the ire of even staunch liberals. As first introduced in Olympia, Senate Bill 5737 called for the banning of assault weapons, but let those that already owned them continue to do so with the provision the sheriff of whichever county Washington residents lived in be able to enter their homes no more than once a year to inspect the premises. The inspection was to make sure the weapon was locked and secured in a safe place in the owner's home.

The exact wording of the bill said, “In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall ... safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

The bill was introduced last week in the Washington State Senate and even though the wording of it has since been changed because of the eventual outcry from many in the state senate. The provision to inspect someone's home on a yearly basis was removed from this bill, but the alarming thing was not even sponsors of it nor the main sponsor know this provision was in it until someone pointed it our to them. Both sponsor Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, and the prime sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle had read the 20 page bill close enough to realize what was in it.

The supposed oversight, according to a Democrat Senate spokesperson, was blamed on unnamed staff. You heard that right, no one knows specifically who wrote a bill calling for unconstitutional home inspections for legally owned firearms. Does that sound a little fishy to you.

We are one bill like this away from a constitutional crisis in our country over the Second Amendment and lawmakers aren't even reading the legislation they are voting on. This is not at all a common sense measure on gun control as President Obama keeps talking about.

Read more on this story from Seattle Times writer Danny Westneat:

Forget police drones flying over your house. How about police coming inside, once a year, to have a look around?

As Orwellian as that sounds, it isn’t hypothetical. The notion of police home inspections was introduced in a bill last week in Olympia.

That it’s part of one of the major gun-control efforts pains me. It seemed in recent weeks lawmakers might be headed toward some common-sense regulation of gun sales. But then last week they went too far. By mistake, they claim. But still too far.

“They always say, we’ll never go house to house to take your guns away. But then you see this, and you have to wonder.”

That’s no gun-rights absolutist talking, but Lance Palmer, a Seattle trial lawyer and self-described liberal who brought the troubling Senate Bill 5737 to my attention. It’s the long-awaited assault-weapons ban, introduced last week by three Seattle Democrats.

(Note to readers: The link above is to a new version of SB 5737, which no longer contains the disputed provision. The original version of the bill has been erased from the state’s Web site, but here you can see it as it was proposed.)

Responding to the Newtown school massacre, the bill would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons that use detachable ammunition magazines. Clips that contain more than 10 rounds would be illegal.

But then, with respect to the thousands of weapons like that already owned by Washington residents, the bill says this:

“In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall ... safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

In other words, come into homes without a warrant to poke around. Failure to comply could get you up to a year in jail.

“I’m a liberal Democrat — I’ve voted for only one Republican in my life,” Palmer told me. “But now I understand why my right-wing opponents worry about having to fight a government takeover.”

He added: “It’s exactly this sort of thing that drives people into the arms of the NRA.”

I have been blasting the NRAfor its paranoia in the gun-control debate. But Palmer is right — you can’t fully blame them, when cops going door-to-door shows up in legislation.

Related Posts For You:

Tags: