Home > Communism/Marxism/Socalism/Racism/FASCISM, Miscellaneous > Washington State: Mistake in gun bill could defeat the effort

Washington State: Mistake in gun bill could defeat the effort

One of the major gun-control efforts in Olympia this session calls for the sheriff to inspect the homes of assault-weapon owners. The bill’s backers say that was a mistake.

By Danny Westneat

Seattle Times staff columnist

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.

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 NRA for 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.

I spoke to two of the sponsors. One, Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, a lawyer who typically is hyper-attuned to civil-liberties issues, said he did not know the bill authorized police searches because he had not read it closely before signing on.

“I made a mistake,” Kline said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”

That lawmakers sponsor bills they haven’t read is common. Still, it’s disappointing on one of this political magnitude. Not counting a long table, it’s only an eight-page bill.

The prime sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, also condemned the search provision in his own bill, after I asked him about it. He said Palmer is right that it’s probably unconstitutional.

“I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there,” Murray said.

He said he came to realize that an assault-weapons ban has little chance of passing this year anyway. So he put in this bill more as “a general statement, as a guiding light of where we need to go.” Without sweating all the details.

Later, a Senate Democratic spokesman blamed unnamed staff and said a new bill will be introduced.

Murray had alluded at a gun-control rally in January that progress on guns could take years.

“We will only win if we reach out and continue to change the hearts and minds of Washingtonians,” Murray said. “We can attack them, or start a dialogue.”

Good plan, very bad start. What’s worse, the case for the perfectly reasonable gun-control bills in Olympia just got tougher.

Danny Westneat’s column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-2086 or dwestneat@seattletimes.com


Source: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020373291_westneat17xml.html

  1. Kelly Kafir
    February 18, 2013 at 04:23

    We win by retreat… some commie said that.

    • February 18, 2013 at 07:40

      HA! You funny!

      It’s appalling that they’re so flippant about not even knowing what’s in that legislation before signing on to it and pushing it on everyone else. Not surprising, though, considering how the feds have been operating. Max Baucus (D-MT) was one of the leaders during that scam, and here he is, shitfaced on the senate floor, as usual, spilling the beans about what obamacare IS. Redistribution of wealth. hic’cup.

  2. Black
    February 18, 2013 at 10:27

    How many of us in the real world would be fired if we flippantly told our boss or those who hired us to do a job that we hadn’t really read the contents that we signed off on and, “I frankly should have vetted this more closely”?

    The answer, most would be fired or suffer some type of consequence for such an irresponsible act. Somewhere along the way, our government elected officials have decided that they are the mighty ones in charge of our lives and in order do what’s best for us, because, quite frankly, as citizens we just aren’t smart enough to manage our own lives, they will create and pass legislation for our own good. And then, they don’t even bother reading the crap they push out there! First of all, stay out of my life! I am perfectly capable of making sound decisions on my own. Second of all, if you want to pretend to be a big boy and wear big boy pants, then learn to read and pay attention like an intelligent individual. At some point, intelligent society is going to get tired of being pushed around and told when and how to do things by those less qualified and certainly less responsible people.

    • February 18, 2013 at 10:33

      Well said.

      Anyone who’s done any kind of work with government bureaucracies knows well how inept and corrupt they are.

  3. Black
    February 18, 2013 at 13:15

    …and in this case, thank God their mistakes will most likely result in this ineffective bill, or more appropriately put, assault on law-abiding citizens, not passing.

    • February 18, 2013 at 13:30

      Washington Firearms advocates are VERY active. I’m sure they’re going after this. Kline is one of my least favorite gun grabbers in that State.

  4. Dasarge
    February 19, 2013 at 12:01

    Mistake my lilly white a$$. Libs have been pushing little boundaries for decades, always trying to see just how much they can get away with and testing the resolve of the people. When things go badly for them…”duh…we made a boo boo”. One or two years later, after the air has been cleared of their boo boo, they will try the exact same thing again. But see, here’s the problem, the legislation that they try and push through doesn’t apply to them, never to them. It only applies to you and I, the little people of the country. Politicians WILL NEVER create a law that applies to them.

    • February 19, 2013 at 13:30

      If there’s anything good that’s come out of this it’s that half the American people have awakened to the nightmares we currently face. Too bad it’s only half. Thank the “educators”

  5. William Lucas
    February 22, 2013 at 23:29

    It appears that a modified bill has been submitted “SENATE BILL 5737 (Corrected Copy)”

    I would like to believe in the better nature of our fellow residents, but alas, this is not the first time the inspection legislation has been backed by Sen. Kline.


    What worries me as much as the legislation, is the lack of record of the change. Other than the reporting on it, I can find no record of the bill as it was reported. Only the “corrected copy”.

    • February 23, 2013 at 08:07

      Thank You, William
      I detest Kline *almost* as much as I detest Gregoire. I was present at the SB 6396 scheme when he demonstrated just how vile, deceitful, ignorant and despicable he is.

      What gives me comfort is that I know the Washington gun owners are united on this, R’s, D’s, I’s….. and they are a VERY close-knit, active group. I know they’ll stay on top of these gun grabbers and I know they’ll pull no punches.

      These are not our fellow countrymen.


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