This new bill is scary. While this is supposedly a mistake, I'm skeptical of how much of a mistake it was. Words mean things. Language inserted into bills is often run by attorneys to double check matters. If this was a mistake, it got past a lot of people.
While Washington State is rather liberal, it like Oregon is not as liberal on guns as many other blue states. It's not like California, Illinois, or most of the Northeast (outside Pennsylvania, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire).
From Seattle Times
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.
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.)
That's from a media editorial in the paper. As you'd guess, it's leftist, like most newspaper editorials. Even they have a limit. Provisions like that could cause a lot of problems.
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.
It's not paranoia if they are really out to get you. I'm not surprised one bit. That's what the left does. That's what big government does. More laws. More regulations. More criminalization. Obamacare makes felons of those who don't comply. Five years in prison. Why wouldn't they support house to house searches? It wouldn't be the first time.
Washington DC was pushing this back in 2008
Bill Clinton and the Butcher of Waco Janet Reno pushed warrantless searches in public housing. Remember the infamous "radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights quote?" That was referring to this.
New York State's latest gun grab banned magazines with more than 7 bullets. That covers almost all semi-automatic pistols outside of some 1911's. That also covers the classic Ruger 10/.22 Those who currently own them and don't turn them in or sell them out of state face a misdemeanor charge. What's going to happen there - house to house searches? Andrew Cuomo was part of that same Clinton administration, so it wouldn't shock me a bit.
I haven't read Atlas Shrugged in a long time, and parts I agree with and parts I don't, but one quote struck with me. It's as true as can be.
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of lawbreakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." - Floyd Ferris
But this hasn't been proposed federally, right?
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Public Health and Safety Act of 1993 on behalf of myself and nine of my colleagues: Mel Reynolds, Bill Clay, Jerry Nadler, Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Lewis, Nydia Velazquez, Ron Dellums, Carrie Meek, and Alcee Hastings. This legislation, first introduced in the Senate by Senator John Chafee, would prohibit the transfer or possession of handguns and handgun ammunition, except in limited circumstances. It would go a long way toward protecting our citizens from violent crime.
The need for a ban on handguns cannot be overstated. Unlike rifles and shotguns, handguns are easily concealable. Consequently, they are the weapons of choice in most murders, accounting for the deaths of 25,000 Americans in 1991.
A 6-month grace period would be established during which time handguns could be turned in to any law enforcement agency with impunity and for reimbursement at the greater of $25 or the fair market value of the handgun . After the grace period's expiration, handguns could be turned in voluntarily with impunity from criminal prosecution, but a civil fine of $500 would be imposed.
Exemptions from the handgun ban would be permitted for Federal, State, or local government agencies, including military and law enforcement; collectors of antique firearms; federally licensed handgun sporting clubs; federally licensed professional security guard services; and federally licensed dealers, importers, or manufacturers.
The Public Health and Safety Act of 1993 represents a moderate, middle-of-the-road approach to handgun control which deserves the support of all members of Congress who want to stop gun murders now.
--- Hon. Major R. Owens (Rep. NY, Introduction of the Public Health and Safety Act of 1993, Extension of Remarks - September 23, 1993. Congressional Record, 103rd Congress, 1993-1994)
While the 2nd Amendment in SCOTUS did rule against bans, keep in mind it was a 5-4 decision. Twice. If Scalia, Kennedy, Roberts, Thomas, or Alito retire under Obama's term, we are at major risk of the DC and Chicago bans being reversed.
Nobody wants to take the guns, right? We all know the answer to that. These gun grabs need to be stopped. Our checks and balances in our political system need to be respected, and the 2nd Amendment is a major part of that.