« | »

Washington St. Gun Bill Includes ‘Sheriff Visits’

From the Seattle Times:

Misstep 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 | February 16, 2013

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.

But you can still partially blame them. After all, they are still kooks.

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.”

Translation: ‘we got caught.’

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.

What exactly do they do for their salaries?

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.

In other words, police inspections are still one of their goals.

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

Hopefully, when no one is paying attention.

But don’t worry. The idea is to get the public used to the idea. The next time around it won’t be so shocking. By the third time, no one will even notice, and it will slip through unopposed.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Washington St. Gun Bill Includes ‘Sheriff Visits’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Not to worry.
    What isn’t mandatory will soon be illegal.

  2. captstubby says:

    remember all the crazy talk in the 1970’s from the Survivalists,
    they forgot that they were living in the United States,
    where things like this are protected by our Constitution.
    now don’t you feel better now.

  3. Petronius says:

    Why is it impossible to roundup and deport 11 million (20 million? 30 million? God-knows-how-many?) illegal aliens, but no problem to confiscate 314 million firearms from American citizens in house-to-house searches?

    What was it Orwell said about doublethink? About the power to hold two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them?

    When the Second Amendment falls, can the Fourth Amendment (searches and seizures) and Fifth Amendment (due process) be far behind?

    By the way, for the relevance of the 3d Amendment to 2d Amendment, see :


    • Helena says:

      Thanks, Petronius, good get.

    • GetBackJack says:

      United Parcel Service (UPS)

      It delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the world.

      Ane the US Government says it cannot find 11 million illegal aliens?

      Put UPS on the job.

      They deliver.

  4. untrainable says:

    Anyone who backs a bill and THEN reads it should be summarily dismissed for failure to live up to their oath of office. Is there no recourse for the people these morons represent?

    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. Had not read it closely? Are you kidding me? Hyper attuned to civil liberties, but doesn’t read legislation that he is willing to put his name on. He has admitted… IN PRINT… that he signed onto a bill that he didn’t understand, or even read (closely). You’d think a lawyer would know better than to sign something before reading it. He should be held responsible for violating his oath of office, and jailed for actively seeking to violate the Constitution. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!! is not a phrase to be “interpreted”.


  5. USSFreedom says:

    Surprisingly, Adam Kline, D-Seattle scanned the bill which is a little better than just passing it to find out what’s in it. Get into the real world. If the police want to get into your house they will. Warrant or no. A 5 AM 911 call from
    a non-traceable stolen phone conveniently giving your address and a shots fired report will be used or a non existent cry for help heard from within, will find you awakened rather rudely by inquisitive members of a newly formed task unit having your name on a long list of non-cooperative gun owners. The 911 tape will back up their response and a guy visiting from out of town was walking his dog and most definitely heard the cry for help, signed a statement and just disappeared. Various and sundry tactics are used by those wishing to take total control of our lives every day in Obamaville. Once the Constitution meant something but, not any more as it’s just a piece of paper written by old white slave owners and needs changed according to the whims of power hungry bureaucrats that know what’s best for lowly peasants clinging to their guns and religion. Will the Mexican government get a list of US gun owners in border states, as requested? Some in Congress would agree it would be a good Idea to include it in a 1600 page
    bill that will be scanned briefly or just passed to find out what’s in it.

  6. Mithrandir says:


    The Family Court system is so corrupt, it causes more violence than what would normally happen naturally. Unfair judgments, expensive bleeding of the parents, the lawless outcomes, the evil tactics by lawyers LEADS TO MURDER/SUICIDES, and attacks on court officials.
    ►Remember the recent problem with K.C. Chiefs Jovan Belcher? You think he wanted to go to court and settle his dispute with his wife over his marriage and his daughter? No.
    ►You thinkChris Dorner, the mad L.A. cop, had confidence in the legal system? You think he felt confident he could appeal or sue for justice? No.
    ►You remember Andrew Joseph Stack III in 2010? The guy who flew his plane into the Austin IRS building? You think he felt like the government would give him a fair shake, and fair appeal to his grievance? No.
    ►You think the Branch Davidians felt they would be treated fairly by the government? Or did they barricade themselves inside, only to be burned by tear gas canisters like Chris Dorner?
    ►All those police chases and shoot-outs that lead to death or suicide? How come the perpetrator didn’t turn himself in? No confidence in the legal system obviously stacked against him. Better to die on your feet, than die on your knees in prison I guess.

    The cost of a few kids getting gunned down in Connecticut is a small price to pay for the potentially 1000s of people who may die protecting their 2nd Amendment rights from a confiscating government. But yet again, the government wants to push and provoke this confrontation with the citizens.

    Millions of citizens will be victims of crimes without the ability to protect themselves, but who cares right? This creates a desperate populace who will eventually decide to become criminals themselves by getting black market firearms and SCREW the paperwork, 7 day waiting periods, background checks, and proper concealed permits graciously handed by the local Sheriff to his donors.
    And once citizens with CLEAN RECORDS become felons due to a tyrannical government, it CREATES MORE CRIME. People lose their jobs, go to prison, bankruptcy due to defense attorneys, it makes a desperate population that would rather die than live on its knees.

    Government is the biggest cause of crime and violence in our society either directly or indirectly. And home inspections is a disaster waiting to happen.

  7. Astravogel says:

    An American version of “Les Miserables.”

« Front Page | To Top
« | »