Washington State legislators are now saying it was a mistake, but ya know, one has to wonder what they were thinking when slipped in wording to their gun control bill that included an annual search of Washingtonians’ homes by local Law Enforcement Officers. From the Seattle Times;
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,” [Lance Palmer, a Seattle trial lawyer] told me. “But now I understand why my right-wing opponents worry about having to fight a government takeover.”
It’s really not surprising since New York legislation made it illegal for a homeowner to be “found’ to have more than seven rounds in a magazine inside their house. How else would a homeowner be “found” to have more than seven rounds in a magazine if someone is not searching their homes?
But think about it for a minute – how would law enforcement know that a homeowner in legal possession of a grandfathered scary black rifle has said scary black rifle? Well, by registration, of course. And suppose the homeowner doesn’t have their scary black rifle stored the way a LEO approves of, can they confiscate the scary black rifle? In direct contradiction of the 4th Amendment which protects us from the government’s unreasonable search and seizure of property. They’re searching for a legal item, and if they seize it, they’re seizing a perfectly legal item.
So the reporter interviews two of the bill’s sponsors;
“I made a mistake,” [Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle] said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”
“I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there,” [Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle] said.
Yet, there it is. But, we’re unreasonably paranoid.