Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat (courtesy

“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.” That’s an excerpt from Washington State Senate Bill 5737. Translation: county sheriffs can knock on the doors of homes with registered “assault weapons,” enter (without a warrant) and make sure they’re “secure.” Gun owners who fail to comply face up to a year in jail. Or worse, if you think about it. The passage has some people worried. People who you wouldn’t think would worry. Such as the Seattle Times’ pro-pro gun control writer Danny Westneat [above] and friends . . .

“I’m a liberal Democrat — I’ve voted for only one Republican in my life,” [Seattle trial lawyer and self-described liberal Lance] 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.

Hey, Westneat & Co. listen up! That was no mistake. In fact, anyone who mistakes “gun control” for anything less than civilian disarmament, leading to the loss of other Constitutional rights, is making a big mistake. Live and learn?

99 Responses to Washington AWB “Accidentally” Includes House Searches

    • It seems lawyers are seldom charged with frivolous lawsuits. Is there any law against filing frivolous, unconstitutional bills?

    • I want to go knock on the door of law enforcement go to their rooms sift through their drawers looking for the safe storage of assault weapons,overlooking the blowup dolls and pictures of their captain in a tutu…

  1. I’m getting a little pissed off at politicians who sign things w/o reading the not so fine print. They did the thing with Obamacare and the NY Safe Act.

    If you’re too busy or too lazy to read through a bill, perhaps it’s time to find another job.

    • I think it’s time to bring back public stockades. Throw the asshole politicians in arm and head locks for a week or so outside of each capital. and we’ll see how soon government cleans itself up.

    • Because everything is presented as a crisis, should have been done yesterday, crap their drawers panic. Crisis after crisis, panic after panic. Manufactured fear leveraging opinion, fiat decrees, voting fraud left un-prosecuted. They, with the collusion of the msm, are stampeding the population into an existence of serfdom. There’s already talk of scrapping the Constitution and killing the 2nd is the KEY to eliminating it and our value as human beings. We are on the verge of Monarchy. It is no longer a question of “waking up”. Near 50% of the citizens have been softened by the opiate of dependency of entitlement. Now it’s a question of “quitting the habit”. I don’t see the desire or will power in the public to accomplish any replacement of the current status quo.

    • They read the bill Stymie, they are trying to slide a turd through the bunghole and hope we dont notice. Dirty, filthy, evil, libtards.
      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  2. And this wouldn’t be considered an “unreasonable search”? Where is the right to privacy, do we now live in Soviet Russia? Even seeing such draconian proposals such as this is truly disturbing. Laws such this should never be tolerated even if they were somehow passed into law as they are in direction violation of our constitutional rights.

      • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        Sound familiar?

    • What right to privacy? Where is that in the Constitution? Sure, the Supreme Court ruled that a right to privacy was implied by other provisions of the Constitution (Griswold v Connecticut – not just about the right to buy contraceptives). However, any conservative will tell you that the “right to privacy” was an invention by activist bleeding-heart liberal judges, and should be repealed.

      I remain amused by the idea that any regulation of the right to bear arms would lead to erosion of our other constitutionally-guaranteed rights. Those rights are being restricted every day. Take, say, freedom of speech. Do you think that you have a right to have an Ohio Buckeyes bumper sticker on your car? Guess again:

      “What are you doing with a marijuana sticker on your bumper?” (the police officer) asked her.

      She explained that it is actually a Buckeye leaf decal, just like the ones that Ohio State players are given to put on their helmets to mark good plays.

      Before they let her go on her way, the officers advised Jonas-Boggioni to remove the decal from her car.

      “I said, ‘You mean in Tennessee?’ and he said, ‘No, permanently.’

      (Source: Buckeye leaf mistaken by Tennessee police

      It isn’t that they’ll come after the rest of our rights if we regulate guns – it’s that they’ve already gutted most of the other rights.

        • I know you were joking. What follows are some of the best rebuttals to those or similar words from those who are not joking.

          Excerpts from the “The Eternal Value of Privacy,” by Bruce Schneier, Wired News, May 18, 2006;

          “Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance…

          We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need…

          For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable…

          This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. And it’s our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives…

          Too many wrongly characterize the debate as “security versus privacy.” The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.”

          You should also read Daniel J. Solove’s “‘I’ve Got Nothing to Hide’ and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy.” at

    • We object because we shouldn’t have to be subjected to warrantless and unreasonable searches of our homes, persons, and property simply to satisfy a government’s checklist of “civil obedience”. The phrases “I have nothing to hide/I’ve done nothing wrong” does not automatically give ANY government the go-ahead to violate your civil rights whenever it wants. The Fourth Amendment forbids the government to interfere with a human being’s natural right to be free of exactly this type of thing, and requires that any such search warrant be sanctioned by a court and supported by probable cause and/or evidence. By allowing any level of government to violate this natural right we are depriving ourselves of freedoms and liberties that citizens/subjects of many other countries don’t enjoy.

      When due process fails us, we really do live in a world of terror.

    • That’s not the point.

      I doubt the common person would be pleased to have a random yearly search of their home. Their private estate. Especially by a LEO with that kind of power.

      Reminds me of pulling someone over for “suspicion” to see if they have expired inspection or if they have been “up to something”

    • True. If you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t need an attorney, right? Justice always prevails for the upright and true.

  3. What is it with “lawmakers” after they get elected?

    Quote: “That lawmakers sponsor bills they haven’t read is common.”

    My head is spinning…

    • If you read the Bill carefully you will see that it can be interpreted to define 90% of existing firearms as Assault Weapons allowing Crypto-Commies to confiscate said firearms and jail the owner in a reversal of Constitutional Law. By the time the case works through the courts the firearms will have been destroyed as well as the owners bank account!
      That is the Purpose behind this Bill destroy the Middle Class!

    • It’s FAR worse than that; in Congress, they sometimes “have” to vote on bills that the ink’s not even dry on yet. Say, a 112-page bill, it comes from the printing office, and as it’s being passed around, the voting occurs.

  4. Washington State wants door to door searches, Missouri Dems want confiscation in 90 days, yet we keep getting told that “no one wants to take our guns away.”

      • Exactly. It’s not like they’re keeping it a secret. Daily Kos and New Republic have both published screeds on how we need total civilian disarmament. They’re using “reasonableness” to disguise incrementalism.

  5. Is any one surprised by this overreach? Their agenda has been clear for generations now. Take our guns. Which in itself is illegal and unconstitutional. Once they’ve rationalized themselves past that little barrier anything goes.

    The silence from the ACLU is deafening in cases like this.

  6. I consider myself open-minded, fair, and relatively well educated with three degrees. I stay current through a variety of news sources, because NONE are “fair and balanced” in every issue. Generally, I am capable of presenting my opinion calmy, rationally, and I like to consider myself very diplomatic. Regarding this issue, the first descriptor that springs forth from my vocabulary is fucktarded, if this was an oversight. Can we get a freakin’ GED score for our lawmakers? At least have them prove they can read and undestand the Bill of Rights on an elementary school level? My 5th grader just explained the definition of militia, including the concept that they should be armed with “military style” weapons, because that is what they could be called to fight against! Can we get a do-over on the elections of the last few years, please? I may have done a few things differently…

  7. So you can totally leave comments on the bill on the govt page. I left this one.

    “Assault Weapons” is a tauologic term. Please refrain from using it. All weapons are meant for assault.

    Section 25 of the WA state constitution states that a personal right to arms for self defense shall not be impaired. The types of weapons covered in this ban are strictly the ones on the market engineered for defense. Therefore banning them impairs the capacity for effective personal self defense.

    In the supeme court case of DC v. Heller it was stated that the second amendment of the United States constitution protects weapons that are “in common use at the time.” This bill would outlaw a significant majority of the firearms that are in common use at this point in time. Therefore it is unconstitutional and cannot be allowed to pass into law.”

  8. The NRA are not the only organization out there. Many others have been saying exactly the same thing. Maybe not as loudly but they’ve said it. This is going to get UGLY long before it gets fixed if WE don’t get involved.

    • My man, I used to be one of those guys who thought belonging to the NRA was enough. Ever since the Journal News of Westchester/Rockland published an interactive map detailing the name, address and exact location of every pistol permit holder in 2 counties (including me) I’ve changed my tune.

      Now I’m writing and calling politicians, going to rallies, sending out e-blasts to other 2A supporters, and giving as much money as I can afford to the cause (and not just the NRA, other pro-gun groups as well as Tea Party organizations and pro-gun pols. ) I’m also, politely, confronting every single anti-gun post I see from my friends on Facebook. The big surprise is I’ve turned a few of them.

      I’m also taking as many fence-sitters and liberals as possible shooting. Once someone actually shoots a gun, their opinion tends to change.

      This is a huge fight. We all need to be in it.

      • + 1
        I belong to Twelve organizations. I’ve also been writing real letters as well as e-mails. Since the savings and loan scandal days of the ninety’s. I refuse to not be heard.

    • The Second Amendment Foundation is actually located IN Washington, and I’m confident they will fight this off if it becomes a problem (which it won’t, since it’s ludicrous, particularly in a gun-friendly state like WA)

      • It was ludicrous in CO too. Where the standard capacity magazine ban just passed.
        Go to We the people petition site and sign as many petitions as possible. I like the pink gun one myself, seeing that the criminal would not want to tell his buddies he got stopped by a pink gun in 45.

  9. I’ve lived in WA all of my 26 year life, and I can’t believe how gun friendly this state has stayed despite the growing cancer of the Seattle-Metro area. Guns and shooting are a very big deal around here. I know for a fact that a large amount of people here would not comply with a bogus law like that. I’ve written all my reps and I hope this garbage goes down in flames.

    • Just read elsewhere that this could have a hard time passing. Apparently a 5-3 democrat to republican split on the committee that will hear this, but at least one dem has already said he will vote against it.

      • In WA, gun control is hard to sell outside the Seattle city limits. The problem is that compared to the rest of the state, a lot of people live in Seattle.

        The bill is doomed, even it’s sponsors are backing away from the search provision. It looks very much like some gun-control group (the Bradys?) faxed them some boilerplate thinking the recipients would cut stuff that had no chance of passing, and the recipients just introduced the entire thing unedited.

        Even so, I’m going to be keeping track of these bozos and donating to whoever runs against them.

    • The reason it has stayed gun friendly is that the state constitution forces it to be. If it were up to Seattle et al., it would be like NY. While states like Texas didn’t have a provision for civilian concealed carry until a few years ago Washington has always been a must issue state before that term was even in use. This is not because the politicians in the Seattle area are friendly towards gun owners. It is because the constitution limits what they can do.

      A few years ago the mayor of Seattle tried to outlaw concealed carry in city parks. He was told by his legal advisers that such a law would never stand up in court but he went ahead with it anyway. It was struck down but what did the mayor care? It wasn’t his money used to defend his law but the taxpayers’ money. What was the purpose since he knew it would not hold up? To get is liberal credentials in order is all. See he was hoping for an Obama appointment.

      He was soundly defeated in the next election; he wasn’t even nominated! I wish I could say that it was because of his gun stance but most agree it was because of his job on snow removal. His solution if you call it that was to let it melt. The roads got so bad from melting and freezing that it was like deriving back roads in eastern Washington chukar hunting in the winter. He refused to use salt because, get this, he said it would raise the salinity of Puget Sound and hurt the salmon! I kid you not, that is how stupid the guy is! He is typical of the caliber of politician we have in Washington.

      Anyway we have fairly liberal gun laws in Washington but it is not due to the tolerance of the politicians but rather the restraints the state constitution puts on them.

      I have no idea what will happen with this bill. They may well pass it but I doubt it will hold up. That doesn’t mean it won’t take years to get it through court and reversed.

  10. “I have been blasting the NRA for its paranoia”

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean THEY( you know who they are NOW don’t you?) aren’t after you and yours(as in your property).

  11. Here’s what irritates me the most about gun control freaks. It’s not that they disagree with me. In a free country, that’s fine and indeed necessary. It’s not that they try to pass laws. That’s dangerous, but we can fight them. What angers me is their refusal to be honest about their agenda.

  12. Guess we’ll be going to jail, my weapon is not “secured” during “normal business hours” it is charged and in a readily available fashion to serve its intended purpose. In the evenings, when it is not under my supervision it is secured, I have another weapon kept in a secure fashion that will be used to fight my way to my “other” weapon. this sentence is being included to represent the numerous explicitives that should be included in the text.

  13. This is right in SAF’s backyard. Can someone from WA contact SAF and see if they are already on the case so to speak.

  14. Sen. Kline makes a solid case for his own removal from office.
    “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”
    He’s either acknowledging his incompetence or that he is
    so partisan that he doesn’t feel the need to review legislation
    before a vote. But then again, he’s from Seattle so fat chance
    of removal.

    In the meantime, the people of WA should just sit back and
    enjoy the no-knock inspections that “would never, ever happen”.

    • Hmm.

      How illegal is it to typo on a change-of-address form?

      On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know Sen. Kline’s address?

      It might be enlightening for him to experience one of these searches firsthand. 😉

  15. Yeah these libtards are all for crap like this until the po po comes a- knockin’ on their newly purchased home because records show an “assault rifle” is registered at this address, and then these same libtards might start to get upset when the same police force doesn’t believe you and decides to go rifling through your house anyways.

  16. The bill is sponsored by three Seattle area dems. Just a bunch if liberal crazies. If it passes, it will be struck down by the state courts. However, the idiots who propose out should be thrown in jail for making such an unconscionable bill.

  17. In Westchester County, New York, where I have the misfortune to live, if you own more than 5 handguns you have to agree to allow the police to inspect your home to ensure the guns are “safely stored.” Which is why very few of us down here have more than 5 handguns.

  18. Thats right out of the Great Britain playbook. If this passes tape up the entire gun so they can’t identify it. If they just want to see that the gun is stored properly no pictures or documenting is necessary. Its worth a try not saying this will work, Randy

  19. Let’s pause for a moment and offer our respect to an opponent who, despite their admitted bias, has subjected their opinion to contrary evidence.

  20. Translation: county sheriffs can knock on the doors of homes with registered “assault weapons,” enter (without a warrant) and make sure they’re “secure.”

    Does held at port arms while opening the door count as “secure?”

  21. I just read through the entire bill and that language was not to be found. Looks like they dropped it. In reading the bill it would appear all semi-automatic pistols would become banned weapons. Did I misunderstand it?

  22. I guess if it’s going to be legal for them to enter your home without a warrant to check on you guns, then they should be allowed to search for drugs, child porn perverts, tax cheats, drugs and anything else they decide is bad for state.

  23. These “Gotcha” codes are causing impure thoughts. Remember, warrantless search may mean they can check your computer for gun porn also. “Booth Babes Gone Wild” comes to mind. Sheriff…..”have you got your gun secured”?………”Yes, I do officer, it’s in my hand”. (Maybe wrong answer)?

  24. I can just see the po-po coming around on their “visits” with their flak jackets, face masks, helmets and battle rifles at the ready. It seems like the only purpose for this legislation is so that everybody — white and black, rich and poor — can all hate the police with equal vigor.

    There are a lot of police on this site and they’re all good guys. Still, cops are the assault troops of the radical left whether they want to be or not. In order to defeat the left, we must take away its power, and that power grows out of the barrels of police guns.

    There are two options, both unsavory. Either the cops have to say to the politicians, “f^ck no, we’re not doing it,” or the citizens have to say to the police, “come and get them, but don’t think you’re going home to your family tonight.”

    The first option is bad, but tolerable. The second is simply horrible.

  25. Accident my ass. Theyhave introduced a bill with the same language since 2010.

    (excerpt from 2010 version of 2013 SB 5737)
    SENATE BILL 6396
    State of Washington
    61st Legislature
    2010 Regular Session

    By Senators Kline, Fairley, Kohl-Welles, and McDermott
    Read first time 01/13/10. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

    (5) In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was
    17 legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person
    18 possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:
    19 (a) Safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of
    20 the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to
    21 ensure compliance with this subsection;
    22 (b) Possess the assault weapon only on property owned or
    23 immediately controlled by the person, or while engaged in the legal use
    24 of the assault weapon at a duly licensed firing range, or while
    25 traveling to or from either of these locations for the purpose of
    26 engaging in the legal use of the assault weapon, provided that the
    27 assault weapon is stored unloaded and in a separate locked container
    28 during transport.

  26. Just like I’ve said about Holder and Hillary. It’s either incompetence or criminal. There is no other box for these things.

  27. The more they try and over reach only helps our cause. The reality is that this will help kill the bill, unless of course they amend it, but then again let them bring it to the floor as is. Many will vote against it, as they understand one thing, getting elected back into office will depend on it. Why would they attach their name to a bill which clearly violates the 4th amendment. That would kill their political careers. Just sayin…

  28. I live in WA State, and am NOT a fan of this bill, but am I missing something here? I just read through the proposed bill twice and couldn’t find any reference to “sheriff” or “inspection.” Can you please tell us the page and line number from the bill on the WA State website? Here’s the bill on their site:

    Or were you referring to an earlier draft? If so, can you post a link? Thanks.

    • The section about sheriffs conducting annual inspections was definitely in an earlier version. It appears they took it out in this “corrected copy.” I think even the anti-gun Dems realized how blatantly unconstitutional and potentially dangerous it was. I would imagine that behind the scenes, the various LE agencies had some choice words for the legislators who stuck it in there.

    • They unsurprisingly took the original version down, but I saved it and have sent Robert a copy. The language referenced is in the original as Section 2(5)(a).

      There’s still a lot to hate about the current version, such as this gem, the new Section 1(20)(c), part of the definition of “assault weapon”: (c) Any semiautomatic pistol, any semiautomatic, center-fire rifle, or any shotgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition;

      Note that the crappy draftsmanship means that this could be interpreted to classify all semi-auto pistols and all semi-auto, center-fire rifles as assault weapons, and with only the definition of which shotguns actually being constrained. Even if it doesn’t get interpreted that way, this provision makes a huge portion of the handguns made today subject to the draconian provisions of this bill.

      It’s even got a “no inheritance” provision in it. God this is thing is vile.

  29. There is never a reason for a law to require LEO inspection of anything.

    If there is a valid reason for the State to inspect ANYTHING, they can go get a warrant.

    In this case, a simple administrative warrant would suffice. It would be enough hassle that the Sheriff would have to decide how to use his limited resources, which would reduce the hassles.

    Not that I agree with the premise, but any new law requiring “inspections” should require a warrant.

  30. Amazing what realizations leftists can come to when they stop and actually turn on their brains. I know it must be hard to realize you are and always have been part of the disease that’s destroying America, but better late than never.

  31. Its well known that bill writers slip things in the middle or end of the bill hoping nobody will see it. That should be illegal. I wouldn’t want something slipped in my home mortgage saying that I needed to let the bank executives sleep over once a year for free! Give me a break folks. If you don’t have time to read the bill you are supporting you shouldn’t be supporting it. Is congress brain dead?

  32. I thought WA state had a republican House so I dont see the AWB passing. Whats the make up up there? I read the Senate is GOP.

  33. But, all the liberals keep saying that the government doesnt want to take my guns…even though they keep introducing legislation to do precisely that.

  34. I CAN”T beleive that they would even think about passing a law like that. Not only the Gun Control issue, but Allowing the police to enter into your home at anytime, without you being home, and for them to have the right to go through your home. They are Absolutely insane. How dare they even think that that is OK…. Scary!!!

  35. There are those who discuss the future possibility of a gun design that can be created from parts printed on a 3D printer. This would complicate any government attempt to keep track of who has what, and remove much of the usefulness of government inspections, notwithstanding violations of the second or fourth amendment.

  36. So I have gone to the link for the original text of this bill and I can not find the quoted exerpt: “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.”

    Where is it? Page and line number?

  37. This is giving me a pain. First most Sheriff Departments across the nation all know that infringing on the Second Amendment, is completely Unconstitutional. And smart enough not to do it. Let see before we put our tails in a not.

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