Washington AWB “Accidentally” Includes House Searches

 Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat (courtesy seattletimes.com)

“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?