#GunControl: Washington State Democrats forget a little thing called the 4th amendment
**Posted by Phineas
Quick synopsis: Democrats in Olympia have heard their master’s voice from D.C. and have decided to “do something” about gun violence, even if that something does nothing but trample on the constitutional rights of Washington’s citizens. Hence a new gun-control measure was introduced in the legislature to “sensibly regulate” firearms and ban those assault weapons that aren’t really assault weapons but look scary. (1)
And it also gave local sheriffs the right to inspect your home without a warrant:
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.
The column’s author, Danny Westneat, points out that the offending section has been excised from the current version of the bill. And I’ll point out that a self-described liberal is the one who first spotted the worm in the apple.
But something smells about Democratic claims that they didn’t know the provision was in there, that it surely would have failed constitutional muster, and that it was the fault of an unnamed staffer. (2) More likely they knew very well that the bill included a warrantless search and thought they could slip it through. The fact is that progressives, going at least as far back as Wilson, and whether they know it or not, despise the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the theory of natural, unalienable rights on which they are based, because they stand in the way of them remaking society in their utopian vision.
This is also another example of the parallel track progressives are following on their anti-Second Amendment quest: Feinstein’s “assault weapon” ban is likely dead in D.C., but they’re trying to achieve much the same thing in as many state capitals as they can: New York, California, Minnesota, Washington, wherever Democrats are strong and there’s little chance of people paying much attention because the news is so D.C.-centric these days.
While I think the Washington provision would have been chucked out in court, it’s a remind to us all that the price of liberty is unceasing vigilance — abroad and especially at home.
RELATED: I’ve been saying for a while that an assault weapons ban would be useless, and now it turns out a high-power sourced agrees with me — the US Department of Justice. Go ahead, call them bitter-clingers. Meanwhile, it yet another example that gun-free zones are a tragedy waiting to happen, Pirate’s Cove reports that Adam Lanza, the psycho who attacked the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, did so in part because it was an “easy target.” Res ipsa loquitur.
(1) If you’re detecting a whiff or sarcasm and scorn in that passage, you’re not having hallucinations.
(2) They claim they just didn’t read the bill. Gee, where have I heard that before? If true, then they’re only incompetent, not malevolent.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)