Three of Washington state’s most anti-civil rights Senators, Jeanne Kohl-Wells, Adam Kline and Ed Murray, all Democrats and all from Seattle, are pushing Senate Bill 5737, which would mandate “Safe Storage” of all firearms and ban sales of ANY semi-automatic long-guns which accept a detachable magazine.
Except that the bill they presented allowed “In-Home Inspections”. Unannounced and without a search warrant, your local constabulary could knock on your door and demand to be shown that you have “Safely Stored” your firearms.
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.
They’re response was, to paraphrase: “How did that get in there?”
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.
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.
Later, a Senate Democratic spokesman blamed unnamed staff and said a new bill will be introduced.
Have you ever noticed that it is always “unnamed staff” who does these things? They should give every staffer a name so that we know whose fault it is next time.
But hey, at least they didn’t say that all firearms owners and civil rights supporters who donate to political causes and candidates dear to them were ‘corrupting political influences’ and ‘dangerous to public safety’. Like the Police Chief of Chicago did.