With each proposed anti-gun bill put forth by Democrats across the U.S., the demands appear to be getting more and more restrictive on gun owners. While the Obama administration pushes for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and universal background checks, Democrats in both California and Missouri have proposed legislation that would result in possible confiscation of semi-automatic rifles.
Now, Democratic lawmakers in Olympia, Wash. last week introduced legislation that would allow county sheriffs to inspect the homes of semi-automatic rifle owners once a year. Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat describes the move as “Orwellian.”
The proposed bill, Senate Bill 5737, would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons that use detachable magazines and magazines that contain more than 10 rounds. It would also subject law-abiding gun owners to random searches by a county sheriff.
“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,” the bill states.
“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,” Seattle trial lawyer Lance Palmer told the Seattle Times.
“I’m a liberal Democrat — I’ve voted for only one Republican in my life,” Palmer added. “But now I understand why my right-wing opponents worry about having to fight a government takeover.”He also said it’s this type of radical bill that “drives people into the arms of the NRA.”
One of the bill’s sponsors, State Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle), told the Seattle Times that he didn’t properly vet the bill prior to jumping on board. He claims he didn’t realize the bill authorized police searches.
“I made a mistake,” he said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”
The legislation’s main sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) also blasted the search provision written in his bill, saying it is likely unconstitutional.
“I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there,” he said.
Murray also explained that an assault weapons ban isn’t likely to pass anyhow and the bill was intended to be a blueprint for gun legislation in the future. With the search provision included, the bill has very little chance of passing.
It wasn’t immediately clear which lawmaker wrote the search provision into the bill.
To read the entire bill, click here.