Last Friday, we reported that a gun control measure introduced by Democrats in Washington State included a provision requiring annual inspections of those who owned rifles, pistols and shotguns deemed "assault weapons." After being reported on by numerous outlets, including the Seattle Times, the requirement was removed from the bill. In an article updated Sunday, the Seattle Times said that "a new bill" would be introduced, but it seems the old bill got a minor face-lift instead.
On Friday, page 7 of the proposal read:
(5) In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:
(a) 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;
Now, subsection (a) simply reads, "Safely and securely store the assault weapon." The inspection requirement is no longer there.
According to Danny Westneat, the Democrats who sponsored the bill apparently didn't know the requirement was in the proposal.
Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), the primary sponsor of the bill, condemned the provision in his own proposal and agreed that it is "probably unconstitutional."
“I have to admit that shouldn’t be in there,” he said, telling Westneat the bill was more of “a general statement, as a guiding light of where we need to go,” after realizing an assault weapon ban has very little chance of passing this year.
"Without sweating all the details," Westneat added.
Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle), admitted that he didn't read it closely enough before signing on.
“I made a mistake,” he said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”
"Later," Westneat said, unnamed Senate staff were blamed for the controversial provision in the proposal and a Senate Democratic spokesman said a new bill would be introduced.
“We will only win if we reach out and continue to change the hearts and minds of Washingtonians,” Murray said at a gun control rally in January. “We can attack them, or start a dialogue.”
Since the tragic Newtown shootings in December, gun control advocates have viciously attacked those who support the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. A number of gun control supporters, like Texas Democratic Party Executive Committee member John Cobarruvius, suggested killing members of the NRA.
"Can we now shoot the #NRA and everyone who defends them?" he tweeted.
"They need to [be] wiped off the face of the earth," he wrote on Facebook, speaking of the NRA and those who support owning guns.
The messages have since been deleted, and Cobarruvius said the messages weren't death threats.
Now, Westneat said, "the case for the perfectly reasonable gun-control bills in Olympia just got tougher."
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