In Washington State, Democrat lawmakers have stunned even the staunchest members of the political left with a recent bill which would severely stretch a number of constitutional rights, while providing fuel to American Conservative warnings.
While many Americans have worried over the availability of future weapon purchases such as handguns and mutiple-round, semi-automatic rifles, few have considered the possibility of Orwellian home-to-home searches by law enforcement officials. And yet, that very possibility is what is now being considered by state lawmakers in Olympia.
The bill in question, SB 5737-2013-14, introduced on February 18th, 2013, is the first Orwellian shot across the bow of a what promises to be many future efforts, as the National Rifle Associations' repeated warnings of what Americans may have in store for them, has proven to be well beyond prophetic.
In the proposed bill, police would be allowed to come into an individual's home and conduct a search for not only where and how assault weapons are stored, but also how safely the weapons are stored.
The exact language reads as follows:
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.”
Indeed, while the matter of 'what is an assault weapon' is still being bandied about by highly motivated legislators, the subjectivity of how safely a weapon is stored, appears to now also be at play, but only within the fertile imaginations of law enforcement officers, themselves, according to the proposed bill.
The sponsoring legislator, Democrat State Senator Ed Murray of Seattle, claims that he was unaware of the house-to-house search provisions, according to the Seattle Times, despite the fact that the Murray was the prime sponsor and ostensible writer of the bill in question. The lawmaker went on to indicate that such illegal search and seizure language was probably unconstitutional and "shouldn't be in there."
However, the question that most Washingtonians should be asking might center on the fact of who actually wrote the bill and why did Sen. Murray sponsor it, if he was unaware of the bill's provisions? Many Americans probably remember another such instance, when former House Leader Nancy Pelosi sated a particularly daring curiosity in passing the Affordable Healthcare Act in order to unlock its mythical secrets.
The bills co-sponsors included two other Democrat State Senators; Sen. Adam Kline, who also claimed a singular ignorance of the bill's contents, and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who has not yet made any public statements as to the bill's ultimate disposition.
Update 2/19/2013: The Home search provision has been removed from the pending bill, but only after media coverage prompted a hail of protests.
The Seattle Times contributed to this report