Not only are Washington gun owners under attack from gun prohibitionists this winter, it appears the entire Pacific Northwest has become a hotbed of anti-gun activity as far-left Democrats in the upper Willamette Valley are pushing restrictions in Oregon.
Beaver State gun activists are furious and alarmed at Oregon House Bill 3200, a measure that would ban so-called “assault weapons” and, like the recently buried Washington Senate Bill 5737, would allow warrantless searches of the homes of registered owners of such guns.
Oregon gun owners, with the Oregon Firearms Federation in the lead, are particularly incensed that the bill was introduced just days after anti-gun Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) had indicated to the Portland Oregonian that they would not be pushing such a bill. The development underscores why gun owners on both sides of the Columbia River have decided they cannot trust Democrats to keep their word.
Members of the Northwest Firearms forum who reside in Oregon – and there are a lot of them – are not a happy bunch this week.
Oregon’s HB 3200 contains this provision: “A registered owner of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine is required to…Allow an inspector from the department to inspect the storage of assault weapons and large capacity magazines to ensure compliance with this subsection.”
It also allows this: “The department shall create and maintain a registry for owners of assault weapons and large capacity magazines who qualify for registration under section 4 of this 2013 Act. The department may adopt rules concerning the administration of the registry, including but not limited to renewal and revocation procedures and storage requirements for assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
“The department may conduct inspections of registered owners of assault weapons and large capacity magazines to ensure compliance with the storage requirements…”
This is strikingly similar to the mandate contained in SB 5737 in Olympia, the bill that Sens. Adam Kline and Ed Murray claimed they didn’t realize had the offensive warrantless search language. However, as this column first revealed last week, that claim did not pass the smell test when compared to similar legislation sponsored by Kline and fellow Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles in 2005 and 2010.
As Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat reported, these bills are based on “model legislation” put together by the anti-gun Brady Campaign and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Pacific Northwest anti-gunners seem to gravitate toward either the Puget Sound Basin or Willamette Valley, leading some old-timers to suggest new state lines should be created at the Cascade Crest, with the east sides of both states separating from the more liberal west sides. It’s a fantasy suggestion that does not deal with the problem at hand in either state.
As Democrats in Portland and Seattle lean farther and farther to the left, their gun prohibition agenda gets increasingly extreme. This has a negative impact on more moderate Democrats in rural parts of both states, many of whom are gun owners and hardly share the personal or political zeal of their urban-centrist colleagues.
In time, these extremist efforts to erode the constitutional rights of Northwest gun owners could produce a backlash that anti-gunners would risk brushing off at their own political peril.