A new gun control bill sponsored by three Democrats is making its way through Washington state’s legislature. On Tuesday, SB 5737-2013-14 was filed in the state legislature. If passed into law, it would allow local sheriffs to enter the homes of gun owners for regular inspections (more than once a year) on whether their firearms are "properly stored".
Senators Ed Murray, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Adam Kline (all local Democrats) would let Washington state police officers enter the private property of gun owners and conduct a search of how their firearms, including assault weapons, are stored. Presumably, if illegal weapons or contraband are found, the homeowner would be arrested.
On Feb. 13, the three Washington state politicians also filed similar gun control legislation which proposes to ban assault weapons.
SB 5737-2013-14, which was posted online on Feb. 19, states: “In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person in possession 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 definition of a “safely and securely” stored weapon is left largely to law enforcement to decide, according to a report by the Washington Times.
If signed into law, the legislation could spark litigation from constitutional lawyers. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. constitution states that:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Additionally, the Second Amendment states:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The Obama administration's January proposal to ban assault weapons is sparking a national debate on the efficacy of the government's crime laws. On Feb. 18, the National Rifle Association (NRA) obtained a leaked copy of a Justice Department report that concluded that the Obama administration’s plan to ban assault weapons is “unlikely to have an effect on gun violence”.
“Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence,” the DOJ’s National Institute for Justice explains in a January 4 report. The researchers added that “a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.”
Last week, President Barack Obama visited Chicago which has the nation’s toughest gun laws. At nearly 500 homicides a year, it has also been referred to as the murder capital of America. In 1996, Illinois state records show that then-local politician Obama supported the ban of, not some but all, guns in the state.
Here are related articles on gun control:
- Comcast bans all gun commercials
- Obama pressures banks to stop doing business with gun companies
- Super Bowl fans undergo TSA pat-downs
- 1996: Obama supported banning all guns
- Obama's gun ban proposal: 23 ways to limit firearms
- Wyoming opposes federal gun ban
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