February 14, 2013
Washington state Sens. Ed Murray (D), Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D) and Adam Kline (D) have introduced new gun control legislation that goes far above and beyond what anyone would consider a simple sales ban.
The bill, S.B. 5737, proposes “banning the sale of assault weapons.” According to the legislation, an “assault weapon” is any semiautomatic pistol, pump-action rifle or shotgun that can accept a detachable magazine, with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds. Any magazine that accepts over 10 rounds itself will also be banned.
Also included in the definition is any rifle or shotgun with a pistol grip, a stock of any kind, a muzzle brake or muzzle compensator. The bill also prohibits the manufacturing, possessing, purchasing, selling or transferring of an assault weapons “conversion kit.”
In order to continue to possess a so-called assault weapon that was owned before the assumed passing of the legislation, the person must “safely and securely” store the assault weapon and allow the sheriff of the county to, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to “ensure compliance,” despite some apparent civil liberties implications related to the Fourth Amendment.
Not to mention the manpower, time and money that would be needed to search tens of thousands of Washington homes; it could prove to be very difficult and possibly divert much needed manpower from conducting actual police duties, especially in light of shrinking police department budgets.
The bill also gives no definition of what “safe and secure” storage consists of. The ownership and storage may only be done on property owned or immediately controlled by that person or while engaged in the “legal use” of the assault weapon at a duly licensed firing range. The bill does, however, exempt possession rules if the weapon is about to be “permanently relinquished to a law enforcement agency.”
Any person who, after the effective date of the section, acquires title to an assault weapon by inheritance, bequest or succession must within thirty days either dispose of the weapon or have it permanently disabled so that it is incapable of discharging a projectile. Failure to comply will result in a class C felony.
Marshals, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens or their deputies, or other law enforcement officers of the state or another state will be exempt. Members of the armed forces of the United States, National Guard and organized services, are exempt when on duty. Also, any federal agent “allowed” to own an assault weapon is exempt as well.
This legislation is similar to a bill introduced by California Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) whose legislation would ban over 120 specifically named firearms.
Others such as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have come out recently pushing for gun control. Holder gave a stern warning to gun traffickers, despite President Obama and him being involved in Operation Fast & Furious, a program that allowed tens of thousands of firearms to be given to drug cartels that took the lives of countless Mexicans and most notably U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The program’s supposed intent was to track where guns went in Mexico, but government emails leaked to CBS News showed that the intent appeared to be to use the resulting deaths to blame American gun owners and push gun control.
Video of Holder claiming that American’s needed to be “brainwashed” to be anti-gun was also recently uncovered.