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Police Will Search Your Gun Storage If This Politician Gets His Way

Police doorMassachusetts police officers may soon be able to enter homes without a warrant to check on the storage of weapons if one local politician gets his way.

Swampscott Selectman Barry Greenfield said that he wants the town to have the authority to “enforce state law” in his town, which reportedly has 600 gun owners.

Constitutionality questions evolving around the search of a home without a warrant have already been raised. Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan has already been asked by Greenfield about entering the homes of gun owners to review storage practices.

Selectman Glenn Kessler wants input about the potential law from Swampscott’s legal counsel, law enforcement officials and residents before going forward, according to the Swampscott Patch website.

The Massachusetts gun law in question reads: “It is unlawful to store or keep any firearm in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.”

Greenfield wonders: Why can’t town police check to make sure gun owners are obeying the law? Washington state considered a similar law, according to The Blaze.

How to hide your guns, and other off grid caches…

The Swampscott warrantless search proposal should concern not just gun owners, but everyone who lives in the town. As Martin Niemoller’s famous parable goes, “First they came for the gun owners, but I didn’t own a gun …”

Barry Greenfield was one of many lawmakers pushing for new gun control initiatives in the wake of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December.

Once details about the selectman’s law proposal became public, multiple call-in campaigns and grassroots movements sprang up. Greenfield’s office was reportedly deluged with phone calls by constituents who wanted to help clear up the elected official’s confusion on the protections afforded all Americans by both the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.

In a statement after the understandable backlash to the warrantless searches began, Barry Greenfield claimed he was not trying to strip citizens of either their rights or their guns. He said:

The research I have read states that 65% or more of school shootings are caused by kids having access to their parents guns. It would be great to avoid another situation like that.

I know most gun owners are incredibly responsible with their weapons. I also am not trying to take away anyone’s rights or guns.

I’m simply asking the question of whether an existing law can be enforced. I’m not trying to add any laws. I asked our board of selectmen whether we could look into potential methods of enforcement. Can the police conduct a investigation with due notice, similar to a building permit inspection or a fire inspection when you want to sell your home? If not, fine.

Can registered gun owners be asked to submit a receipt of purchase of a safe or gun lock to prove they are complying with the existing law? I don’t know. My job is to ask questions and find answers. I’m not a constitutional attorney – I’m asking questions to find answers.

I’m a volunteer elected official. I’m trying to do what I can to prevent Sandy Hook happening in my town. And, for that, I get threats to my family and home and person. Not necessary. Whatever happened to civil discourse?

Numerous Swampscott residents stated that if law enforcement officers could enter a home to search for guns and review how they were being stored without a warrant, a precedent would be set for similar searches for countless reasons. A citizen identified as Steve L. was quoted as saying, “Given that drowning is four times more likely than a firearms accident, shouldn’t police be inspecting pools? But wait, poisoning is 10 times more likely than drowning – how about police check under our sinks.”

Before you dismiss the resident’s pool patrol and poison brigade too outlandish to ever happen in America, consider other nanny state laws which have been passed during the past two decades.

How do you feel about warrantless searches to make sure that guns are being stored safely?

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  1. You know it would also be great if cars would stop killing people as well. Because both blunt objects and cars kill more people that guns, lets stop all them first. I want to see biometric devices to lock down all hammers and baseball bats. I want random house searches to insure the the law is enforced. We can start with all of Barry’s property, then the rest of that group. No this law is a very bad idea.

  2. You mess with folks civil rights and expect there to be a civil discourse….ain’t happening!

  3. I contend that everyone who wants to lead politically and civilly must get publicly audited by an agent posing as the IRS, pass a mental examination by a certified nut, and have a convicted drug dealer vouch for their character. Then and only then are they allowed to own the local gun shop, and run the bank from his own checking account for good measure.

    Then, and only then should we give him full authority and the keys to your car and be allowed to date your underage daughter.

    His full and official title shall be VILLAGE IDIOT!

  4. How bout we teach children the value of human life…

  5. I too disagree with warrant less searches! However I am all for laws requiring proper gun storage in the home or anywhere else for that matter. Enforcing the law would have to be when the law is broken, not a preventative measure. When your child takes your gun to school for show and tell you go to prison. Many people keep their gun under the lazy boy recliner where it is handy while they watch tv. These weapons to easily get into the wrong hands. When your house is burglarized and your guns are stolen, the safe had better be broken into or you go to jail. And there needs to be requirements the safe has to meet. No cheap tin gun safes. Gun ownership laws are useless, criminals do not care about the law. Laws to keep guns safe and out of the hands of our children and those that should not have guns will cut down on mishaps, not eliminate them.

  6. They do a lot of things in the state of Mass. that is not allowed here. I wonder if anyone agreeing with this afront to the Bill of Rights has ever needed a firearm quickly? Thank God I have not and with any luck I will not have to rush to a firearm. But if and when it happens I do not want to go looking for a key that has been misplaced. This afront will start with a handgun and will move to any long rifle in a matter of time. After the citizens of Mass. have agreed to this, the city govts. will offer storage for your firearm and it will sound like a friendly gesture. Be careful all.

  7. I left Mass. many years ago and this is just one of the many reasons I have no intention of ever going back.

  8. As a law school graduate, I have a REAL problem with warrant less searches of law abiding citizens. In short: no warrant, no probable cause, no reasonable suspicion? No search.

    And if the cops ask? Tell them to go get a warrant.

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