“We don’t want to take away your guns. The government isn’t coming to confiscate your guns. We just want ‘common sense gun safety’ laws” is what we’re constantly being told by liberal anti-gun politicians and activists. But now, King County in Washington state has opened up a “weapons retrieval” center specifically for the purpose of confiscating firearms.
“Anyone can request that guns be taken away from a person that a judge deems to be a threat to others… There’s a new unit that will remove those guns.”
It’s been two years in the making, but now Ellie’s Place on the fourth floor of the King County Courthouse is officially open for business.
Named after the official courthouse dog that passed away in 2015, Ellie’s place will house three programs including one that is very timely, the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Unit.
The unit will consist of 12 people, including officers from the Seattle Police Department, deputies from the King County Sheriff’s Office, victim advocates and deputy prosecutors that are trained in weapons retrieval.
“There’s not another one like it in the entire country and we’ve already seen they are increasing the number of guns recovered from the most dangerous hands,” said Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the group that backed the ERPO initiative.
But, it took a $1 million appropriation, shared between King County and the City of Seattle, and hundreds of volunteer hours to get Ellie’s Place operational.
Ellie’s Place will also benefit smaller cities like Bothell in King County, that couldn’t afford the resources of the firearms retrieval unit.
Not all counties and cities in the state are wealthy enough to do the same.
“These are great ideas, but they are unfunded mandates and they are being placed on departments with more unfunded mandates, it’s just making it very problematic,” said Bothell Police Chief Carol Cummings.
Democratic State Senator Manka Dhingra of Redmond is sponsoring a bill to get guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic harassment, and realizes the funding hole gun retrieval laws represent.
“If we are asking more of our officers, we have to make sure they get the funding they need to get the work done,” said Dhingra.
No state monies are being set aside for ERPO’s and their enforcement.
It’s up to each individual law enforcement agency to figure out how it’s going to comply with these court orders, which can be very risky to execute.
Meanwhile, Dave Workman of the Citizens Committee For the Right To Keep And Bear Arms wrote this about the “extreme risk protection order” shortly after it was passed in the 2016 election:
Washington gun owners are furious that Initiative 1491 passed. That’s the “extreme risk protection order” measure that some folks are already calling the “extremist protection order” law. The concern is that it does not contain adequate due process provisions, instead allowing for someone’s firearms to be seized and then providing an appeal process. Translation: You’re considered guilty until you prove yourself innocent. If this dealt with any other civil right, it would never have gotten off the ground.
No such measure respects the rights of law-abiding gun owners, not their Second Amendment rights or their Fourth Amendment privacy rights or the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.
Editorials are protected by the First Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights. Those ten amendments were written to delineate and protect rights of individual citizens. Eroding any of them weakens all of them.