Massachusetts Policy Maker Proposes Mandatory Home ‘Gun Safety’ Inspections

Mikael Thalen
by
November 10th, 2013
Updated 11/10/2013 at 9:55 am

A Massachusetts policy maker has proposed handing police the authorization to search registered gun owners’ homes in order to ensure proper gun storage practices.

Selectman Barry Greenfield

Selectman Barry Greenfield

According to Swampscott Selectman Barry Greenfield, police are currently unable to enforce state law which demands the town’s 600 registered gun owners to have all weapons “inoperable” or behind lock and key while in the home. In order to remedy what Greenfield sees as a school shooting waiting to happen, police must be given the ability to enter the homes of gun owners at will.

“We need the ability to enforce the state law,” Greenfield said.

Although no direct action has been taken at this time, Greenfield briefly shared his idea with Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan, noting his interest in holding a discussion on the matter.

As word of Greenfield’s proposal spread to residents, several grassroots call-in campaigns began to flood Greenfield’s office with questions over his apparent confusion on the Second and Fourth Amendment.

In a reply letter to Bob Owens of Bearingarms.com, Greenfield attempted to defend his position, saying he wasn’t trying to take away anyone’s rights or guns while alluding that the remote possibility of a school shooting warranted regular home searches by police.

“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?” Greenfield said.

Many Swampscott residents were less than thrilled, pointing to the constitutional danger of allowing forced home searches without probable cause.

“If authorities can enter your home for this reason, then they can enter to enforce any law without a warrant or probable cause. Totally unconstitutional!” Susan Mercier said.

Others pointed to much bigger statistical dangers facing children on a daily basis, asking if police would begin inspections on everyday mundane items.

“Given that drowning is 4x more likely than a firearms accident, shouldn’t police be inspecting pools? But wait, poisoning is 10x more likely than drowning – how about police check under our sinks?” Steve L said.

While no one doubts Greenfield’s concern over children’s safety, many residents fear his willingness to give up essential liberty in order to provide the illusion of safety is far more dangerous.

Contrary to what is usually heard from the media, school shootings are not actually on the rise, with overall gun murder down 49 percent since 1993. Despite these trends, law-abiding gun owners have continued to face increased persecution.

Earlier this year, Washington state Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to pass an “assault weapons ban” that included yearly home inspections by police as well. According to one of the bill’s primary sponsors Sen. Adam Kline (D), the legislation wasn’t read closely enough before being signed, introduced and promoted.

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Category: Constitution, Privacy, Second Amendment

Mikael Thalen

About the Author ()

Mikael is the lead features writer at Storyleak.com. His articles have been featured on sites such as the Drudge Report, Infowars and Natural News. During his time at Examiner.com, he was frequently ranked the number one political writer.

Comments (58)

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  1. yogiman says:

    Mr. Greenfield,

    Please name one incident where a law abiding, gun owning, citizen fired an illegal shot. You need to learn some facts before you make such ignorant comments.

    Or is it your idea to “fall in line” with Obama to take the citizens guns away from them thinking it will be easier to take the nation over into communism?

    • C.H.Thompson says:

      @yogiman, exactly you hit the head of the nail. It was the same tactics the Nazis used, to disarm the population. It is easier to conquer a country, when the citizens don’t have weapons.

      • gagnepain says:

        Well except that the Nazi's didn't actually disarm anyone. In fact there were more guns owned during that time then ever before in Germany. That's just one of those things people like to say, "The Nazis took guns and that's how they took over." It really has no basis what so ever in fact or history.

        • Lightnin says:

          gagnepain, a fascist regime can still control hearts and minds of people with propaganda without confiscating firearms, even if your statement is correct. Tried and true tested mechanisms of despotic regimes always move to disarm all, to remove dissent, if it had not already been accomplished.
          Things like inspections of homes,spying on neighbors, checkpoints to verify identity etc, are part of the game.
          They would not declare martial law on a HUGE metro area to catch 2 suspect kids as a test, and also fear/control mechanism?

          Nah…

          Go back to the grind/sleep/turkey all.
          all is well

    • Allen says:

      G’day yogiman,
      You should see what it takes to own a firearm in OZ. A safe to lock up your guns, ammo stored in separate locked compartment, a “Valid Reason” to have firearm permit such as Target or Farrel Pest Control, be a member of a recognized shooting organization, attend a minimum of 6 shoots a year or at least 2 if only licensed for hunting, can be at a range or signed paperwork from a land holder on whose property you have been shooting on. The police do unannounced inspections to check for Proper Storage, your guns will be seized and your license canceled if all is not in order! Oh yea, NO semi-auto weapons or pump action shotguns… This came in after OUR mass shooting in Tasmania some years back.
      This is your future and the USA is held up as the valid reason for having enacted such Draconian laws, especially after every mass shooting that occurs there.

      • Archangel says:

        “Mass shootings” in the last twenty years account for a total of 582 – all attributable to mentally ill or psychologically damaged – latest DOJ study counts hundreds of thousands of violent crimes stopped each year by armed citizens – the math seems pretty clear

    • Mike says:

      By definition, a law abiding citizen could not have fired an illegal shot. Once they did so, they would no longer be law-abiding.

      Nothing Obama has done constitutes taking anyone's guns away, that has been made clear many times. The only people repeating that nonsense are the fear mongers that rile people up in order to further their own cause or line their own pockets. Whether or not you are for or against an assault weapons ban or if you think everyday citizens should be able to own bazookas and machine guns, one thing most sane and reasonable people can agree that you should need to pass a background check to get a firearms ID to legally own a firearm.

      That said, the searches that are mentioned in this article are ludicrous and should never be allowed to ever be implemented. People do, however, need to be responsible with their firearms. Whether you keep them loaded with the safety off or empty with a trigger lock installed, they need to me secured such that they are not accessible by anyone without the authorization to posses or use them, especially children. As for the people that complain they would be at a disadvantage if an intruder were to enter their home, there are plenty of gun safes and lock box designs that allow for quick access by the right people but still keep the weapons away from those that should not be playing with them. Bio locks are a perfect example of a mechanism that allows quick access to the weapon by the owner but still keep it safe from everyone else. Something like this could be kept under a bed for quick access. If you have something like this then there should be no problem with keeping ammo in with the weapon or even keeping it loaded in that type of box.

      The biggest problem that causes politicians and other anti-gun people to over react and attempt to over regulate this stuff are the idiot gun owners that keep loaded weapons around the house or that keep their guns and ammo out in the open or not locked away. Real responsible gun owners need to speak up and get into the conversation so that they can offer actual advice on how to help prevent accidents and shootings without infringing on the rights of responsible gun owners.

    • iClick says:

      Bad argument… or at least, misleading. Of course, no law abiding gun-owner has fired an illegal shot. However… the ones that have instantly forfeit their 'law-abiding' status.

      I am NO proponent of 'taking guns away' by any stretch… but Obama has never tried to take away anyone's guns. Not once. I think the last 3 years have shown that the whole idea was perpetrated by the NRA and FoxNews, causing a nice knee-jerk reaction in the right-wing to go out and buy up guns and ammo.

      Plenty of the shootings that are prevalent in this country are perpetrated by legal gun-owners. Not every shooting in this country is by someone that should not have possessed a gun. That's a very irresponsible and BS argument.

    • Pat V says:

      Oh, Man up and admit that there are incidents where kids actually have found a gun lying around the house and took it to school and ended up accidentally killing another student. Stupid accidents can happen and adults should be held accountable when they do.
      By the way…Obama??!! I'm no great fan but stop blaming every little insecurity on Obama. And Communist??!! You wouldn't know a communist if he came up and tongue kissed you. Educate yourself.

  2. yogiman says:

    One more point to consider, Mr. Greenfield: If you have to unlock a gun safe to get your gun out, remove the lock from your gun and load it after a criminal has already broke into your home with a gun in his hand, what chance do you have? Should he unload your gun, put the load back on it and lock it back in your safe?

    Hell, he’s already beat you to the draw if he’s just breaking in when you become aware of him yet have to go take it out of a safe, unlock it and load it.

    I can only honestly hope yours and your fellow Selectmen are the first homes a criminal breaks into if you have enough ignorant fellow Selectmen to pass this ignorant law.

    • Jon Buergel says:

      Hey yogiman. Youre making up hypothetical situations to justify your invalid arguement. Instead consider what proper gun safety is first. Temperature and humidity control, gun safe or lock, unloaded and out of reach of children. Youre blowing this way out proportion for no reason. Greenfield has an incomplete idea that will never pass in to law. Gun safety should be mandatory but definitely not enforced by law enforcement. Consider the community enforces it instead. Just a possibility. I love guns more than anyone else, but i respect them more. Gun safety and respect should be taught to every single child in every single school.

  3. Mr.Lincoln says:

    Allen West – NDAA '12 – HR 3166 – and the Fight For Freedom. America is on Life Support
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbB0qTH6Jjg

  4. dusel1 says:

    Continuous violation of the Second Amendment begins with background checks and registration of firearms owners by the Communist regime of Obama and the idiots who rule his 57 states.

    • Opal Wolf says:

      dusel1: background checks, licensing of a person and their guns and proper firearms training has been around a lot longer ago than since Obama became President in my state.Like well before 1988 when i worked in law enforcement.

      and as for the idiot “57 state comment. did you ever hear of the other territories which America possesses, but are not quite states as they are separate countries/nations ? Like Puerto Rico, Marshall Islands, American Samoa and 4 others ? DUH !

      • GetItRight says:

        The Second Amendment is quite clear….no ambiguity or doubt about this particular enumerated RIGHT. ANY infringement is unconstitutional………..ANY.

        • Lightnin says:

          The law of the land remains in the protections of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and common law.

          All of this statutory BS is admiralty and commercial code being foisted on the public as being applicable without real consent.

      • Tail Gun Charlie says:

        Hey Opal….

        Learn your geography…
        There’s a big difference between “States”, (which he said as 57), and territories….

  5. Mr.Lincoln says:

    Jun 5, 2013 If this doesn't wake you up, I don't know what will.

    The Terrifying Future of The United States
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rwmD4c_NxI&li

  6. J-L Blackburn says:

    This is a 4th Amendment violation more than anything else.

  7. James says:

    Yet another jew, trying hard to dis-arm Americans leaving them unable to defend themselves. Just like Schumer, Feinstein, Bloomberg, etc.. Karl Marx, another one, would be so proud.

    • GetItRight says:

      Big difference between a Jew and a Zionist……….it's the Zionists who need to be "retired".

    • wyldesage says:

      You are an idiot
      1) Jews are not the only people, nor even in the majority, in the anti gun crowd.
      2) If Jews were all conspiring to take away the second amendment, the JPFO wouldn't be a thing. The NRA wouldn't have an orthodox Rabbi as one of their instructors, either.

      Here's a radical thought… perhaps we could focus on the issue instead of your racial obsessions. Believe it or not, Jewish people are in fact, people. As such, they have individual views and opinions that form outside of group consensus. They also don't necessarily see eye to eye with each other on many things, have diverse family and economic backgrounds… and do not communicate with a hive mind via telepathy.

      All that was PROBABLY lost on you… so I'll put it this way. Are there any people of the same race and religion as you, who you disagree with, and who you don't want to be considered as representatives of YOUR thoughts and beliefs? Guess what, it works that way for EVERYBODY.

  8. William says:

    I have never understood why they want to take away the guns from the people who didnt do the shooting?

    This man’s neighbor needs to put a sign in his own yard pointing to Barry’s house which says, “I am fully armed but my neighbor there, doesnt believe in owning firearms so I promised him if he is the victim of a home invasion, I would not come and defend him with my firearm.”

  9. Roger says:

    Fascism. I don’t hear anyone calling this what it is.

  10. Greg Griffin says:

    Did we not learn from history? Remember how the British were able to “legally” search homes without warrants? Remember how this was one of the precursors to the Revolutionary war and one of the reasons why the 4th amendment was written? Do we need another revolution?

  11. tetonmoon61 says:

    When are the American people going to learn? You all vote these asses in office!!!! Stop!!! Stop the party system locally, regionally and maybe then the electoral vote can allow something besides two asses on the same horse in offices.. if not we are all doomed. Stop believing the bullshit, start doing some homework and please be willing to take risks. I personally would vote the local drunk before any of the two party and its arms like the liberal or tea into office. As a matter of fact the best mayor Prescott AZ ever had was the town drunk.. but sobor as hell and loved this town during the business hours. Related to the people he grew up with and what made this once little cowboy town with its famous Whiskey Row and cowboys prosper. Now our rents are over a grand for a dump as CA moved in and raped our land and wateu. No one comes here anymore and our little town is dying. But the rich asses and the multiple golf courses are good for the few the locals have had to leave.

  12. tetonmoon61 says:

    Just buy them illegally, don't register, and screw them all.. seriously or buy at swap meets, online, gun shows.. I would never ever register a gun I didn't have too in this country. A good way to end up dead or unarmed or in fema camps in near future. Or just keep following this fascist governments rules and see where you end up. WAKE UP.

    • Roger says:

      I read a story where some folks reported their guns 'stolen' so they would not be facing these kinds of issues.

    • George says:

      What a crappy solution….just buy them illegally this is exactly the issue that it is so easy to buy guns illegally…. When a 20 year old boy can get hold of guns whenever needed there is an issue in this country maybe instead of fighting against fun control laws, registered gun owners should try to work with state administrations to establish compromise laws. Clearly there is an issue in this country regarding gun violence and this needs to be addressed.

      • sean brooking says:

        Sir . Gun violence is not caused by law abiding citizens. But again and again we are scrutinized by the left and anti gun supporters. We already have very strict laws in place. Laws do not apply to criminals there for I see almost nothing that can really be done that already has not been done. If there was a brilliant solution we would have come up with it already.. I worked in law enforcement and if I was to enter your house like this law proposes who would arrest me for violating your rights?

  13. ED COOPER says:

    This selectman is mentally challenged at best, and the worst case is that he’s an idiot! I do have a suggestion though, maybe you wouldn’t appear as such an idiot if you agree to a weekly rectal exam, to see if your head is still up your ass!

  14. TREASON COMES TO.MIND! WHERE WAS THE TEA PARTY STARTED WAY BACKNWHEN "AMERICA"?

  15. (r) E v o l u t i o n says:

    Constitutional Amendments violated:

    IV

    II

  16. Mr.Lincoln says:

    US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11 Statistically speaking, Americans should be more fearful of the local cops than “terrorists.” By Katie Rucke November 6, 2013
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/us-police-murdered-5

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Ok, but how many of those killings were police stopping a dangerous criminal? Percentages show more people die from vehicles than anything else. Yet I see police in roadways, directing traffic around accidents or failed traffic signals. My little town had a fire where the cops went in to try and save the children inside before the FD even arrived.
      Cops are not just “the law” you may remember from the protests of the 60s & 70s. They are now more heavily regulated, policied up, & restricted by case law judgements than you could ever imagine. Just go through 2 years of law school – become a paralegal – you’ll see what I mean. Here I can go to a class for concealed carry & carry any gun that I own concealed. But the local cops are restricted to only approved weapons by their chief.
      They can take complaints from us all day & night, knowing the house next door is selling crack & heroin, but can’t do crap unless they get sufficient evidence for a judge to sign a warrant. Basically, they have to catch them with the drugs outside the house, but the dealers don’t do that anymore.
      One cop could do some stupid crap & everyone says “cops are all dirty.” How come that doesn’t apply when politicians are saying “one citizen went nuts at a theatre therefore all citizens will go nuts & shouldn’t have guns:”
      So spread your little fear videos, but I ask that every one go get an education first. We have the world at our fingertips, so don’t just believe one website. Especially not one that someone created the information without verifiable sources. Example: wikipedia is great, as a cross referencingpoint. The articles can be biased, so check the sources at the bottom & get informed.

  17. Apples says:

    Jews…

  18. skipNclair says:

    someone put this bozo out of his misery, he has no brain. I hope this thing has not reproduced , he holds office, and does not know anything about the constitution.he should not even have the right to vote, let alone hold office, this man is a traitor, he should be taken out put on a wall and shot. hell don't even give him a trial, because he doesn't believe in them apparently. but william your the man, I am going to use that and tell all gun owners I know to do just that to any and all neighbors without protection that are in favor of any form of gun control and or legislation.

  19. Chris says:

    Can someone start a recall petition for this moron, he should not be an elected official and has to go!!!!

  20. ed D says:

    my question would be when do the legal american people stop giving up there rights veterans day just went buy and the people who defended our rights deserve more from elected officials. i am an american born and raised and i'm tired of being oppressed for my own good. i fail to see why such an ignorant person is collecting my hard earned money . hopefully he can be fired for even suggesting something so stupid and unconstitutional.

  21. Dean Farry says:

    Stalin took the guns, Mao took the guns, Hitler took the guns, and MILLIONS DIED that COULD NOT defend their lives. Slaves DON'T own guns.. SIMPLE AS THAT. Those that took an OATH TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION just DO IT.

    • Pat V says:

      Well, let's look at the gun owner ship in Canada and Great Britain and Scandinavia. They don't have the same constitutional gun ownership laws as the US and they are strong functioning democracies.

  22. Jay says:

    The only thing larger than this man's hubris is his cowardice.

  23. Sealife says:

    How about giving the CDC the right to enter his home and inspect his wifes crotch to make sure she is squeaky clean??? Talk about an invasion of privacy, wherein privacy becomes a priveledge and not a right…

  24. keith says:

    you can go ahead an go FUK YOURSELF… YOUR NOT GOING TO MAKE LAWS AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION…

  25. I can only honestly hope yours and your fellow Selectmen are the first homes a criminal breaks into if you have enough ignorant fellow Selectmen to pass this ignorant law.

  26. Gun Owner1 says:

    I no longer have kids in the house, it is just the wife and I. Therefore, I do not lock up any of my guns. In fact, I usually have my .45 on my hip or very close by ready to go. I also keep a 1911 in the night stand fully locked and loaded with the safety on. So, how would that situation be handled? I imagine when the police came by for the inspection, they would want to disarm me “for my own safety”? That is NOT going to happen! In my own home, you have got to be joking.

    My weapons were all under lock and key when the kids were still home.

    This nanny Country is getting out of control and it needs to be reigned in quickly, before it is too late (we may already be there). Wake up America, this is getting ridiculous!

  27. Gun owner says:

    I think it can not be said for the police searching the home for just the inspection of the weapon that is not totally legal and is considered a breach of the law.
    As for the arms embargo, it can not prevent people from that it acquired weapons of their rights to defend itself and to the police if they want to save the security act in a way more intelligent. For there will be no weapons in the hands of the person mis.
    What I want to say that in the end prevent weapons is not an appropriate solution because it wants to acquire weapons illegally simply will do.

  28. THIS from the CRADLE OF LIBERTY!

    WHAT is wrong with the Massholeians? They breed fascist pigs like Obama spews lies!

    Tar and feather the bum. WWSAD? (what would Sam Adams do?)

  29. he should not even have the right to vote, let alone hold office,thanks

  30. Roger says:

    The main law of the land would be the 2nd and 4th amendment.

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