A Missouri Democrat has filed new legislation that would require parents to inform school officials of their gun ownership.
State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal told KDSK she believes in the Second Amendment but is hoping the bill will bring awareness to schools and to parents about keeping their guns locked up.
"It encourages parents to make sure they store their guns safely in their home; it also gives the school districts the opportunity to help encourage gun safety in the community and in the household," the senator said.
The three main components of the bill, via the Missouri Senate, state that parents would be criminalized if they know their underage child possesses a firearm and do not report it, if they fail to secure the weapon to keep a minor from accessing it, or if they fail to notify the school of a weapon in their home within 30 days of the child's being enrolled.
The principal of Missouri's Brentwood High School is wary of the proposal, expressing his concerns about blaming parents for guns they weren't even aware existed.
"Maybe a student obtaining a weapon without the parent even knowing about it," he told KDSK.
Parent Kris Mills implied it's not the gun that kills people, but the person.
"I understand what they are trying to do, but making us notify them if we have guns is not going to deter the behavior what makes people do what they do with guns," he said.
Violation of the first two components of the bill would result in a Class A misdemeanor charge unless death or injury results from the firearm possession or the child kills or injures another person, in which case it is a Class D felony. Failure to comply with notifying the the school of firearm possession would result in a $100 fine or, should the parent be found guilty of "recklessly storing" the firearm, a $1,000 fine will be applicable.
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Jessica Chasmar is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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