A proposed state law in Missouri would make it a crime for parents or guardians not to tell school officials if they have guns in their home. Parents could also be prosecuted for gun crimes committed by their children under the same law even if the crimes were committed with a legal weapon.
If passed into law Missouri State Senate Bill 549 could slap parents with a $100 fine if they didn’t tell their children’s school about their gun. This is the second time State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-Jefferson City) has introduced the legislation. The same law was introduced last year as Senate Bill 124 but it never got anywhere. She introduced the newest version in December.
“I am not trying to take away the gun rights of any parents or any other citizens. I believe in the Second Amendment,” Chappelle-Nadal told a St. Louis TV station when the bill previously was introduced. The senator said she was trying to stop school violence and crimes like carjacking.
What Senate Bill 549 would do
If it became law Senate Bill 549 would be one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Here are the restrictions it would place on parents:
- Make it a misdemeanor for parents failing to notify school officials if they have weapons in their home when children enroll in school. Parents would also have to notify the school if they bought a weapon.
- Parents found guilty of “negligent storage of weapons” could be fined $1,000 and charged with a misdemeanor. Specifically, the bill states that parents can be charged with a misdemeanor by “recklessly storing or leaving a weapon in a manner that is likely to result in the child accessing the weapon if the child obtains access to the weapon and unlawfully carries it to school, kills or injures another person with it, or commits a crime with it.”
- Parents whose child killed or injured a person with the gun could be charged with a Class D felony.
“As a member of the University City School Board, my biggest fear is a student bringing a gun to school,” Chappelle-Nadal said in a press release. “We also have too many gang members running around with weapons and settling scores with bullets. It has to stop. That’s why I included the negligent storage of a firearm provision in my legislation. If kids cannot get their hands on a gun, that gun will not end up on the street or in our schools. If you own a gun, please use a gun lock and store it in a locked gun safe, and never store ammunition in the same place as the guns.”
Bill faces an uphill climb
The good news for gun owners is that Missouri has one of the most pro-Second Amendment legislatures in the nation, and the bill has a tough fight if it is to become law.
The legislature previously passed the Second Amendment Preservation Act which would have invalidated federal gun control laws in the state. The Act was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon in July. He said he vetoed the act because it violated the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.
Republicans in the state legislature failed to get enough votes to override Gov. Nixon’s veto in September, although key leaders said they would try and pass it again.