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Maria Chappelle-Nadal's Gun Proposal: Parents Must Notify Schools If They Own Firearms

Here's the draft bill.

Senate Bill 124

And the full news release sent out yesterday afternoon:

Jefferson City -- Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, is calling on Missouri lawmakers to enact reasonable gun safety regulations in the wake of one of the worst years of gun violence in recent memory. Senate Bill 124 creates the offense of failing to prevent illegal firearm possession, it creates the offense of negligent storage of a firearm and it requires a parent or guardian enrolling a child in school to notify the school district or the governing body of a private or charter school that the parent or guardian owns a firearm.

"I'm pleased our nation is finally having a long-overdue discussion about our national gun culture, and I applaud president Obama and Vice President Biden for their serious proposals to address gun violence, but as a Missouri Senator, my priority must be about making our communities safe for Missouri families," Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said.

Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said while the nation grieves for loss of so many innocent lives lost to gun violence in Newtown, Aurora, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Atlanta and other communities, random acts of gun violence in the St. Louis area have become a disturbing fact of life.

"Since August of last year, there have been more than a dozen incidents involving teenagers and guns in just the Fourteenth Senate district alone," Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said. "In most cases, the guns have been stolen from an unsecured place in the home and then used in robberies, car-jackings and even murder. In one instance two kids were playing with a loaded gun they found in the home and one of them was accidentally killed. In two other cases the students took the guns to school."

Sen. Chappelle-Nadal notes that her legislation is much more limited than the comprehensive proposals being considered at the national level, and says her bill is an attempt to reduce gun violence in urban communities and schools.

"As a member of the University City School Board, my biggest fear is a student bringing a gun to school," Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said. "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."

Under Senate Bill 124, a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18 commits an offense by recklessly storing or leaving a firearm in a manner that is likely to result in the child accessing the firearm - if the child obtains access to the firearm and unlawfully carries it to school, kills or injures another person with it or commits a crime with it. The offense would be a Class A misdemeanor unless the child kills or injures another person, in which case it would be a Class D felony.

"Responsible gun owners have nothing to fear from my legislation, and nobody, at least nobody in Missouri, is talking about taking anyone's guns away," Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said. "I simply want to make sure that children do not have easy access to guns, especially children in urban settings. I'm not talking about farm kids who learn to hunt with a rifle or a shotgun; I'm talking about gang members turning our cities into war zones or disturbed teenagers who think the only way to settle differences is to take a gun to school. There are reasonable things we can do as a society to reduce the incidences of gun violence without infringing on anybody's right to keep and bear arms."

More from our Politics archive: "Lewis Reed v. Francis Slay: Did the Mayor Attack his Opponent by Reducing Wife's Hours?"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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14 comments
joemontecillo
joemontecillo

The parental reporting part is a complete overstep and demonstrates an embarrassing level of ignorance. Perhaps the Senator should concentrate on the cultural decline that encourages these students to develop a gang violence mentality in the first place.

Joseph A. Montecillo

St. Louis

Patricia Powell
Patricia Powell

Nope. Go fight the Herion war. Its killing our kids to.... Hmmm those bad guys have guns!!!

Haven Heart
Haven Heart

yes and those peoples homes or what ever get broken into and they do not have their guns locked up, so they can't be stolen to rob or kill anyone, should be held accountable too. how many have we heard this placed robbed, stolen gun, more robberies. BUT if that gun was locked up they couldn't have stolen it.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

what color unicorn does she ride to work each day? what a nut.

KITTY
KITTY

Let her propose all she wants...IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! DUMB AND STUPID.

Bill Taden
Bill Taden

Apples and oranges... wtf??? Are we that stupid of a society???

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

And most of the guns in her district are stolen. No one is going to report having a stolen gun.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Again I think its more important to know which children are on prozac, ritalin, or any mood altering drugs. Those are the people shooting up the schools.

Jessica Baldwin
Jessica Baldwin

My question is "Why?" What are the schools going to do with that information? Seems like a useless proposal. Wouldn't it be a better to increase security or at least install metal detectors in every school?

DoucheMcGee
DoucheMcGee topcommenter

Dumbest idea of 2013 so far.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

Yes if they want to use public schools...There is always the option of being a well planned parent and being able to afford to pay for your childs education or homeschooling

12judges
12judges

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.  How on earth does Senator Chappelle-Nadal intend to enforce this?  Other than a child walking into a school with an unsecured firearm how would a law cause someone of such low intelligence to secure their guns.  Making someone lock up their guns isn't going to make anyone that stupid comply.  Second, there are already laws for the illegal possession and unlawful use, sale, or transfer of a gun to juveniles at the federal level, namely the Youth Handgun Safety Act of 1968 http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/i/atf-i-5300-2.pdf.  And lastly, making schools the defacto entity for gun registration and responsible for family gun safety is one of the worst ideas I've heard.  Schools should be responsible for educating children, not a political pawn in the nationwide gun debate.  A policy such as this is fraught with unintended consequences from discrimination of children from gun owning families, violation of FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act), and unreasonable cost and devotion of resources by schools to undertake something will ensure no one is actually safer.  This bill won't see the light of day and Senator Chappelle-Nadal's legilsative attempt to weigh in on gun violence is just like her ability to think clearly...dead on arrival.

12judges
12judges

No kidding.  Not only is this legislation stupid but its also racist and class discriminatory.  If you can afford to go to private school your exempt but if your kids go to public schools you and your children can't be trusted with common sense.

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