Guns: GOP Bill Bans Schools From Asking About Parents' Firearms, Puts Limits On Doctors

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We reported last week that State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, is continuing her push to mandate that parents notify schools if they own guns. That proposal is facing strong opposition -- and a Republican bill getting attention this week would put in place a virtually opposite law.

The proposal from Republican State Senator Brian Nieves would ban schools from asking students if their parents own guns. The bill also would restrict doctors from reporting gun ownership in medical records -- a component which has already sparked opposition from at least one GOP colleague.

"I cannot think of any reason...that a physician should be denied permission to write in a medical record if it is truthful and something that the physician feels should be there," State Senator Rob Schaaf tells Daily RFT.

What's the goal of the bill?

Nieves didn't return a call from Daily RFT yesterday. We'll update if we hear back.

As written, Senate Bill 266 is pretty simple -- though is somewhat wide-ranging, in that it touches upon both education and medicine. The bill, full version below, says:

This act prohibits health care professionals or health care facilities from intentionally entering any disclosed information concerning firearm ownership into a patient's medical record if the professional knows that such information is not directly related to the patient's immediate medical care or safety.

This act provides that health care professionals and facilities that violate the provision are subject to disciplinary action under the appropriate provisions concerning the licensing, accreditation, or certification of health care professionals and health care facilities by the state of Missouri.

In addition, this act prohibits an employee of a school district or a private or charter school from asking a student under the age of 18 whether such student's parent or guardian, or anyone residing with the student, owns a firearm.

It would seem that the overall intent of the bill is to counter some of the proposals in Missouri and across the country -- catalyzed by the tragic elementary school shooting last year in Connecticut -- to put stricter policies in place around gun access. Missouri already has a handful of proposed legislation this session directly fighting back against gun control.

Brian Nieves image.jpg
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State Senator Brian Nieves

This bill also appears aimed at protecting the privacy of law-abiding gun owners.

But it goes too far. Or at least that's the take of Schaaf, a Republican senator and aphysician from St. Joseph, who is on the general laws committee of the State Senate, which is debating the proposal.

"Medical records belong to the physician. To deny me the freedom to write whatever I think is appropriate for my patient's well-being in a medical record is outrageous," he says.

Continue for more on the bill and the full draft legislation.

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JamesMadison topcommenter

Let the shrinks ask their patients.

Glenn Gibson
Glenn Gibson

Must be why I am sick all of the time. Blame it on the gun.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Firearms ownership in medical records would be silly, a person can have a firearm one day, and sell it or destroy it the next day. It's not a permanent piece of information. And teachers/schools have no business asking children anything about what goes on at home unless there is an abuse issue or something.

Nicholas Frisella
Nicholas Frisella

I wish they were working on some bills to create job growth, protect our states parks, merging the county and city of St. Louis, and other truly useful legislation.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Doctors have been asking about guns for decades, they also ask if you have pets, who lives in the household etc. They asked me this when my daughter was an infant and she is now 24. The fact that people seem to be aware of this just now speaks volumes about medical confidentiality. If this were going to be an issue, it would have already been one. Dr's can ask what they want. If you chose to lie, then fine but you need to get a new Dr if you don't trust yours enough to admit you own a gun and you also need to examine why you feel such hesitation telling someone who is bound by law to keep your confidential information confidential. Maybe make an appt with a psych Dr for that paranoia.


Of course this legislation is wide-ranging and goes too far and I do not support it.  The problem is that gun-control advocates in this state like as Reps Stacey Newman, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, and Rory Ellinger have done the SAME THING with their idiotic legislation and STARTED THIS EXTREMIST RACE TO THE BOTTOM in the first place.  As a matter of fact this has become an excercise in extremism on both sides of the debate nationwide.  Gun owners like myself are willing to sit down and discuss these issues rationally with anyone on either side but we will not be demonized or turned into criminals as a basis for those discussions.  While I appreciate Rep. Nieves ill-fated and misguided attempt to defend my rights as a gun owner, I lament that such extreme actions have to be taken to counteract ridiculous legislation that would take my rights away for an illusion of communal safety.  Unfortunate  all around.

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