JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – The sad story of a twelve year old who shot and killed another child with his grandfather’s unlocked gun is just one example that is motivating Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal to call for sanctions against careless parents and guardians of minors. The democrat’s proposed bill targets an often lethal mix; guns and unsupervised kids in what Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal calls “Urban Core” areas.
“I wholly believe in the Second Amendment but the Second Amendment does not say that a 12-year old can shoot a 12-year old. There is no protection for that so what we are trying to to do here address is what is happening in our urban cities.” said State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal – (D) University City.
Senate Bill 124 targets the failure to properly lock or secure a firearm and would penalize a parent or guardian who fails to stop their minor child from possessing a firearm illegally. The bill would also require parents to report gun ownership to their children’s schools.
“What we’re saying is if you are parent “x” we would like to know as a school district that you have a gun.” said state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal.
But, the school reporting requirement is raising warning flags when it comes to privacy rights.
State Senator Brian Nieves (R) of Washington says, “No, I just know that we are not going to force Missouri families to notify a school when they purchase a firearm or let the school know that they own a firearm at the time of registration.”
Senator Nieves thinks other laws already hold parents responsible for actions of their underage children.
“Anytime we have laws that are not being enforced, it would certainly be my belief that we should not add more laws on top of the laws that are not being enforced .” said Senator Brian Nieves.
Chappelle-Nadal says some other states already have similar requirements. Her staff has not found any existing Missouri criminal statutes that duplicate the parental responsibility section.