If passed, parents would have to provide written notification that they own a firearm within 30 days of enrolling their child in school or within 30 days of becoming a gun owner if the child is already enrolled. Failure to do so would be an infraction and result in a $100 fine. It would also make it a Class A misdemeanor if the parent or guardian knows that their child is illegally in possession of a firearm and does nothing to stop it or does not report it to police -- and the parent or guardian would be guilty of a Class D felony if their minor child kills or wounds someone with an illegally-possessed gun. The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City), told reporters today that their goal is to prevent minors from illegally possessing firearms and to also keep them out of the hands of gang members.
“I wholly believe in the 2nd Amendment, that everyone should have the right to bear arms, but the 2nd Amendment does not say that a 12-year-old can shoot a 12-year-old -- there is no protection for that," Chappelle-Nadal said. "What we are trying to do here is address what is happening in our urban cities.”
Senate Bill 124 would also make it a crime to carelessly store a firearm where a minor can easily gain access to it.
State Senator Brian Nieves (R, Washington, Mo.), who’s known for being outspoken on 2nd Amendment issues, calls the bill alarming.
“I think it goes squarely against what most Missourians would believe is the right thing to do," Nieves said. "I can tell you (that) this bill will not become law – I think that’s something we need to be very clear about and make sure that Missourians know that this bill simply will not become law.”
Chappelle-Nadal admits that she doesn’t expect her bill will pass the Missouri Senate – but she also indicated that any NRA-backed gun legislation might be targeted for filibuster.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport