A Missouri lawmaker is making waves with a bill that would require parents who own guns to notify their child's school.
Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal's Senate Bill 124 would make it a crime for parents to fail to report gun ownership to a school, punishable by a fine of up to $100. It also bars parents from failing to properly lock or secure firearms, and would punish parents who fail to stop their child from illegally possessing a firearm.
"It is lunacy that here are parents out there who know their children possess guns and do nothing," Chapelle-Nadal told the News-Leader.
Chappelle-Nadal said in a statement Wednesday that the move was inspired by numerous recent incidents in her district, during which teens took unsecured guns from their homes and used them in robberies, car-jackings and murder. Her proposal seeks to reduce gun violence in urban communities and schools.
"I am not trying to take away the guns rights of any parents or any other citizens. I believe in the Second Amendment," Chappelle-Nadal told KSDK. "[The bill] encourages parents to make sure they store their guns safely in their home. It also gives the school districts the opportunity to help encourage gun safety in the community and in the household."
In light of last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, lawmakers across the country are introducing legislation ranging from stricter gun laws to adding armed guards and even arming teachers to protect schools.
As part of a series of far-reaching gun control proposals, President Barack Obama recommended Wednesday a federal $150 million "Comprehensive School Safety Program" that would help school districts hire school guards, counselors and other staff.
Violating provisions in Missouri Senate Bill 124 would be classified as a Class A misdemeanor, and would elevate to a Class D felony for the parent if a child who illegally acquires an unsecured gun commits a crime or kills or injures another person.
Reactions to the proposal are mixed. School administrators tell KFVS that the legislation likely wouldn't reduce gun violence, and would only create extra paperwork. Resident Logan Hennecke tells the station that he thinks it's "a very smart choice" for parents and schools to know which students have access to firearms, but parent Kris Mullis tells KSDK that forcing parents to notify schools of gun ownership "is not going to deter the behavior that makes people do what they do with guns."
Republican state Sen. Brian Munzlinger, who introduced legislation last week that would make certain federal firearm laws unenforceable, tells MDN that he believes Chapelle-Nadal's bill violates the Second Amendment. Chapelle Nadal responded in a statement Wednesday.
"I don’t think the Second Amendment says that it’s okay for a 12-year-old to kill another 12-year-old because grandpa left his gun out,” she said. “This bill is not about taking your guns away at all… I am trying to attack kids who are committing crimes and taking guns to the streets and killing other people.”