Mo. lawmaker from U City wants gunowners to notify childrens' schools

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and Brendan Marks / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 6:51 PM

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV) -- A Missouri lawmaker has stirred up a bit of controversy after she proposed a law that would require people to notify their child’s school if they own or buy a gun.

The overall intent of Senate Bill 124 is to stop illegal firearm possession. But critics are taking aim at the part of the bill that says if you own a firearm or buy one, you have 30  days to notify your child’s school district.

“We are not trying to take away anyone’s gun, period,” said Sen. Maria Chappell-Nadal (D-University City). “We’re not even asking what kind of gun you have. We want the school district to be able to say, ‘you know what, there are some really terrible things going on right now,’ and we need to be able to talk to the parent that we know they have a gun and make sure that there is security, that this gun is stored securely.”

The proposal calls for a fine of up to $100.

But if a person is found guilty of negligent storage of a firearm and fails to notify a  school that they own a firearm, the fine is $1,000.

Critics have been quick to pounce on the proposal. Some say the bill is redundant and unnecessary, while many echo firearm instructor Michael Meyer, who basically says it’s none of the school’s business to know whether a person owns a gun or not.

“It’s an invasion of privacy. Why do schools need to know who owns guns and where they are? I can’t see what the issue is, why they would need them,” said Meyer. “Plus who knows where those lists will go. Could end up in a criminal’s hands.”

The proposed bill comes a month after 12-year-old Demetri Phillips was shot and killed in University City. He was visiting a friend’s house and the two were playing with a gun they’d found that belonged to the friend’s grandfather.

  

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