Here we go. Missouri State lawmakers see dollar signs in their eyes and they are using the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut to push for legislation that would require parents in the state to notify the schools their children that they own a firearm within 30 days or face a fine.
This doesn't just apply to public schools either. According to SB 124, which is put forth by two female Democrat State Senators Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City), it would apply to all charter and private education institutions. Interestingly enough, Nasheed is a Muslim.
The legislation can be summarized by stating that if a person is the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18, he or she knows the child possesses a firearm in violation of the law, and he or she fails to stop the possession or report it to law enforcement. This would be considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, if death or injury result from the firearm possession by a minor it will be considered a Class D felony.
Anytime a child is enrolled in a school, the parent or guardian must send the school a notification that they own a firearm to the school their child attends within 30 days or face a $100 fine. If the gun is used in a crime by the child at school and the parent or guardian failed to notify the school about the firearm and it results in injury or death, the parent will face a $1000 fine and possibly other penalties.
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.”
State Senator Brian Nieves (R-Washington) calls the bill alarming stating, “I think it goes squarely against what most Missourians would believe is the right thing to do. 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.”
Additionally, the legislation lays out what is considered "proper storage." The bill reads:
(1) The firearm is stored in a securely locked container or in a location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure;
(2) The firearm is equipped with a cable lock, trigger lock, or other safety device that cannot be readily removed from the firearm;
(3) The firearm is on the person's body or in such proximity to the person's body that he or she could retrieve it as easily and quickly
as if carried on his or her body.
While I am in agreement that parents need to be responsible for proper storage and teaching their children about firearms, the fact that they must notify school systems about firearms is not a good idea. It is an invasion of privacy and it is none of the school's business what people have in their homes. That is part of the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
While technically the legislation would not be a search or seizure, it is mandating that you tell them you own a firearm.
Chappelle-Nadal indicated that her legislation will more than likely not pass the State Senate. Additionally she indicated that any NRA-backed gun legislation would be targeted for filibuster.
Also, requiring cable locks, trigger locks and other safety devices does render the firearm virtually useless when needed. Again, this is an attempt by government to impose things they should not be imposing. In short, it's a bad law.