Missouri bill would require parents to report gun ownership to schools

Parents who own a firearm would be required to notify their child’s school in writing under legislation proposed in the Missouri Senate.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, would make it a crime to fail to report gun ownership to a school, punishable by a fine of up to $100.

It would also criminalize failure to prevent a child from illegally possessing a firearm and the negligent storage of a firearm. Both would start as misdemeanors and become felonies if the gun is involved in a death or injury.

“Since August of last year, there have been more than a dozen incidents involving teenagers and guns in just (my) Senate district alone,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “In most cases, the guns have been stolen from an unsecured place in the home.”

She said the debate over gun control has largely ignored the plague of gun violence in the urban core. That’s especially true in Missouri, she said, where the General Assembly is dominated by rural and suburban Republicans.

This bill is not about gun control, Chappelle-Nadal said. Rather, she said, it’s about trying to force parents to be responsible gun owners.

She conceded the chances her legislation becomes law are “probably zero,” even though she is willing to drop the provision mandating reporting gun ownership to local schools.

Sen. Brian Nieves, a Washington Republican, agrees with her assessment of the bill’s chances.

“Dead on arrival,” he said. “Not going to happen.”

Jason Hancock, jhancock@kcstar.com