With the recent shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, Tenn., still heavy on the hearts and minds of America, State Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile) is hoping her new bill will reduce the risk of a similar tragedy playing out in Alabama by placing much of the responsibility on parents.
Under the current version of her "school security bill," House Bill 123, parents could be charged with a Class C felony if their child brings an unsecured gun from home to school, whether the student fires it or not. Drummond said she had received positive feedback on the bill, even from Republicans. However, some are concerned it could have negative implications on Second Amendment rights.
“I don’t think that this is a gun bill. I think this is more about school safety for our children, and it does not violate anyone’s second amendment rights,” Drummond said Monday on “The Dale Jackson Show.” “But what it does is make parents responsible if that weapon is not secured.”
Drummond said critics of the bill thought the Class C felony penalty was too harsh, though that is the current standard charge for bringing a gun onto a school campus. She said she's willing to make adjustments to the bill when it is brought up in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
"We're working on language to drop it down to a misdemeanor offense, but I do want it to be punitive because we need to get parents' attention because the safety of our children is what is at risk," she said.
Calling it a "common sense" bill, Drummond added that she left the language "loose" around the definition of secure and emphasized that the law would only apply to school campuses.
"If you go and talk to school administrators, resource officers and teachers, there are a lot of guns that are showing up on our campuses," she said. "…This bill is very common sense. It just says let's be responsible. And all of the debate that you've heard around guns, it's a lot of irresponsibility going on, and this is a bill that says we can be responsible. Our children's lives depend upon it."
Huntsville City Schools reported multiple incidents of students bringing guns onto campus in January, with one being fired in a school bathroom a few months prior.
On Monday, a mother in Newport News, Virginia, was charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor recklessly leaving a loaded firearm as to endanger a child after her 6-year-old son allegedly shot a teacher, according to ABC News.
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