New bill could hold parents criminally responsible for not safely securing their guns

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama parents may soon be held criminally responsible if their child brings a weapon to school. That’s what lawmakers are proposing as part of a new bill, HB123, in Montgomery.

Officials with the National Association of School Resource Officers said a lot more guns are being found on students at Alabama schools, and they said holding parents responsible could help.

“It really is on parents, if they own guns, to secure those guns properly,” Mo Canady with the NASRO said. “We have to look at better ways for accountability, certainly in terms of adolescents getting a weapon and taking it to school.”

The new bill passed the House Judiciary Committee last week. If it continues to pass, it will hold parents and guardians criminally responsible if their child brings a gun from home to school, but only if the weapon was not safely secured.

Canady said bills like this could help keep firearms out of school buildings.

“In many of those cases, the guns coming from home,” Canady said. “Not always, because sometimes it comes from the home of a relative, or it was bought, or it’s a stolen gun. I think anytime you put teeth in the legal system around something, it cant hurt.”

But, the bill states that parents who reasonably secure their weapons will not be charged.

“There’s a lot more issues of guns being located on school campuses,” Canady said. “If we aren’t careful, violence can easily be brought into schools. We have seen that happen in previous school years.”

Lawmakers are still working out what the punishment would be. Right now, the penalty has changed from a Class C felony charge to a Class A misdemeanor.

“When there’s a new law that comes into play, there has to be more done than just the law,” Canady said. “We have to educate people on it and help them understand the magnitude of what can happen here.””

WBRC reached out to state reps. to find out when this bill could go to a vote, but did not hear back yet.

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