May 30, 2024

The Lake Tribune

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Ban on Firearms in HomeSchools: Missouri Senate Bill 727 Sparks Concern Over

2 min read

Father helping his daughter with her schoolwork (IStock Photo)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (The Lake Tribune) — A recent revision in Missouri Senate Bill 727 has unintentionally raised concerns among gun owners who provide home schooling in their residences. The bill, which primarily aims to redefine educational entities for the purposes of state law, includes a redefinition of “home school” that potentially classifies these homes as “schools” under all Missouri statutes, thereby implicating firearm regulations.

The controversy stems from the inclusion of the revised definition of a home school to mean any “school” within the state law, a significant change from the previous law that applied specifically to sections 167.031 to 167.071. This broader application introduces a conflict with Chapter 571.030.1(10) of the Missouri statutes, which makes it a felony to possess a loaded firearm in “any school.”

Critics of the bill argue that this reclassification could unintentionally make it illegal for homeowners to possess firearms in their residences if they are used for homeschooling. This interpretation hinges on whether a home school can be considered a “school building,” a term typically associated with public and private school facilities.

In response to these concerns, several Missouri residents, including online influencers and gun rights advocates, have taken to social media to express their worries and encourage others to contact their state senators. A viral video by a user known as “redneckpatriot88” explicitly calls out the potential infringement on Second Amendment rights.

Legal experts suggest that the interpretation of this clause might not be as clear-cut as feared. The specific legalities around firearms in educational settings have traditionally focused on public and designated private school settings, not individual private residences used for homeschooling.

As Senate Bill 727 heads to the House Rules Committee for further deliberation, stakeholders are urging lawmakers to clarify the language regarding home schools and firearms to prevent potential legal issues for homeschooling gun owners.

The bill’s broader implications for educational definitions and school choice initiatives also remain a key part of ongoing legislative discussions in Missouri.

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