A bill has been filed that would create a no call list for minors. It calls for the Department of Public Safety to establish the Missouri Child Protection Registry: a secure list of contact points that belong to or are available to minors.
Senator David Sater’s (R-Cassville) proposal would prevent marketers of adult products from contacting minors through electronic devices. Marketers who send out pornography, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drug advertisements would not be allowed to send electronic messages to those registered on the list.
Sater says it’s becoming more common to see children communicating via cell phone or computer. Missouri has a no-call list for Missourians that don’t want calls from telemarketers, and Sater thought a similar approach would be a good way to protect children from certain advertisements.
“All these marketers would have to scrub their list against the registry,” Sater told Missourinet.
Adult marketers would pay 7/10 of a penny per contact point to verify compliance when they want to send such a message. Sater said that money would go into a child protection fund.
“This program would be neutral in cost. In fact, in some instances, it might even make a little bit of money,” Sater said.
Sater said participation in the program would be voluntary. Parents, guardians, or schools would be able to register a child’s phone number or email with The Department of Public Safety. Registration would be good for three years.
“The reason I’m putting this bill into law is to make sure if there is a violation, if the adult marketer does not scrub their list against the protection registry, that there are penalties involved,” said Sater.
Violators would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and could face up to one year in jail, and/or a fine up to one thousand dollars. Civil action could be taken against offenders, allowing plaintiffs to recover $5000 for each message received or $250,000 for each day the violation occurs.
The legislation is SB 179.