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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri students could use food, pencils or their hands to imitate a gun without penalty under legislation endorsed by the state House.

The bill advanced Wednesday would shield students from discipline of fines for "simulating a weapon while playing."

Sponsoring Republican Rep. Mike Kelley, of Lamar, says he was motivated by the Maryland case of a Baltimore second-grader suspended last year for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.

Opponents say the legislation could allow some students to encourage violence among their peers.

The measure would allow students to be disciplined for causing bodily harm, disrupting a learning environment or creating a serious threat. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.

Guns is HB1539

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