Bill named for child shooting victim fails

MaKayla Dyer (Courtesy: The Dyer family/WATE)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A bill named for a child shooting victim failed after a discussion by a Tennessee House committee Tuesday morning.

MaKayla’s Law was named for 8-year-old MaKayla Dyer, who was shot to death last October. An 11-year-old is accused of pulling the trigger after she wouldn’t let him play with her dog.

The bill would have made it a felony for gun owners to recklessly leave a gun loaded and accessible to a child.

“While we are incredibly disappointed, we are not surprised,” Beth Joslin Roth, Policy Director for the Safe Tennessee Project. “We were told that committee members met yesterday in a private pre-meeting where it was decided to kill the bill.”

The Safe Tennessee Project said it will continue to raise awareness on the issue of safe storage. The group said it plans to bring MaKayla’s Law back next session.

Republican Jon Lundberg described the often emotional measure as well intended but creating other consequences.

“We might fix it with this situation,” he told News 2. “But at the same time create 15 to 20 situations where someone who is the potential victim of a home invasion can’t get to a gun, can’t get a trigger lock opened, and things are going on and they are killed.”

Lundberg is chair of the committee voting against the measure.

“Its not just because we are going to blindly ignore it. we have a situation that is horrible,” added the lawmaker. “Can we fix everyone of those situations? No, the unfortunate reality is that government can’t fix all the ills.

It’s the dilemma lawmakers face but difficult for families like Makayla’s to understand.

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