Tragically today, a 7-year-old was fatally shot by her 2-year-old cousin in Nashville.

So far this year, there have been 11 shootings involving children with access to irresponsibly stored firearms. Seven children were injured while four were killed.  The incident today was the 7th shooting of this type since the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-3 against MaKayla’s Law in March of this year, and the 26th since the bill was voted down in 2016. MaKayla’s Law was sponsored by Sen. Sara Kyle and Rep. Sherry Jones.

“Once again, we see the tragic consequence of negligent firearm storage,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project.  “This continues to be a problem in our country and especially here in our state. This is the fourth child killed this year as a direct result of an adult’s choice to leave a loaded gun unsecured.  These shootings are not accidents. They are fully preventable tragedies. We will continue to raise awareness about safe storage and we will continue to advocate to hold adults responsible when their irresponsible actions lead to a child’s injury or death.”

According to an investigation by USA Today and the Associated Press, Memphis is the #1 city for these types of shootings and Nashville is #10.  Tennessee is fourth in the nation for them.

Nationwide, May was a terrible month for unintentional shootings involving kids.  According to the Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance, where Roth serves as co-director, there were at least 37 of these shootings across the country last month.  Tennessee was one of the states with the most – there were 3 in our state alone.

Sadly, the shooting today is the third toddler involved shooting in the US since Saturday.  There were TWO on Saturday alone: 

> In Colorado Springs, Coloradoa 3-year-old unintentionally shot his 2-year-old sibling while playing with a gun in their home.

> In Chester, Pennsylvania,  3-year-old found a handgun in his home and fatally shot himself in the chest. 

“Although we were unable to pass MaKayla’s Law this year, we remain undeterred,” said Roth. “We will keep working with legislators who care about this issue and we’ll keep working with pediatricians, gun safety instructors, and responsible gun owners who support the legislation.  We believe that our state should be protecting kids, not irresponsible gun owners.”

Numerous academic studies show a link between states with safe storage and child access prevention laws and fewer unintentional shootings of children.

A list of children shot as a result of Tennessee children shot with negligently stored firearms from 2015 through the present can be found here.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who voted against MaKayla’s Law in March:

Sen. Mike Bell
Phone: (615) 741-1946

Sen. Janice Bowling
Phone: 615-741-6694

Sen. Jon Lundberg
Phone: (615) 741-5761

Sen. Doug Overbey
Phone: (615) 741-0981

Sen. Kerry Roberts
Phone: (615) 741-4499

Sen. John Stevens
Phone: (615) 741-4576


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