MaKayla Dyer, 8, was shot to death in 2015 by an 11-year-old neighbor because she wouldn't let him play with her puppy. Her mother, LaTasha Dyer, is speaking out in support of MaKayla's Law, which makes it a felony offense to leave a gun accessible to a child, resulting in the death of another person.
Her mother, LaTasha Dyer, joined Sen. Sara Kyle and Beth Joslin Roth of the Safe Tennessee Project for a press conference March 1 on the bill before she was scheduled to testify in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
LaTasha Dyer's complete remarks are reprinted below:
"As a mom I never thought I would outlive one of my children, but last year my 8-year-old daughter, MaKayla Dyer was killed by our neighbor. She wouldn't show him her puppy.
"Our family is devastated by this avoidable tragedy. If the weapon had simply been locked away and left unloaded, MaKayla would still be here. We are so pleased that today state lawmakers are working to keep guns out of the hands of children. Please help me make sure MaKayla's horrible fate isn't shared by one more child.
"Support Tennessee lawmakers working to strengthen child access prevention laws to make gun owners store their firearms safely."