District Attorney Rollins Cedes Time Before Legislative Committee to Mother of Murder Victim
Survivor Delivers District Attorney’s Written Remarks Along with Moving Testimony in Support of Gun Violence Prevention Proposal
BOSTON, August 28, 2019 — Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins today ceded her time before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security to allow the mother of 14-year-old murder victim Da-Keem Galloway, who addressed the committee in support of legislation filed by Rep. Chynah Tyler to prevent gun violence in our communities.
“While Massachusetts has some of the country’s strongest gun control legislation and one of the lowest gun death rates, there have already been 30 homicides this year. This past weekend alone, there were multiple shootings in our Boston neighborhoods, one of which resulted in death,” District Attorney Rollins said in her written testimony in support of the four bills filed by Rep. Tyler. “It is not enough to hold buyers of these guns accountable. We must hold the sellers accountable too, as well as anyone who engages in a straw purchase. Regulation and accountability at each end of the transaction is critical to our efforts in effectively reducing gun-related violence in our communities."
District Attorney Rollins’s written testimony was hand-delivered on her behalf by Charmise Galloway. Ms. Galloway’s son, Da-Keem Galloway, was shot and killed as he and other teens walked to a bus stop in the area of Hazelwood Court on June 10, 2004. At District Attorney Rollins’s request, Ms. Galloway delivered remarks before the committee about the gun violence that stole her son 15 years ago and continues to harm her community.
“The young man that murdered my son used an illegal firearm. He is currently at MCI-Norfolk serving a life sentence. Although the person who killed my son has been held accountable, nothing will bring Da-Keem back,” Ms. Galloway told the members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security during today’s hearing. “We need fewer guns on the streets and a stronger commitment by our elected officials to do everything possible to end gun violence. These bills are a good start.”
Rep. Tyler’s four bills strengthen Massachusetts’s gun laws and help prevent firearms from ending up in the hands of those who are not permitted to possess a gun. Specifically, H. 3780 would limit most gun buyers from purchasing more than one firearm in a 30-day period; H. 3781 would prevent gun dealers from delivering a firearm within 10 days of the submission of an application to purchase a gun; H. 3782 proposes updated reporting requirements for gun dealers; H. 3783 would require annual inspections of licensed firearms; and H. 3927 would increase the penalties for straw purchasers.
“Thoughts and prayers do not keep our festivals, stores, nightclubs, schools, marathons, movie theaters, churches, or streets safe. We must do more,” District Attorney Rollins said. “Change begins with those who commit to it. Commit to change today and prioritize these bills. We owe it to the people who elected us and to the communities we serve. “ She further emphasized that while gun regulation laws are important, they are not enough to keep our communities safe. "We must also commit to investing resources in public health prevention and intervention programs that are proven highly effective at reducing gun violence."