New details emerged yesterday about how an illegal gun got into the hands of a 7-year-old boy in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood who fatally shot his 8-year-old cousin, as city officials vowed to crack down on illicit firearms flooding city streets, reports the Boston Herald. “This is war,” Mayor Thomas Menino declared after the Sunday night shooting of first-grader Liquarry Jefferson. Sources said investigators were eying whether the weapon belonged to Liquarry's 16-year-old brother, who is under Department of Youth Services supervision for gun crimes.
Police Commissioner Edward Davis indicated that everyone in the house Sunday night could face a “myriad” of criminal charges, including the 7-year-old boy who fired the fatal shot. Meanwhile, Menino sent a scathing letter to Washington lawmakers urging the federal government to step up efforts to halt firearms traffickers. “Despite our efforts to get illegal guns off the streets, we continue to see the tragic consequences of the inaction from Congress to do their part,” Menino wrote. “Just this week in my city, an 8-year-old boy was shot and killed by a 7-year-old boy with an illegal gun. Where does it end?” City Councilor Michael Flaherty called for state legislation that would close a loophole in the law that imposes light penalties on violators who keep illegal guns in their homes. Flaherty's proposal would close the loophole by upgrading the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. Of the 172 cases brought by the Suffolk District Attorney's Office gun court, 10 percent of the cases fell under the loophole.