The two brothers who allegedly planted twin pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon were not in legal possession of the firearms they used to attack police officers during last Friday’s manhunt, authorities said on Sunday.
The elder brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was killed in a gunfight with police in Watertown, did not have a valid concealed carry permit or firearms ID card for Cambridge, Massachusetts, his last place of residence, a Cambridge Police Department official told Reuters.
“Even if he had earlier received a gun license from somewhere outside Cambridge, that license would have to be registered with Cambridge police upon becoming a resident of the city,” CPD spokesman Dan Riviello told Reuters.
Since Massachusetts is a ‘may-issue’ state, concealed carry of a firearm is not a matter of simply satisfying some objective requirements laid out in the law. Rather, approval for concealed carry is ultimately at the discretion of local police departments (for more on Mass gun laws, click here).
“There is no record of him having a license to carry,” Riviello added.
As for the younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he was too young to apply for a concealed carry permit but could have obtained a firearms ID card, which would have allowed him to purchase a long arm with a 10-round magazine.
Though, police found no record of a firearms ID for Tsarnaev in any of the places he’s lived, including Cambridge, New Bedford, or Dartmouth.
“The younger brother could not have applied [for a CCW] as he is not 21 years of age and the older brother did not have a license to carry and we have no record of him ever applying,” Riviello told the Huffington Post, in a separate interview.
Altogether, police found the two brothers in possession of six more bombs, multiple handguns, a rifle, and around 250 rounds of ammunition.
Following the detonation of the two bombs, the brothers shot and killed an MIT police officer and critically wounded a police officer in the Watertown gunfight.
Thoughts and analysis
Given the recent defeat of Sen. Harry Reid’s gun control proposal in the Senate, many are curious about gun laws and their impact on this tragedy.
As noted in the video above, there are important questions to answer, e.g. where and from whom did they get these firearms? Did they get them from a terrorist organization? Did they steal them from family members?
However, there are other questions that have and will continue to pop up, e.g. Would tougher gun laws have prevented them from obtaining firearms or the gunpowder they used in the bombs?
On this note, longtime gun control advocate Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is already pushing for a federal law requiring background checks for anyone purchasing “black powder” or any other explosive powders.
Lautenberg, along with many other gun control supporters, believe that passing more laws will somehow prevent determined killers and terrorists from perpetrating violent acts. This is line of reasoning is absurd.
For those who doubt it, consider the thoughts and musings of Norway terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a sequential bombing and shooting attack in July of 2011. The following is an excerpt from his manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, it underscores the resolve and resourcefulness of terrorists:
IF they take away our AN-fertilizer, we will use AN from Ice packs! If they take away our ice packs; we will hi-jack propane trucks and use them as secondary explosive charges! If they take away our propane trucks; we will fight them with conventional weapons! If they ban the sale of weapons; we will smuggle in AK-47s from the Balkans and the Middle East!
They cannot prevent us, the European conservatives from eventually seizing political and military power. We will succeed even if we have to create our very own improvised guns.
While details are still emerging regarding the brothers Tsarnaev, there’s little doubt that they are as equally as radical and as driven as Breivik or Timothy McVeigh or Osama bin Laden or any other terrorist in recent memory. Bottom line: only a fool would believe that a free society could prevent this type of evil with more laws.