It was impossible for the Bomber Brothers to shoot at police, because neither one of them had a license to own a firearm. In fact, it was illegal for the younger brother to even apply for a permit. So how were they able to have gun battles with police?
But neither brother appears to have been legally entitled to own or carry firearms where they lived, a fact that may add to the national debate over current gun laws. Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases, legislation that opponents argued would do nothing to stop criminals from buying guns illegally.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in the shootout with police, would have been required to apply for a gun license with the local police department where he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
But there is no record of him having done so, according to Cambridge Police Department spokesman Dan Riviello.
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, Riviello said. In Massachusetts, gun licenses are issued by municipal police departments.
"There is no record of him having a license to carry," Riviello told Reuters.
Tsarnaev's younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, who was captured alive on Friday after the manhunt, would have been too young to get a handgun license. Under state law, residents under 21 may only apply for a so-called firearms identification card, which allows the holder to own only rifles that hold 10 rounds or less and shotguns.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had no record of a firearms ID card in Cambridge. The police department in Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar was a student, said they had no record of gun licenses or ID cards for either brother.
It's almost as if those that are intent on breaking the law will ignore laws currently in place or something.
Ironically, Massachusetts was hailed as having some of the toughest laws for guns on the books.
IN 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. Among other stringencies, it banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.
“Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”
I guess that only applies to legal gun owners.
I do find it interesting that as of 7:46 pm MST, Huffington Post, in all of its Boston Bombing coverage, neglects to mention that the brothers weren't legally able to carry firearms in Massachusetts. I wonder why?