What We Know About the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Guns

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More MoJo coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings How the FBI in Boston May Have Pursued the Wrong “Terrorist” READ: Here Are the Federal Charges Against Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev The 11 Most Mystifying Things the Tsarnaev Brothers Did What We Know About the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Guns What These Tweets Tell Us About Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Stunned Reactions From Former Classmates of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Did Boston Bombing Suspect Post Al Qaeda Prophecy on YouTube? Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Charged With Using WMD We still don’t have a full account of where and how the Tsarnaev brothers obtained the firearms and explosives they allegedly used in the deadly attacks that began on April 17 at the Boston Marathon. Here are the details about their guns that have emerged so far: How may firearms did they have? Along with several pipe bombs, law enforcement officials recovered four guns they believed the Tsarnaevs used, according to a report in the New York Times . Authorities believe three of the firearms—two handguns of unspecified makes and models, and a BB gun—were used in the dramatic early morning shootout with police in Watertown that left Tamerlan dead. Did they have military-grade weapons? The other gun, described by the Times as an M-4 carbine rifle “similar to ones used by American forces in Afghanistan,” was reportedly found on the boat in the Watertown driveway where Dzhokhar was captured. It is unclear whether the rifle is a semi-automatic civilian model or the selective-fire model used by the military. What gun laws would they have been subject to? Both Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were residents of Massachusetts, a state with strict gun laws including a ban on assault weapons and magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Along with Washington, D.C., Massachusetts is one of just seven states with some form of assault weapons ban. No such restrictions exist under federal law, but if the M-4 is a selective-fire model it would fall under the highly restrictive National Firearms Act of 1934 that requires the registration of automatic weapons. Did they have gun permits? Could they have gotten any? Reuters reported that neither brother had a valid handgun permit in the state of Massachusetts. Because he is younger than 21, Dzhokhar could not have legally owned a handgun even with a permit. He also did not have the firearms identification card he would have needed to legally possess a semi-automatic rifle with a 10-round magazine. BB guns don’t require licensing for non-minors in Massachusetts. Continue Reading » Politics | Mother Jones

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