Well, we better do something about that right away. Close the "terrorist loophole" in our licensing procedures. Can't have terrorists walking around our cities with unlicensed firearms.
The two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, who police say engaged in a gun battle with officers early Friday after a frenzied manhunt, were not licensed to own guns in the towns where they lived, authorities said on Sunday.
In the confrontation with police on the streets of a Boston suburb, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were armed with handguns, at least one rifle and several explosive devices, authorities say.
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.
OK - we get it. No license. It will be interesting to see where the brothers got their armaments. Tamerlan had a 2009 domestic violence conviction - a red flag that would have denied him a license for a gun. But that would have only been an inconvenience because the younger brother Dzhokhar had a clean record and could have purchased any firearm he wanted.
Finding out where the brothers got their guns, and the materials to make the bombs, could lead to other suspects, perhaps even a terrorist cell, although the FBI is denying that they have any hard evidence the brothers weren't acting alone.
In the meantime, I'm sure gun control advocates are busy working on closing that "terrorist loophole" in licensing guns.