CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (TheBlaze/AP) — A Massachusetts police official say the brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon before having shootouts with authorities didn’t have gun permits.
Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas tells The Associated Press in an interview Sunday that neither Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) nor his brother Dzhokhar had permission to carry firearms.
He says it’s unclear whether either ever applied and the applications aren’t considered public records. However, one key factor would have precluded Dzhokhar from having a firearm.
According to Haas, the 19-year-old would have been denied a permit because of his age. Only people 21 or older are allowed gun licenses in Massachusetts. Reuters has more:
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.
While some information is known about the weapons used, a full arsenal list has not yet been released by police.
The suspects were also accused of hijacking a Mercedes on Thursday night. Haas says the pair didn’t release the driver, but he escaped when he was left alone while the two men entered a convenience store.
What followed was a shootout and an exchange of gunfire with authorities, TheBlaze previously reported. For intensive and up-to-date coverage of the Boston bombings, click here.