Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said Monday on MSNBC that if only Congress approved universal background checks, the massive shootout between Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and police could have been prevented. “Tamerlan, as we know now, was on the terrorist watch list,” said Maloney, “so we know a gun check would stop him, if there was a background check. As it stands now, Tamerlan … or the next terrorist can go to any gun show and buy a hundred-round magazine, they can buy all of the assault weapons they want, no questions asked.”
Of course, Dzhokhar reportedly obtained his gun after Tamerlan shot a police officer. Tamerlan obtained his gun illegally in all likelihood, since the 9mm Ruger semi-automatic recovered from the crime scene had its serial number filed off. Neither brother applied for a Massachusetts gun permit.
Massachusetts has some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation. There is no evidence that the brothers went out of state to purchase any firearms used.