Even Maryland’s strict gun control laws would not have stopped Aaron Alexis from getting the shotgun he used to go on a rampage in the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard.
When the September 16 Navy Yard shooting took place, gun control advocates immediately blamed the AR-15. In fact, on the very day of the shooting, Senator Dianne Fienstein (D-CA) tried to revive the gun control debate, which always means banning “assault weapons” in her view.
But once it was determined the shooter used a shotgun purchased in Virginia instead of an AR, the blame immediately turned to VA’s lax gun laws. WAMU.88.5 reported DC Mayor Vincent Gray saying, “Virginia’s gun laws have made the District less safe.”
After talking of how the shotgun was purchased in Lorton, VA, Gray added: “We can have whatever gun control laws in the District of Columbia, but we are completely vulnerable to the surrounding jurisdictions whose laws may be more lax than ours.”
The Balitmore Sun makes it seem Virginia may be getting a bad rap. Looking at Maryland gun laws, the Sun reports that Alexis could have come into a Maryland gun store, passed all the background checks, and walked out of the store with a Remington 870 the same day–just like he did in Virginia.
He did this even though “Maryland’s gun laws are widely considered tougher than those of neighboring Virginia.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.