CNN: Handguns Used In San Bernardino Attack Purchased ‘Legally’

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The two handguns Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik used in the San Bernardino attack were purchased “legally.”

This means the handguns used by Farook and Malik were acquired via background checks.

This also means Farook and Malik join a long and growing list of attackers and alleged attackers who passed background checks for their firearms as well. Those include Chris Harper Mercer (Umpqua Community College), Vester Lee Flangan (Virgina), John Russell Houser  (Lafayette), Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga), Dylann Roof (Charleston), Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi (Garland), Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Andrew John Engeldinger (Minneapolis), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), Tennis Melvin Maynard (West Virginia), Wade Michael Page (Sikh Temple), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), Jiverly Wong (Binghamton), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), Naveed Haq (Seattle), and Mark Barton (Atlanta).

The two AR-15s used in the attack were also purchased legally. CNN reports that the rifles “were purchased by someone else, possibly a former roommate, also legally three or four years ago.”

California has a requirement for registration of “assault weapons” and does have expanded background checks. This means Farook or Malik should have done “paperwork” if they took actual possession of AR-15s–i.e., if they did more than simply borrow them. 

If Farook successfully took possession of the AR-15s without doing the paperwork, that will simply be another demonstration of the impotency of gun control.

ABC News reports the ATF is “now working to make a connection to the last legal purchaser” of the AR-15s.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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