Official: The Guns Used in Newtown Shooting

Bushmaster XM15-E2S (courtesy bushmaster.com)Bushmaster XM15-E2S Bushmaster XM15-E2S courtesy flickriver.comThe Newtown Police Department have released the details of the firearms used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. We had some idea about what guns were used pretty quickly after CNN’s choppers started flying overhead, but no official word until recently. As expected, the press release reads like a [short] list of the most popular firearms in the United States. The PD also detailed where the guns were found. From the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection . . .

Seized inside the school:
#1. Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S rifle with high capacity 30 round magazine
#2. Glock 10 mm handgun
#3. Sig-Sauer P226 9mm handgun

Seized from suspect’s car in parking lot:
#4. Izhmash Canta-12 12 gauge Shotgun (seized from car in parking lot)

I’m not entirely sure why the police felt the need to specifically point out that the rifle had a “high capacity” magazine when they didn’t talk about magazine size for any other guns, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

The shotgun found in the trunk is actually a Saiga-12, but since the model name on the gun is spelled in Cyrillic characters it’s listed incorrectly in the police report. And as the gun is listed as being found in the trunk, I think we can dismiss the wishful thinking that it was really the AR-15 that was found in the trunk.

Like I said, this is a list of some of the top-selling guns in the United States. Well, except the 10mm Glock (Glocks are popular, and Jeff Cooper might be pretty cool, but 10mm still isn’t quite as popular as Glock’s 9mm variants). In fact, I’ve owned a model of each of these firearms myself at some point in my life. As have millions of other law abiding Americans who have never committed a crime.

Which brings up an interesting constitutional issue. These guns are wildly popular. And, thanks to Heller’s supreme court win, they appear to be untouchable as far as the judicial system is concerned. From an NRA piece:

What did the landmark Heller decision have to say about banning guns like the AR-15? Justice Scalia’s opinion for the Court says that the Second Amendment “does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.” The Heller decision interpreted a 1939 Supreme Court case, United States v. Miller, as standing for the principle that the Second Amendment has historically protected guns “in common use at the time,” rather than “dangerous and unusual weapons.” While some scholars have disagreed with the court’s reasoning, the court went on to suggest that bans on short shotguns, short rifles and machine guns are not unconstitutional because those guns are not among the type of “arms” protected by the Second Amendment right.

So, even if we wanted to ban the guns specifically used in this attack, the Supreme Court says it can’t legally be done. And yet. . . .