Newtown Killer's NRA Documents Are Not a 'Smoking Gun'

The Smoking Gun has released a trove of documents from the search of Adam Lanza's home in Connecticut. Among the items police found are two that relate to the National Rifle Association. One is a certificate, the other is a booklet.

* An “Adam Lanza National Rifle Association certificate.”

* An “NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting.” Two books about Asperger’s syndrome were also taken from home of Lanza, who reportedly suffered from the developmental disorder. One of the books is a memoir by John Elder Robison about living with Asperger’s. After the Sandy Hook shooting, Robison wrote a Psychology Today article debunking the claim that Asperger’s can turn someone into a mass murderer.

So was the killer a member of the NRA?

The presence of these two documents in his possesssion does not answer that question yes or no.

According to Connecticut law, anyone seeking a permit to carry a concealed pistol must be or do the following things.

1. Is twenty-one years of age;

2. Is a legal resident of the United States;

3. Has a residence or business in the jurisdiction in which they are applying;

4. Intends to use the handgun for only lawful purposes;

5. Is a “suitable person” to receive a permit;

6. Has successfully completed an approved handgun safety course;

7. Has not been convicted of a felony or a violation of;

a. Criminal possession of a narcotic substance;

b. Criminally negligent homicide;

c. Assault in the third degree;

d. Reckless endangerment in the first degree;

e. Unlawful restraint in the second degree;

f. Riot in the first degree;

g. Stalking in the second degree;

8. Has not been convicted as a delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense;

9. Has not been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect;

10. Is not subject to a restraining or p[protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person;

11. Is not subject to a firearms seizure order issued for posing a risk of personal injury to self or others after a hearing; or

12. Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm for having been adjudicated as a mentally incompetent under federal law.

See number 6, which I've bolded. The National Rifle Association is one of the United States' largest gun safety training and certification groups. Its courses are accepted by the state of Connecticut to fulfill number 6 on the list of requirements to obtain a pistol permit. The booklet is probably the one that the killer obtained when he took the course. His mother also took the course (see Exhibit #605 at the link). They may have taken it together. She had also filled out a gift card for him to purchase a "C183" which the document identifies as a firearm in parentheses. That may or may not be an actual firearm. Googling "C183 pistol" and "C183 gun" turns up a number of things, none of which lead to a gun with that model number. Kodak does manufacture a C183 EasyShare digital camera.

The killer may have intended to obtain his concealed carry permit. He wasn't old enough yet, as CT requires permit holders to be 21, and he was 20 when he committed his crimes.

Update: The NRA says that neither the killer nor his mother was a member of the organization.