What The Newly Released Newtown Massacre Documents Tell Us About Adam Lanza

Thursday morning, local police released previously embargoed police records about the Newtown, Connecticut shooter, Adam Lanza. The records disclosed that, in five minutes, Lanza was able to fire 155 shots, partly as a consequence of the numerous 30 round high-capacity magazines he was carrying.

Most of the released documents were search warrants for Lanza’s car and home, which he shared with his gun-collecting mother (the weapons used at Newtown were taken from his mother’s stockpile). Put together, the findings in these warrants paint a disturbing picture of the arsenal available to Lanza:

1 NRA certificate for Adam Lanza and 1 NRA training book. Police investigators found a National Rifle Association certificate in Adam Lanza’s name, though the nature of the certificate was unspecified. Police also found a book titled “NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting,” a book that’s commonly given out as part of NRA pistol training courses. Graduates of these courses are given certificates.

3 new guns. In addition the newly-identified shotgun in his parked car outside (it was a Saiga 12), a search of the Lanza home found an Enfield Albian bolt action rifle and a Savage Mark II .22 rifle. The latter contained live ammunition.


4 high capacity magazines, 2 of which were brought loaded to the crime scene. There were two high-capacity shotgun shell magazines for his shotgun at the crime scene, containing a combined 70 extra rounds for the fortunately-unused shotgun. Police also found two 20-round magazines at the Lanza residence.

Over 1700 rounds of ammunition. These covered a variety of different calibers and gun types, and would have stocked 170 standard 10-round magazines or 56 of the 30-round high capacity magazines Lanza used to such deadly effect in the school.

13 types of bladed weapons. The Lanzas didn’t just collect guns; they also had a variety of knives, samurai swords, and one “six foot ten inch wood handled two sided pole with a blade on one side and a spear on the other.”

Though public outcry after the Newtown shooting generated more political momentum for effective gun law regulations than any other time in the past decade, the political effort is in danger of stalling out in the Senate.


The NRA released a statement in response to the findings denying that either Adam Lanza or his mother Nancy were members: “There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association. Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory.” Individuals who enroll in an NRA Basic Pistol Training are not required to be NRA members in all cases.