Eduardo Sencion was armed with a fully automatic assault rifle when he killed four people and injured seven at a shooting at the Carson City IHOP last month, according to Sheriff Ken Furlong.
Furlong said Tuesday that an examination by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of Sencion's weapons after the Sept. 6 shootings determined Sencion fired some 60 rounds from a Norinco MAK 90 assault rifle. The weapon was manufactured as semi-automatic, but it had been modified. The alteration was described by the ATF as "professionally gunsmithed."
According to Furlong, the MAK 90 is a Chinese-made version of the Russian AK47, a weapon also found inside Sencion's van. Two handguns were also recovered, he said - a Glock and a .38-caliber revolver, the latter of which Sencion used to fatally shoot himself in the head.
"Investigators have determined that the weapon was last sold by a private party in California to an unknown buyer over five years ago," said Furlong. "The weapon was apparently later altered to function as an automatic weapon."
It has been unlawful since passage of the National Firearms Act in 1934 for civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department.
Furlong said machine guns are subject to a tax every time their ownership changes from one federally registered owner to another, and each weapon is subject to tax when it is made, and it must be registered with ATF.
The state of Nevada provides no further restrictions other than those imposed by the federal government.
It is legal to possess any of the weapons Sencion had in manufactured state.
Nevada law allows for the private sale of weapons, and sellers are not required to perform background checks on the purchaser.
"Failure of a seller to perform a background check does not give rise to a civil or criminal cause of action," said Furlong. "As it pertains to Eduardo Sencion, Nevada state concealed-weapons permitting and federal firearms licensing processes prescribed by law are not pertinent to this investigation, as no apparent licensing or permits were ever requested or issued."
In addition to the weapons, Sencion had 15 loaded 30-round magazines and one empty clip, said the sheriff.
Furlong said the Carson City Sheriff's Department and ATF continue to investigate the IHOP shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Carson City Sheriff's Detective Division, at 887-2500.