Cohasset, Massachusetts, police seized nearly 100 guns last week from a local resident who failed to secure his firearms in a locked container.
According to local media, police received information from a “credible source” that Stoddard was improperly storing a variety of rifles, shotguns, and pistols in his home. Massachusetts law requires all firearms to be “secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.”
After obtaining a search warrant, police found and seized 98 rifles, shotguns, and pistols that were lying around his house, along with ammunition. They also found and seized five “military-grade ordnance shells” they believe Stoddard acquired from a former military ammunition depot inside what is now Wompatuck State Park.
The State Police bomb squad was called in to remove the shells, though it isn’t clear whether the explosives are live or not.
“It’s not something you could buy in a store,” Quigley said. “The shells do have serial numbers. Hopefully the Navy will be able to track them back to where they came from.”
Police also found grave markers allegedly from military, police and fire department grave sites. Law enforcement is working to identify the family members of the servicemen, police officers, and firefighters whose grave markers were stolen.
Stoddard has been charged with three counts of desecrating a grave, five counts of receiving stolen property, three counts of improper storage of a handgun, and one count of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, according to CBS Boston.
Each improper storage charge will bring a fine of between $1000 and $7,500 or a prison sentence of not more than 1.5 years—or both.
Stoddard had obtained the necessary permits to possess firearms and is cooperating with the investigation, but his license to own firearms has been revoked, police said.
Massachusetts is the only state in the nation to require all firearms to be stored with a lock in place at all times, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Other states have storage requirements, but none are as strict as Massachusetts.
Neighbors report that Stoddard is a friendly person, though he tends to keep to himself.
“I’ve known him for years. I’ve never had a bit of problem with him,” David Stover, 76, a next-door neighbor, said.
Another neighbor, David Kneeland, expressed discomfort knowing his neighbor collected firearms.
“It’s just a little disconcerting to learn that there were so many weapons. I was aware that he had some and thought maybe he was collecting. But I didn’t give it too much thought. He’s a quiet guy,” Kneeland said. “We’d talk but he keeps to himself.”