A New York Sheriff’s office has forced a gun store to close and has seized hundreds of firearms after the store was recently burglarized for the seventh time in eleven years.
“This is a persistent problem. For more than a decade the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has attempted to work with the owner to improve security for his facility,” said Sheriff Todd Baxter. “Failure to properly secure this store has resulted in a tremendous threat to the safety of the people of this county.”
“With the number of burglaries and the number of firearms stolen out of this location,” Chief Deputy Michael Fowler added, “it’s obviously creating a risk to public safety that we can’t let continue. We have to do something, this situation cannot continue.”
In two burglaries since August 11, between 45 and 50 firearms have been stolen from Chinappi’s Gun Shop in Parma, New York, according to local media. Since 2007, approximately 82 firearms have been stolen from the same location.
The Sheriff’s office worked with Monroe County Judge Vincent Dinolfo to obtain a business cease and desist order to shut down the shop. Deputies then seized the entirety of the store’s inventory, including “many” pallets of ammunition. The firearms are being held by law enforcement until they can create a “safe situation” for the community.
“We are going to take those and secure them in our facilities,” Fowler said at a press conference. “We are going to take safe-keeping of these firearms until that regulatory process can conclude and we can determine what measures should be taken to create a safe situation to continue to operate this business.”
“Our intent is not just to shut down a business owner,” Fowler added. “Our intent is to cooperate with him, to work under the state and federal regulations, to try and create a safe and secure situation for these firearms, so that he can continue to operate this business.”
Local media reports that the business owner, August Chinappi, has cooperated with investigators.
There are currently no legal requirements for Federal Firearm Licensees to secure their firearms using any particular method, but some believe that should change. New York Congressional democratic candidate Joe Morelle said he has been working on legislation that would require shops to have security.
“You can argue about a number of things but making sure that weapons are secure and ammunition is secure so people can’t break into it and get it onto our community streets. I think everyone should be able to agree to it and I’m going to be very, very forceful in making that happen.”
So far one man has been arrested in connection with the most recent burglary. Dakota Sarfaty, 21, has been charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree grand larceny.