A Bohemia gun store owner accused of trafficking in illegal and unregistered firearms stored handguns and about 300 rifles and shotguns in his unlocked garage in a residential community, authorities said. One of the guns allegedly linked to his shop was used by a suspect accused of shooting at undercover police officers last year, authorities said.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Thursday illegal guns flowed in and out of Brian Andersen’s Guns & Ammo store on Sunrise Highway. The 67-year-old East Patchogue man was indicted in Nov. 19 on 20 counts of weapons charges following a seven-month investigation, Spota said.
“We were stunned to find the defendant carelessly storing hundreds of lethal weapons and ammo in the loft of his unlocked garage,” Spota said. “It is not unreasonable to wonder what could have happened if a mischievous teenager simply opened the door and found what we found.”
Investigators seized the weapons, including 10 unregistered handguns, a fully-automatic .30-caliber M2 machine gun, seven stolen guns, five shotguns and a black-powder pistol.
“Here we have an authorized gun dealer stockpiling guns in an unlocked garage in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” he said. “We’ve never seen such reckless, foolish, negligent behavior.”
Andersen pleaded not guilty then and is free on $100,000 cash bail. His attorney declined to comment.
Authorities began investigating the store in August after a suspected drug dealer shot at undercover police officers in Farmingville with a .38-caliber revolver traced to Anderson’s store.
The suspect in that case, Nicholas Hansen, pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bail.
At the time, Andersen told investigators the gun must have been stolen. But Spota said Andersen hadn’t reported it missing or stolen, as required.
Andersen faces up to 20 years in prison.
-With Associated Press.