Last Wednesday morning, police in the
semi-rural Connecticut town of Orange received a flurry of reports that
someone was breaking into vehicles. One of the callers was 66-year-old
Vincent Brescia, who informed authorities that his loaded .38-caliber
revolver had been snatched from the glove compartment of his unlocked
truck, which was parked in his driveway overnight. The notice came well
within the state’s mandatory 72-hour period to report lost or stolen
firearms, but instead of officers leaving the scene with just an
incident report, they charged Brescia with breaking the law.
Though he “expressed remorse for
failing to lock his car,” Brescia was arrested for misdemeanor reckless
endangerment, the Town of Orange Police Department announced on its Facebook
page. Brescia’s pistol permit was also seized and sent to the licensing
and firearms unit of the Connecticut State Police for review.
Anthony Cuozzo, the assistant chief
of the Orange Police Department and a self-described “gun guy” who is
also a firearms instructor, tells The Trace that Brescia was a “good
citizen” for reporting his gun stolen. “But the number one tenet of
responsible gun ownership is that the gun is properly secured and the
owner maintains control of that gun,” he says.