A 57-year-old man had an arsenal of weapons inside his house, including six assault weapons and a loaded .25-caliber handgun, according to East Hampton Town police.
Detectives found 17 guns when they executed a search warrant at Christopher R. Fausett’s house at 21 Wireless Road Friday morning, with the assistance of the East Hampton Townwide Police Emergency Services Unit. Police had received a confidential tip and launched an investigation that led them to obtain a search warrant, according to Detective Sgt. Dan Toia.
Fausett was not at home at the time, but police detained him during a traffic stop in the village, while the search began at the house at 7:50 a.m.
The search at the house, owned by his mother, was extensive and took several hours. Police uncovered six guns that are classified as assault weapon, mostly semi-automatic rifles that are capable of accepting detachable magazines and pistol grips, Toia said.
New York’s assault weapon law prohibits possessing an assault weapon. The NY SAFE Act, a set of gun restrictions enacted in 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, expanded on New York’s 2000 prohibition on assault weapons.
While owners who had purchased semi-automatic weapons prior to 2013 when the Safe Act was enacted could keep them, they had to register them with New York State police. It is not clear when Fausett purchased the weapons.
Fausett also does not have a pistol permit for the .25-caliber handgun police found.
There was also a significant amount of ammunition in the house, though Toia was unable to give an exact amount because officers were still counting what they confiscated Friday night.
Fausett also allegedly possessed five shotguns and five rifles in the house, which are legal.
Other items taken from the house include chuck sticks and a billy club, an expandable baton carried by police. Both are illegal to possess.
Fausett was charged with six counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, one count of criminal possession of a firearm, all felonies, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. The top count, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, was levied because the defendant is in possession of five or more weapons.
Additional charges are possible.
He is being held overnight at East Hampton Town police headquarters and is scheduled for a virtual arraignment before an East Hampton Town Justice on Saturday.