Chief: Rochester man scares off burglars with AR 15 rifle

Posted at: 01/23/2013 5:39 PM
Updated at: 01/24/2013 10:17 AM
By: Lynette Adams

Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard says a resident of a home confronted two burglars with a semi-automatic assault rifle and scared the would-be burglars off. It happened around midnight Tuesday. Chief Sheppard says the weapon is legal and is legally owned by the resident.

It's the style of gun that the homeowner used that some anti-gun advocates say shouldn't even be available.

News10NBC spoke with the homeowner Wednesday night. He says he shudders to think what would have happened if he hadn't had a gun. He believes that gun saved his life and the lives of his roommates.

Gun control has been a hot topic since the Christmas Eve shooting on Lake Road in Webster and the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

New York State is the first in the nation to enact stricter gun laws following those tragedies.

The gun in this case was an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle, and according to Chief Sheppard it was legal.

Officials estimate there are about one-million semi-automatic rifles in the state.

News10NBC asked Chief Sheppard about this incident and if this could be a case in support of personal gun ownership.

“I think in terms of the ban, or the legislation that was passed, it wasn't about banning AR-15s. It was really about banning weapons with certain characteristics to military weapons and it grandfathered in a number of those weapons that were pre-owned prior to the Governor signing his legislation. So from my perspective I don't have a problem with anyone owning any type of weapon. When it comes down to what would serve the citizens of Rochester best, if we do not have weapons that result in mass murder that's the best for everybody,” said  Sheppard.

Sheppard says he is not interested in disarming the public and supports the constitutional right to bear arms. His fight, he says, are the guns on the street that wreak havoc in our city.

Police are still looking for the burglary suspects.