Standing in front of a stack of 3D printed “ghost guns” on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont applauded a months-long investigation that led to the seizure of more than 100 guns, three bombs and nearly 40,000 rounds of ammunition in New Britain.
“Pictures do not do this seizure justice,” said Lamont, pointing to the heap of illegal weapons piled up before him at the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory in Meriden. “This is shocking, this is a flea market of illegal guns.”
Joined by members of the Connecticut State Police and James Rovella, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Lamont noted that the haul — all seized from one New Britain property — included machine guns and a slew of fully and semi-automatic weapons, some fitted with grooves to fit silencers on them.
The governor said that the 3D printed guns weren’t the type used for hunting.
“Nobody’s going after birds with these,” he said. “They’re meant for a purpose, and it’s a dangerous purpose.”
The spike in ghost guns on the street is dangerous, illegal and alarming, Lamont said.
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“We have more of these on the street today than we’ve ever had, in decades,” he said.
Lamont applauded the collaborative effort by several law-enforcement agencies, including the Connecticut State Police statewide narcotics and organized crime task forces, the New Britain Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the seizure and arrest they made this week.
On Tuesday, police arrested 39-year-old Steven Gerent-Mastrianni of Hillhurst Avenue in New Britain.
In his house and cars, police found 125 guns, gun parts that would allow him to make firearms fully automatic and a 3D printer to make guns that can’t be traced, as well as three homemade bombs, police said.
Gerent-Mastrianni — a pistol permit holder — was charged with nine counts each of sale of an assault weapon, weapon in a motor vehicle, illegal transfer of a long gun and illegal transfer of a manufactured firearm without a serial number. He also was charged with 19 counts of sale of large-capacity magazines and one count each of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a machine gun, police said.
He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in New Britain on May 10, according to court records.
Taylor Hartz can be reached at email@example.com.