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How hard is it to get your hands on a grenade launcher

November 10, 2017 05:46 PM

ALBANY - It's perfectly legal to own a machine gun in Vermont, according to law enforcement. And in many states, a grenade launcher is not out of the question either. Just don't bring it to New York.

"Anybody who wants to go out and buy a grenade launcher, don't plan on it. It's illegal in the state of NY," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

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But Edward Reis,43, had one of them, according to Albany County investigators. They said they went to check on Reis at his home because he threatened to harm himself. When police got there, they found guns, grenades, trip wires, canisters of tear gas, a grenade launcher and bulletproof vests. They tracked him down in a motel room in East Greenbush where they said he had an AR-15 locked and loaded with 50 rounds.

"I don't really got most of it. I don't know how he acquired it. But most of it was illegal," Apple said,.

The question is, how does someone get their hands on a grenade launcher or a grenade for that matter? Apparently it's not as difficult as you might think.

"You can go to a neighboring state and machine guns are legal. Silencers are legal," Apple said.

Officials said a grenade launcher is considered a destructive device and falls under the National Firearms Act. As long as you can get an ATF permit and pay the $200 tax, you can own one. You can order one online and ship it to a local dealer. Machine guns fall under the same rule. But each state can make their own rules, like New York where grenade launchers are not allowed under the Safe Act.

"If you're buying it from somebody that's reputable, they'll tell you where are you, in New York, can't sell it to you," Apple added.

The tear gas, the grenade, the AR-15 and AK-47 they found in Reis's home are also illegal, according to Apple. And for the most part, trip wires are legal. But if you can rig it with shot gun shells that can blow off your leg, Apple said that's illegal.

More charges are pending in Reis's case.

Credits

Dan Bazile

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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