Saturday, 2:15 PM
High-powered rifle found in Newbury home
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
A 48-year-old Newbury man faces charges of failing to store weapons safely after police said they discovered more than 20 weapons inside his home, including what one officer described as a “cannon’’ that uses bullets the size of a man’s palm. Police said the weapons were improperly stored in the house where two children are living.
The .50-caliber rifle was found Sunday when Officers Keegan Stokes and Stephen May responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Hanover Drive home of David J. Balkus, who lives there with his girlfriend and two children, a 13-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, police said. The officers found Balkus intoxicated and placed him in protective custody, Newbury police Lieutenant John Lucey said today. The officers, however, suspecting that something was still amiss, summoned their supervisor, Sergeant Patty Fisher, and searched the home, police said.
“Their gut instinct said something was not right,’’ Lucey said.
The officers found more than 20 weapons, including a loaded handgun stuffed underneath a couch cushion, he said. They also found the bolt action .50-caliber Armalite brand rifle, which Lucey said had the appearance of a military weapon with a flash suppressor on its muzzle. He said the firearms included .22-caliber pistols up to the .50-caliber “cannon.’’
Lucey said Balkus was licensed to carry and own weapons under licenses issued by the state with the approval of the Newbury department, most recently in 2005. Lucey said the investigation is ongoing, but he said there was no sign that Balkus had obtained the weapons illegally. He also said Balkus’s license to carry has been revoked since the Sunday arrest.
Lucey said Balkus is facing 26 counts of failing to store weapons safely. He is also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon after police recovered a double-edge “Excalibur’’ type sword, which is illegal to own in Massachusetts. Lucey said police also recovered compound bows, numerous arrows, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Balkus is scheduled to be arraigned today in Newburyport District Court.
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