Deputies: man carried sawed off shotgun through grocery store

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Sheriff's deputies said it was a bizarre incident when they arrested one man after he supposedly carried a rifle through a mom and pop's grocery store.

Deputy Gilbert Acciardo said officials from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department received an unusual complaint on Tuesday.

“A man was inside a local grocery store, west of London, packing a sawed off shotgun on his shoulder,” said Acciardo.

Acciardo said they responded immediately because it was an emergency situation. He said deputies pulled him over when he left Ott's General Store. Earnest Carr said he "remodeled" the gun for show and tell.

“I purchased it, brought it home, remodeled it, refined it myself, sawed the stock off, 18-inch-barrel and fixed it up real good, for myself, you know, just something to do, tinkering,” said Carr.
“When I went there to show it off to old men, I went ahead and put it in my truck, I didn't take it in the store.”

The 41-year-old said he is a veteran and the hobby turned into a misunderstanding.

“There's old men that sit on the porch, they bring out knives and axes and show off weapons that they have did,” said Carr.
“It was a perfectly harmless act. It was the perfect set up.”

Carr called the incident a “false arrest” and said he “had no intent of causing harm to anyone in any way.”

He said the Italian gun was a point of pride and the modified version was something he wanted others to see. Carr said he felt Second Amendment rights were violated”

Carr called the incident a “false arrest” and said he “had no intent of causing harm to anyone in any way.”

He said the Italian gun was a point of pride and the modified version was something he wanted others to see. Carr said he felt Second Amendment rights were violated.

“It is my weapon and I should be able to change it the way I want to,” said Carr.

Acciardo said there was no reason why someone would need to modify a weapon like that.

“We don't dispute that citizens have the right to bear arms, however they need to be legal weapons,” said Acciardo.

Carr said he served four years in the United States Army and had extensive knowledge of weapons. He said he knew that the regulation length of a shotgun barrel was 18 inches and used a tape measurer to verify the length of the rifle’s barrel.

Law enforcement officials said the barrel was sawed off to 13 and 5/8 inches long.

Acciardo said there are reasons behind the laws as to why people cannot saw the barrel off of a shotgun. He said at any range it is a very dangerous thing to have.

“If you have a normal one and I am shooting at that door right there, the shot group, there might be eight pellets or so, they will be close together,” said Acciardo.
“Whenever you saw off the barrel, the bullets spread out and it is quicker and you can do more damage, you can get more people injured quicker, that is why it is illegal.”

Acciardo said they cannot find a reason to deface a firearm.

“We don't know what to make of the fact that he had a weapon like that,” said Acciardo.
“That is still under investigation.”

Officials said the rifle was not loaded, but bullets were found in his truck. Carr said the gun was left unloaded under the seat and he did have a few rounds in another part of the vehicle which he said he thought was legal.

Carr is in the Laurel County Detention Center being held on a $5,000 surety bond. He said when he was released, he planned on filing charges against the sheriff’s department for false arrest.

The 41-year-old said if the charges were dropped against him, he would not file charges. He said he hoped to put this behind him.

Deputies said small “Mom and Pop’s” businesses should be alert at all times because Ott’s General Store, where this happened, was robbed around a year ago.


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