With East Boston and the country already on edge after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn. a man from Halifax, Nova Scotia was arrested last Tuesday on weapons charges in East Boston. The man was found to be in possession of some of the same guns used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. All the weapons, according to police, were stolen.
Boston Police arrested Peter Hilliard, 48, after he allegedly broke into a house outside the city of Boston and stole a laptop. Police Detectives, using the tracking software in the computer were led to 247 Meridian Street where Hilliard allegedly dropped off the Apple MacBook Pro. for servicing.
Hilliard was arrested when he returned to pick up the computer.
Detectives seized Hilliard’s vehicle (a 2007 Ford F-150) and obtained a search warrant. A subsequent search of the vehicle led to the seizure of several high-powered firearms, drugs and items with tags. Among the weapons recovered, a Bushmaster rifle and a Sig Sauer pistol.
Hilliard was arraigned in East Boston and ordered held on $50,000 cash bail.
Hillard’s arrest and last week’s shooting and national call for stricter gun laws got mayor Thomas Menino’s blood boiling last week.
Menino, along with cofounder of the Mayor’s Against Illegal Gun Coalition New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, fired off a three-page letter to President Barack Obama urging stricter gun laws. 750 mayors nationwide signed the letter.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s taken such a heinous crime like the one in Newtown for our voices to be heard. The ache that is being felt by Newtown families is being felt every day by Boston families whose loved ones have fallen victim to gun violence,” said Menino. “Today’s announcement from the President is a step in the right direction, but we’ll continue to demand a plan, and immediate action, until our nation’s gun laws make sense. We look forward to working with Vice President Biden on a path forward. Enough is enough.”
The Mayor referenced the Eastie gun arrest and made several suggestions to the President as he moves to find ways to curb U.S. gun violence. Among the suggestions made by Menino and Bloomberg are requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, getting high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off U.S. streets and to make gun trafficking a federal crime.
The two mayors also added the government should prosecute prohibited purchasers who attempt to buy firearms, ammunition or high capacity magazines.
A week after the Newtown shooting, the National Rifle Association (NRA) made its much anticipated announcement on how to prevent another Sandy Hook shooting from happening. Their suggestion to put armed guards at schools across the nation was quickly dismissed by Menino and many in the country.
“There is an outpouring of voices demanding real change to make our communities safer,” said Menino. “Clearly the NRA’s leadership is not one of them. What they announced today is not a plan, but a ploy to bring more guns into our neighborhoods. I don’t believe the answer to gun violence is more guns. The American people are tired of the same buzzwords and rhetoric that have moved this debate nowhere and put lives at risk. It’s time for a common sense national gun policy. It’s time to take action on background checks, assault weapons, high capacity magazines, missing mental health records and closing private sales loopholes. There is so much work to do; we don’t have time for rehashed and tired ideas. The American people and the families of the 34 people killed every day by gun violence demand nothing less.”