Rome woman, son charged in antique firearm theft

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A mother and son are facing theft charges after they allegedly stole two rare antique guns from a friend’s house in Rockport and pawned them in Auburn.

While investigating a separate firearm theft case, Maine State Police Trooper Jacob Roddy received information that Alexander Lane, 27, and his 47-year-old mother Tara Bellavance had stolen two guns and sold them to an Auburn pawnshop in May.

Both of the stolen guns are rare antiques from the early 1900s and have a combined value of more than $20,000, police said. One gun was a Westley Richards and the others was a Parker.

A pawnshop employee told Roddy that Lane sold the guns to the shop while his mother was with him, police said. The guns’ owner, who lives in Rockport, did not know they’d been stolen until they were contacted by police.

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Bellavance was arrested at her home in Rome on a warrant for Class B theft of a firearm. Lane was taken into custody during a traffic stop in Rome and charged with the same crime. They were both booked into Kennebec County Jail, where bail was set at $10,000 each.

Police said the stolen firearms have not been recovered.

Alexander Lane and Tara Bellavance (Photos courtesy of Maine State Police)
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  • Steve McNultry

    A gun made in the early 1900s is an antique? If you have reported that fact wrong, I can not help but wonder what else is falsely reported in this article.

    • FrankE

      Just how old should an item be to be considered an antique? Seems to me 117 years is sufficient………….

      • Steve McNultry

        It does not matter what I think. The 1968 Gun Control Act defines an antique firearm as being any gun made in 1898 or earlier. An antique firearm is not defined legally as a gun per the law. A gun made in 1899 or later is considered a gun and all federal laws associated with guns apply. For instance, it is a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years for stealing a gun. But if it is an antique gun, then that law does not apply. The reporter obviously is unaware that the law defines an antique firearm as such and therefore his story and the headline give the wrong impression.

        • FrankE

          What if said gun was armed? Trust me those flintlock’s must of carried quite a punch. Something being antique is not based on a specific year, it depends on the actual age. For instance you don’t need a car built in 1899 for it to be an antique. If there is a special rule pertaining to guns so be it, but if the guns came from an “earlier time”, perhaps the turn of the century as these did, they could be considered antiques.

      • Steve McNultry

        “(16) The term “antique firearm” means -(A)any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussioncap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898;” http://vagunforum.net/Gun_Control_Act_1968.pdf