Russian rifle possession gets man up to 2 years in prison

When state police were called to the Roaring Branch home of Gerald W. Rennicks Jr. last July, they found a Russian bolt-action rifle in his possession.

The reason for the call turned out to be a non-incident.

Since Rennicks has a felony trespassing charge on his record, the gun was a big deal: felons don’t have the right to bear arms.

On Thursday morning, Judge Marc Lovecchio sentenced Rennicks to 15 to 24 months in state prison for possessing the rifle.

Asked why he had the gun by the judge, Rennicks replied: “The Second Amendment.”

“What’s your understanding of the Second Amendment?” Lovecchio asked.

“Americans can bear arms,” Rennicks replied.

“You need to understand none of our constitutional rights are absolute,” Lovecchio said. “If you keep doing it you’ll keep going to prison again and again.”

“I understand,” Rennicks said. “It’s pointless.”