Just because your favorite gun is an “antique,” does not mean you do not need a license to own it — and it does not mean that it won’t go off if it is loaded. And if that happens, it does not mean you won't be arrested. That is what happened earlier this week to Mark Reinesto, 57, of Burr Ridge, Ill.
Reinesto and a buddy were checking out an antique gun in Reinesto’s home Tuesday evening. They might or might not have known that for some reason the gun was loaded. Sure enough, one of the men dropped the weapon and the gun discharged, gut-shooting Reinesto’s pal.
The 56-year-old victim, whose name was not released by police, was taken to Adventist HInsdale Hospital with his abdominal wound. According to police, he was still awaiting surgery on Wednesday.
Police officers took Reinesto into custody in connection with the mishap. He now faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. He is also accused of unlawful possession of ammunition, which also requires a FOID card in Illinois.
The antique-gun owner was released on bond Wednesday. If convicted, he could go to jail for up to a year and pay a fine of $2,500.
Was the gun actually an “antique,” however? Or was it just old?
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Burr Ridge Deputy Police Chief Marc Loftus said the gun was a .357 revolver. While the definition of what is considered an “antique” gun is often informal and varies from gun-owner to gun-owner, federal law actually specifies that to be considered “antique,” a gun must be manufactured in or before 1898.
But the .357-caliber cartridge was not developed until the 1930s. It was created as a type of ammunition capable of piercing the side of an automobile, during the heyday of freewheeling gangsters and bank robbers who would often take cover behind cars during shootouts with law enforcement.
SOURCES: Burr Ridge Patch, Chicago Sun-Times, ATF Guide