Over 50 guns in Gilgo Beach murder suspect’s massive arsenal appear to be illegal: court docs

Gun Rights

Accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann’s huge stockpile of weapons included more than 50 handguns and assault weapons that appear to be illegal, according to a new court filing.

The revelation came as the 59-year-old married dad fought to stop the nearly 300 firearms taken from his ramshackle Massapequa Park home from being turned over to investigators in Nassau County considering separate charges, Newsday said.

“Several of the firearms were apparently illegally possessed,” Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Lawrence Opisso said in a filing Tuesday, challenging Heuermann’s right to keep them.

“For example … at least 26 unregistered handguns, 15 unregistered assault weapons and 10 high-capacity magazines appear to have been possessed in the defendant’s home in violation of [state firearms laws].”

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The weapons were found at Heuermann’s home during the investigation by officials in Suffolk County, where the Gilgo Beach victims were found, after he was arrested near his Midtown office.

Accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann had over 50 illegal guns in his Long Island home.
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Accused Long Island serial killer Rex Heuermann appears during a hearing in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead, New York, September 27, 2023.

Suffolk investigators said they always planned to transfer the weapons to authorities in Nassau — where Heuermann’s home is.

Tuesday’s court filing was the first public confirmation of an investigation in Nassau County, Newsday noted.

Heuermann defense attorney Sabato Caponi said the confiscated cache includes “magazines, cases, attachments, ammunition, bullet fragments and shell casings.”

Suffolk police seized more than 280 firearms from Heuermann’s home while executing a search warrant in July.
Edmund J Coppa

However, he argued in filings that the court should only transfer the weapons by law if Nassau County requests it or has a pending case involving the weapons.

The architect and married father of two contested Suffolk investigators’ plan, filing court papers on Sept. 21 in which his defense team argued his financially struggling family should be able to keep — and pawn — the legally possessed weapons.

Heuermann is charged with murder in the 2010 slayings of Melissa Barthelemy, 24, Megan Waterman, 22, and Amber Lynn Costello, 27, whose bodies were found in burlap sacks along Gilgo Beach. Authorities said he is also the prime suspect in the death of 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Heuerman is accused of killing Megan Waterman, 22, Melissa Barthelemy, 24, and Amber Lynn Costello, 27, and is the main suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25.

But no guns are believed to have been used in the deaths of the Gilgo Beach victims.

Inventory taken during an intensive 12-day search of Heuermann’s family home, which was left in complete disarray from the investigation, found the accused killer had collected guns dating back to the 1860s and firearms manufactured in various European countries.

Some of his guns were even used in world wars. His stash also included assault rifles, as well as one rifle with a defaced serial number, according to court documents.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to murdering three women whose bodies were found along Gilgo Beach.
New York Post

Robert Macedonio, an attorney representing Heuermann’s estranged wife, previously estimated his entire collection could have been worth about $300,000.

“They are valuable collectors’ items that he collected legally,” he said earlier this month, calling Heuermann a “gun guy” who attended NRA conferences.

Macedonio argued in previous court documents that Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup, has a right to retain ownership of any of the legally purchased guns as they are “marital property” worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

His wife’s attorney has argued the legally possessed guns are “marital property.”
Kevin C. Downs for NY Post

Heuermann only had permits for 92 of his guns, but possessed many long guns not subject to permitting, prosecutors said.

His pistol license was also suspended following his arrest.

Heuermann is expected to return to court on Nov. 15.

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