Astoria man arrested for apartment arsenal had previous weapons charge

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The arsenal found in an Astoria apartment August 31.
The arsenal found in an Astoria apartment August 31.

An Astoria man with an arsenal of illegal arms and ammo was busted by police after neighbors allegedly heard shots fired from his home.

Michael Millazzo, 53, was taken into police custody after firing shots into the air outside of his apartment on Shore Boulevard at around 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 26. Video footage obtained by police shows Millazzo firing the gun and returning inside the building before walking back outside, grabbing something off the ground and re-entering the complex.

According to the district attorney, Millazzo said he fired the gun to test it out and admitted the item he retrieved off the ground outside was the shell casing that discharged from the pistol when he fired.

While conducting a search of Millazzo’s residence on August 31, officers uncovered a .40 caliber Glock, a 9mm handgun, 20 .40 caliber magazines, six high-capacity rifle magazines, 32 machetes and roughly 10,500 rounds of ammunition. The fully-stocked storeroom also contained nearly five dozen knives, multiple tasers, brass knuckles and handcuffs.

According to the DA, the weapons had been purchased from various businesses and private owners over the Internet.

In 2004, Millazzo was convicted of attempted criminal possession of an assault weapon in the third degree.
Police could not say why Millazzo owned such an extensive weapon collection or what he intended to do with it.

“It goes to show that there’s no place in this city, this state or this country that’s immune to the dangerous gun culture that exists,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “It’s not just a problem in high crime areas.”

The senator, who recently passed legislation that limits the amount of guns a person can purchase within a certain time and increases background checks on individuals purchasing weapons, said Millazzo most likely obtained the guns at a rate higher than the new law allows.

Regardless of the incident, Gianaris still believes that Astoria remains a safe neighborhood.
“The reason we need more sensible gun laws is because there is no area that’s immune to gun violence,” said Gianaris. “All it takes is one person who’s not well to wreak havoc. It’s not a reflection on Astoria.”

Millazzo was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, multiple counts of criminal possession in the first degree, reckless endangerment, firearms and firearms ammunition. He was arraigned on September 1 with bail set at $1 million bond or $500,000 cash, according to the DA. His next court date is scheduled for September 14