SAFE Act Violation

ELLICOTT – A Falconer resident has become the second person charged in Chautauqua County with violating the state’s new gun control law.

William J. Giambelluca, 23, of Mosher Street, has been arraigned and committed to Chautauqua County Jail following an investigation by Ellicott police into stolen firearms.

Police learned Giambelluca sold a shotgun he stole. However, because he did not conduct a background check through a dealer, the sale violated the state’s SAFE Act.

The law requires a National Instant Criminal Background check.

“Not only did we get this guy for stealing the gun, we then recovered the property and were able to get more charges because he sold the gun illegally,” said Det. Brad Knight of the Ellicott Police Department.

Giambelluca already was in County Jail after being charged with two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny earlier this week. Ellicott police said Giambelluca stole multiple firearms – one of which was the shotgun – from a residence on two occasions.

The Falconer resident was additionally charged with possession of stolen property.

The SAFE Act violation is the second in Chautauqua County. Silver Creek resident Benjamin M. Wassell, 32, was charged in March after selling military-style weapons on at least two occasions to undercover officers. The case, recently transferred to County Court, is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley could not comment Thursday whether a grand jury has met to hear the case against Wassell.