CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Authorities say things could have ended much worse in Cheektowaga Tuesday when 29 year-old Travis Green opened fire in the Dollar General parking lot.
Cheektowaga Police say Green was wearing body armor and was heavily armed and heavily equipped.
“It’s a miracle that I’m not up here reading off names of deceased. I think it’s safe to assume his intent was to do to significant harm,” said Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack.
Authorities say Green used a pump action AR-15 rifle to fire more than 20 rounds. They recovered a second rifle, along with 20 spent casings and more than 800 live rounds.
Police told News 4 both weapons violate the SAFE Act, a state law passed in 2013 meant to reduce gun violence.
“There was a vertical foregrip or side grip attached to it which would make that in violation of the New York State SAFE Act to possess,” said a Cheektowaga detective.
Police say there was also a magazine in one rifle that held more than 10 rounds.
Gun expert Budd Schroeder says the magazine Green had is also a violation.
“Anything that holds more than 10 rounds except law enforcement is not allowable under the SAFE Act,” said Schroeder, Chairman Emeritus with SCOPE.
Schroeder says the SAFE Act isn’t working. “It hasn’t done anything really except inconvenience and deny four constitutional civil rights to honest people. Gun control laws don’t work because criminals don’t obey laws.”
According to Politifact violent crimes involving firearms have dropped statewide, but increased in Erie County since the SAFE Act passed. They say correlation doesn’t equal causation, citing violent crimes with a firearm were already going down before the safe act.
Since there are violations to the SAFE Act in the investigation, more charges could be filed against Green.
Federal ATF agents are investigating whether Green legally owned the guns he used. His family tells us he purchased AR-15 rifles about seven years ago, which are allowed in New York State.