State police arrest Vermont man on gun charges in Northampton

  • Recovered weapon. SUBMITTED PHOTO/MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/8/2020 12:02:31 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A 22-year-old Vermont man was arrested on gun charges in the city early Thursday morning.

Tristian Gallagher, of Lyndonville, Vt. pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court on Thursday to charges of carrying a firearm without a license, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card (FID) and possession of ammunition without an FID. Judge Jacklyn M. Connly presided over the hearing; Gallagher was released on personal recognizance and had been appointed an attorney.

State Trooper Robert Berrena wrote in court documents that he was on patrol on Pleasant Street in Northampton at 12:05 a.m. Thursday when he saw a Toyota Corolla with Vermont registration allegedly driving without a front license plate, according to court documents. Knowing Vermont requires “respective vehicles” to display both license plates, Berrena wrote, he followed the car onto King Street where he reportedly witnessed the driver cross over the center line.

Berrena stopped the car in the parking lot of a Speedway gas station, according to court documents; the only Speedway location in Northampton is at 237 King St., according to a map on the company’s website. The car had two people inside and Gallagher was the driver, Berrena said.

Berrena wrote that he noticed Gallagher was “shaking and extremely nervous” and could not find his North Carolina driver’s license. A shaking Gallagher struggled to light a cigarette, according to Berrena, which only added to the state trooper’s suspicion.

Berrena wrote that he eventually asked Gallagher if there was a weapon in the car. Gallagher allegedly responded that there was a loaded gun in his glove box, and that he bought it legally in Vermont. The gun did not come up as stolen, Berrena wrote, and Gallagher reportedly said he did not have a license to carry.

A black Taurus “Curve” handgun loaded with five .380-caliber rounds of ammunition was found inside the glove box and an additional magazine was allegedly located near the car’s back seat, Berrena wrote.

According to a page about gun ownership on the Massachusetts state website, “non-residents do not need a firearms license to transport their firearms in or through the Commonwealth, provided the firearms are unloaded and enclosed in a case while traveling.”

Gallagher was transported to the Northampton barracks to wait for his arraignment and his bail was set at $1,000. He was also cited for the alleged traffic infractions. His next court date is on Oct. 20.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 


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