Man arrested had an arsenal of weapons & bomb making material


October 2, 2006, 10:43 PM

Police: Man Had Guns and Bomb-Making Materials
Last Edited: Monday, 02 Oct 2006, 6:58 PM EDT
Created: Monday, 02 Oct 2006, 6:58 PM EDT
Police say they also recovered blasting caps, detonators, empty grenades, liquid mercury and a manual on how to make bombs.
A Drexel Hill man is being held on a million dollars cash bail after police found an arsenal of weapons and bomb-making materials in his home. The discovery came after 47-year old Charles Connor was arrested on D.U.I. charges while carrying a gun. Police raided the home and say they found 54 guns, including AK-47s, Uzi's, and other military-style sniper rifles. Conner has a permit to carry firearms even though police went to his home last September for reports of a “barricaded, depressed, suicidal man.” Though the guns were taken away, a judge later ordered police to return them. Police are going through Conner's computer trying to learn what he planned to do with the guns and bomb-making materials.

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October 2, 2006, 10:47 PM
I'm confused.

Why did they raid his home? He was arrested (not convicted) of a DUI and he had a handgun for which he had a permit.

including AK-47s, Uzi's, and other military-style sniper rifles

Since when is an UZI a sniper rifle?

October 2, 2006, 10:48 PM
So, bomb making materials and no ATFE eh? Did he have BP and birdshot?

October 2, 2006, 10:53 PM
I'm not so sure this article is right. The media like to hype things up as much as they can. Going overboard is okay - they can always print a retraction. Sounds like this guy is trying to take over the government - all this talk about Uzis makes you think he's got machine guns. Some of this bomb-making stuff may be for firecrackers.

October 2, 2006, 11:23 PM
This whole situation stinks. The facts as reported give no justification to the
actions of police. He was arrested for DUI. He was found in possession of a weapon for which he had a permit. If he is found guilty of being DUI he may lose his permit to carry. But until then his possession is legal until proven otherwise. Being arrested for DUI does not constiture probable cause to search his house, PERIOD. The police had absolutely no business setting foot on this mans property.

As for the history of him being "barricaded and suicidal" all he has to be is the victim of an unfounded police report by a vindictive neighbor, an angry ex wife or girlfriend or some other unfounded excuse to defame. One phone call, the proper lie told in earnest and you too can have an entry made under your name in Police files as being "unstable".
The truth has no bearing on this.

Now as to the fruits of that unfounded search. 54 weapons is not an arsenal.
And unless those AK's and Uzi's are full auto they are legal to own. If he had anything like black powder or even primers some overwrought moron with a vendetta could simply call legitimate products "bomb making material". Hell, virtually everyhouse in this country has commonly available items that can be used to produce a bomb. Many people have legitimate uses for material such as he possessed. Maybe he is a contractor of some sort. Jumping to conclusions is about the only thing we can faithfully count on from the media.

This is crap reporting at it's most blatant. And if the facts as reported are all
that occurred than this man is being victimized in a huge way.

chestnut ridge
October 2, 2006, 11:31 PM
The 54 weapons seized was probably about half of what he actually
owned. There is always some "shrinkage" in the inventory of gun

October 2, 2006, 11:40 PM
It would be nice if the police actually caught someone who misused an object instead of parading around some poor guy that used bad judgment and harmed no one.

History Prof
October 3, 2006, 01:02 AM
"Bomb making materials. . . ."

Tannerite, perhaps? To the uninformed, it might be "scary stuff."

October 3, 2006, 01:09 AM
Insufficient data + Mainstream media

Molon Labe
October 3, 2006, 07:46 AM

Yesterday, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood vowed not to return the weapons confiscated in the latest raid.

"I'm telling you right now, he isn't getting these guns back this time," he said.

"They can issue all the court orders they want, but you will have to lock me up before he ever gets his hands on this kind of stuff again."Sounds like Mr. Chitwood needs to retire early...

"We now have an Uzi, a sniper weapon, the same type that was used in the Washington capital killings, ...An AR-15 is a sniper weapon?

October 3, 2006, 08:41 AM
And unless those AK's and Uzi's are full auto they are legal to own.

As they are legal if he did the paperwork...

Something is really not right with this situation - still trying to figure out how they were able to raid his house as a result of a DUI charge. His house was also within a 100 feet of a school - so that probably has something to do with it.

I think this guy was definitely whacko (from some of the comments he made in the hospital).

I'm just thinking about the article that would result from a raid on my house - considering I have BP for flintlocks, primers & powder for reloading, a good amount of surplus ammo, and some other stuff... It'd make this guy look like a lightweight...

I'm also more than a little disturbed with the comments of the police chief about not returning the firearms regardless of what the court says - justified or not (and we don't have enough information to determine that) the comment was way out of line.

October 3, 2006, 08:49 AM
This is a wierd situation. Especially for PA. What exactly are they calling "blasting caps" and "detonators". As far as I know liquid mercury and empty grenades are perfectly legal. And if 54 firearms is an arsenal I don't want to know what they would call my collection.

As for the DUI, maybe he should lose his LTCF, but in PA there are no alchohol consumption/carrying statutes. He can't be charged with anything to do with that, unless they try for a reckless endangerment or disorderly or something that they would probably have a hard time making stick.

October 3, 2006, 09:00 AM
Media hype for sure. I was good friends with one of the daughters of the southern Illinois man that was busted last winter for machine guns. The crap they put in the paper was pure sensationalism. Fire crackers became "illegal explosives" since fire crackers are banned in the DPRI, WWII Allied and Nazi artifacts became "white supremecist material", and a guy who smoked a little pot from time to time became a "hardened drug addict armed with a UZI" (which was semi auto just had a short barrel, and a stock). Beware the media the full truth is rare.

October 3, 2006, 09:08 AM
I must be out of the loop.......what's liquid mercury used for?

October 3, 2006, 09:41 AM
To play with, or to make mercury fulminate. Legal to do in 1 gram or less quantities w/o storing it; the BATFE classifies it (as of 2004, so it may have changed) as "experimentation".

No laws about having liquid mercury unless you're a company, then you've got to have MSDS around.

October 3, 2006, 09:42 AM
With a little nitric acid and alcohol, you get mercury fulminate.

It's also used in thermostat switches.

October 3, 2006, 11:41 AM
In addition to the Mercury Fulminate - Mercury is also good for making switches -

Older mechanical thermostats have a bi-metal coil and a mercury swtch to switch the heat/ac on and off - the bi-metal coil rotates as it heats & cools and the mercury flows back & forth inside a small sealed tube activating the heat/cooling.


Mercury in a tube makes a good 'motion detecting' switch - for booby traps if you are so inclined.

So anyone with a handful of old thermostats laying around in his shop or basement (remodelers, contractors or just pack rat types) could easily be accused of having 'booby trap' making devices....

October 3, 2006, 01:29 PM
Mercury is also used to amalgamate the impurities from gold.
If he is a recreational gold panner he might need a bottle around.

October 3, 2006, 01:40 PM
How about a big bottle of iodine to treat horse injuries, and a gallon of clorox to get your underwear white...? ;)

Isn't that what Farnham used blow out the props under his bomb shelter?
(RAH novel)

October 3, 2006, 02:36 PM
Always seems funny when people get hysterical over somebody owning a lot of guns. Does he have a gang of guys to help him? No? Then he's not much of a threat. I guess he could put a on a trenchcoat and carry all his 20 or more guns on slings under it... while he rides in a wheelbarrow.
And those samauri swords - oh, aren't those a menace to society? Gecko45 could share some stories of mass murderers with samauri swords in his mall, I'm sure.

"I'm telling you right now, he isn't getting these guns back this time," he said.
"They can issue all the court orders they want, but you will have to lock me up before he ever gets his hands on this kind of stuff again."
- Police chief talking here. Isn't this overstepping his duties a little?

"possible bomb-making ingredients" the article says - what, is this a toothpaste bomb he's got?
I thought mercury fulminate was just to get the spark to set off an explosive charge.

October 3, 2006, 02:51 PM
The police chief needs to be arrested and removed from office for violating a court order and displaying a pathological contempt for the law he is supposed to uphold. Who the *$%@ does he think he is?

October 3, 2006, 03:12 PM
Mercury fulminate was and might still be used in blasting caps. Blasting caps will not set off ANFO (Amonia nitrate & fuel oil) or other bulk explosives. You still need high ex (dynamite or other cap sensitive product) to set off the main charge. Unless he has some form of high explosive the mercury will do him no good for making a bomb.

October 3, 2006, 04:18 PM
Fox did the report... nuff said

October 3, 2006, 06:41 PM

Thanks for answering the question.

October 3, 2006, 11:27 PM
The police were able to obtain a search warrant because the guy threatened to kill two cops while at the hospital. He told a nurse that she was nice so he would kill her last. This is what the police say. He has been charged with terroristic threats, which because of his past, allowed them to obtain a search warrant.
If his guns are all legal there is no doubt that he will get them back, unless he is convicted of terroristic threats. That conviction would exclude him from owning guns in PA.

And yes, Chief Chitwood is talking out his a__.

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