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Police: City of Tonawanda motorist had sawed-off shotgun

A City of Tonawanda man whose vehicle was pulled over early Tuesday faces weapons charges after an officer found a sawed-off shotgun under a seat, police said.

Victor Tavares Jr., 37, was pulled over at 12:30 a.m. on Delaware Street, according to City of Tonawanda police.

The 12-gauge shotgun had its barrel cut to 6 inches and its grip altered to be similar to a pistol grip, police said. Shotgun shells were also found in the vehicle, police said.

Police said Tavares told them he had the gun for protection.

Tavares was charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. He was also ticketed for driving with a suspended registration and driving without insurance.

He was held in custody pending a court appearance.

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