http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_ammo25.3bafec3.html Norco man with cache of guns, ammo in house freed from jail By PAIGE AUSTIN The Press-Enterprise Norco resident Thomas Lee McKiernan regained his freedom Tuesday, but he's lost a lot in the last two months. McKiernan, a retired machinist, Vietnam veteran and former Army captain, made national headlines in March when his home caught fire, exposing a cache of more than a hundred guns, a million rounds of ammunition and more than 185 pounds of gun powder. When firefighters arrived at the scene, he tussled with them in an effort to get back into his burning home even as live rounds exploded in the blaze. When the flames were doused, Riverside County sheriff's officials discovered a 70-foot long tunnel beneath his house filled with food and water for long-term survival. he fire, the water damage and the tunnel made his house uninhabitable. McKiernan moved into the Robert Presley Detention Center, an unwitting emblem of embattled gun rights for some and a symbol of survivalist extremism for others. But in the end, McKiernan was just a local man who accidentally ran afoul of the law, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Mayman. On Tuesday, Riverside Superior Court Judge Janice M. McIntyre sentenced him to 80 days of time already served. He will also have to serve three years probation, undergo psychiatric evaluation and forever give up his gun collection. McKiernan faced as much as five years in prison, but the more lenient sentence was part of a plea arrangement that reflects his efforts to comply with the law and his lack of criminal history, said Mayman. Most of McKiernan 's guns were collected over decades, and they include collector's pieces such as pre-World War II guns. His illegal assault rifles were bought before they were outlawed in 2000, indicating that McKiernan was at least trying to be a law-abiding collector, Mayman said. "People are particularly sensitive about this issue," said Mayman, who received dozens of calls from gun enthusiasts. "This was really more of an explosives case than a gun-rights issue." The problem, said Mayman, is that McKiernan 's stockpile of gunpowder was a threat to the community. He had more than 185 pounds of gunpowder -- dozens of times the legal limit. One positive outcome of the case is that many people are trying to learn from McKiernan's mistakes by making sure their gun collections are legal and that they have the proper permits if they store large quantities of gunpowder, Mayman said. "It's important for us to enforce our gun laws," Mayman said, adding that is particularly true in light of the Virginia Tech massacre. On Tuesday morning, McKiernan waited for hours with dozens of other shackled inmates in the Riverside courthouse. Gray-haired and wearing an orange jumpsuit, the 62-year-old kept to himself and declined to make a statement to the court before his sentencing. He's a quiet but pleasant man, explained his attorney, Michael K. Cernyar. Despite his jail time, he has faired well with support from family and neighbors in the community, Cernyar said. Even though his neighbors had to be evacuated due to the explosives, many in the community came out in support of McKiernan, who lived in the now-condemned home for 32 years. In the end, McKiernan got a fair deal, Cernyar concluded. "I think it was fair, and I think gun lovers would think it was fair," he said. "People still have the right to bear arms." Reach Paige Austin at 951-893-2106 or [email protected] "I think it was fair, and I think gun lovers would think it was fair," No he got fucking shafted you fucking idiot.