WEST HEMPSTEAD - Police say a West Hempstead man has been arrested for menacing after answering his door armed with a gun as fire department volunteers performed their yearly door-to-door fund drive.

According to police, a volunteer with the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department approached a home at 527 Dogwood Ave. around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. They say the homeowner, 65-year-old Carl Semencic, came to the door holding a handgun and used the weapon to tap on the front glass door, pointing out the "no peddlers" sign on the door.

The firefighter backed away and called police, who arrested Semencic. A search of his home turned up 19 handguns and rifles. Police say the handgun was licensed, and Semenic tells News 12 that the others are antique pre-Civil War collector's items.

News 12 spoke with Semencic Wednesday afternoon. While he does admit to being mad about the knocking, he says he had the gun in his hand because he was getting ready for bed and about to put the gun on his nightstand. He also says he never pointed the gun at anyone.

Semencic, who is an author with a Ph.D. in archaeology, has never before been arrested. He is now charged with menacing and possession of a dangerous weapon and is due in court Aug. 11.

The Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department declined to comment on the incident.