By Rich Bockmann
A world-class pugilist was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport when he handed a Delta agent a locked box allegedly containing an unloaded hand gun and three 15-bullet clips last Thursday, not two weeks after the state’s new gun laws kicked in, authorities said.
Robert Guerrero, slated to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas May 4, was checking in around 6:46 a.m. when he told the Delta ticket counter he had a gun in his luggage, according to a criminal complaint.
Inside a locked box was an unloaded Smith & Wesson M&P .40-caliber handgun that had been registered in California but not in New York, according to authorities. Handguns were required to be registered with the state as of March 16, according to the state’s new gun laws passed earlier this year.
Guerrero also allegedly had three empty 15-round clips that were also banned by the new law.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown did not pull any punches when warning about illegally possessing weapons.
“I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks,” Brown said. “For anyone who hasn’t gotten the message, let me be crystal clear. You cannot bring an unlicensed weapon — loaded or unloaded — into this county or this city. And if you do, you will be arrested and face felony charges.”
Guerrero was charged later in the day with illegal possession of a firearm, an offense that could get him five years in jail. Possessing the clips, though, is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years.
“Earlier this year, New York state enacted the nation’s toughest gun restrictions — the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013. One provision of that law is that the penalty for possessing an unloaded firearm is raised from being a Class A misdemeanor to being a Class E felony,” Brown said. “It is therefore more important than ever that if a passenger chooses to travel with a weapon, they should first acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements. Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony — as is what occurred in this case.”
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.