Police arrested 23-year-old Keenan Draughon at New York’s Kennedy International Airport Saturday morning after he tried to check two defaced rifles and two handguns.
Both rifles were missing their serial numbers and one had a round in the chamber. Police spokesman Joseph Pentangelo says the Tennessee man also tried to check two magazines capable of holding 15 rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition.
These magazines are illegal in New York.
Draughon was arrested trying to board a flight to Charlotte, N.C., after Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police found the weapons.
Police said the 23-year-old told a United Airlines attendant that he wanted to check two cases containing firearms for his flight to Charlotte, a spokesperson for the Queens County district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Keenan’s father, Kevin, told the New York Times Saturday his son joined the Army when he was 19 and is an “avid hunter in Tennessee.”
Kevin Draughon said his 23-year-old son was in the New York area visiting relatives.
“We haven’t seen him since he had joined Army,” he said.
Draughon was charged with six counts of criminal possession of a weapon, according to authorities.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration rules allow only unloaded weapons in checked luggage.
The Times offers more detail on the reasoning behind the charges leveled at Draughon:
Transportation Security Administration rules state that passengers can transport firearms if they are unloaded and locked in a hard container. All firearms, firearm parts and ammunition must be checked. But under most circumstances, New York City law prohibits visitors from bringing firearms into the city even if they are legally licensed in the visitors’ home state.
This means that while weapons can sometimes be lawfully checked onto a flight destined for New York, gun owners can be arrested if they are caught with the weapons while visiting the city or at city airports when they try to check their weapons for outbound flights.
If convicted, the Tennessee man could face up to seven years in prison.
“Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting,” Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said in the statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.