One former Marine who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan is being chained to a bed in a storage closet in a violent Mexican prison because the Mexican government claims the gun he carried violated their laws. He has received death threats during the four months he has been held there.
Jon Hammar, who is being held in the notorious CEDES prison where the most violent members of the Los Zetas and Gulf Cartel are jailed, was arrested when he traveled through Mexico on his way to Costa Rica last August. He was accused of using a gun that was used by the Mexican Army, which carries a 15-year sentence.
One problem: as Robert Beall, a famous hunting guide who used to host the Pursuit Channel television show "World of Hunting” asserted, said the vintage Sears Roebuck shotgun wielded was not outside Mexican law and may have only violated the law in not having the proper permits, for which he was not accused:
Based on what I have read, he was totally within the parameters of the law in terms of the weapon. People are usually fined and released if they don't have the appropriate permit.
Mexico has claimed that Hammar Jr.'s 24-inch length barrel is one inch too short for the government’s requirement of 25 inches. Hammar’s defense attorney, Eddie Varon-Levy, said that Mexican officials even admitted that the Mexican Army doesn’t use the .410 gauge shells fired by Hammar’s gun, a family heirloom.
He only faces one charge and that deals with bringing a weapon used by the military into Mexico. It wasn't concealed and Jon demonstrated he was in the mental state and had the intent to follow the law on both sides of the border.
Although Hammar did not have the proper permits, he had filed for them, but never received them. Hammar, his parents, and Ian McDonough, who was hunting with them, all claim that a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent said the gun would be allowable in Mexico.
But the CBP protested that they do not advise citizens on such matters. Mike Friel, a spokesman, said, "Due to privacy, CBP does not comment on the specifics of an individual’s processing. CBP does not provide advice regarding the laws of foreign governments.”
There is a Facebook page devoted to releasing Hammar: