A whole bunch of you sent us links to the story of Jon Hammar, a Marine and Fallujah veteran who is stuck in a Mexican jail when he and a friend had plans for a motor trip to Costa Rica in a used RV. Jon had been warned not to bring his .410 shotgun, but he brought it anyway. He filled out paperwork to bring the weapon across the frontier, but he was apprehended by Mexican authorities.
On Aug. 18, Mexican prosecutors leveled serious charges against Hammar. Curiously, it wasn’t the type of shotgun that broke Mexican law. It was the length of the barrel, which the formal citation said was shorter than 25 inches, although a discrepancy has emerged over how the barrel was measured.
Making matters worse is the nature of Hammar’s confinement, a matter that’s drawn the attention of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Hammars’ local representative.
“His family has described a very disturbing situation that includes their son being chained to a bed in a very small cell and receiving calls from fellow inmates threatening his life if they did not send them money,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The family also says that the jail where their son is being held is controlled by the dreaded and brutal Zetas drug cartel. The family wants their son back home, and I will do my best to help them.”
Now, if Hammar had just told the border patrol that he was with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and that he was delivering weapons to the drug cartels he might have got away with it.
Since I have spent some time in jail south of the border myself, I can absolutely sympathize with Hammar. I guess the lesson here is never take weapons into Mexico, even if you think you’re within the law.