Jon Hammar, the Marine veteran from Florida arrested at the Mexico border for carrying his great-grandfather’s firearm, is being released Friday, according to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Hammar’s mother, Olivia, called Ros-Lehtinen’s Washington congressional office around 8:30 a.m. to share the good news, the Miami Republican congresswoman told The Miami Herald.
“We couldn’t believe it, but prayers and hard work really paid off,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “It looks like we will have him home for Christmas.”
Hammar was arrested Aug. 13 when he and a fellow Marine veteran tried to cross into Mexico from Texas. Hammar had been told by U.S. Customs and Border Control that he need only declare the six-decades-old shotgun at the border.
The .410 bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun once belonged to his great-grandfather. The firearm, suitable for shooting birds and rabbits, had been handed down through the generations, and it had become almost a part of Hammar.
But Mexican prosecutors who looked at the disassembled relic in the 1972 Winnebago motor home dismissed the U.S. registration papers Hammar had filled out. They charged him with a serious crime: possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces.
Hammar was sent to a Matamoros prison, where he spent much of his time chained to a bed and facing death threats from gangsters.