Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Thu August 06 2015

Tourist Arrested for Gun Possession at NYC's 9/11 Memorial

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | August 06, 2015

Tourist Arrested for Gun Possession at NYC's 9/11 Memorial

An American tourist was arrested and charged with felony possession of a weapon at Manhattan's September 11 Memorial Saturday, reported.

Houston native and former U.S. Marine Elizabeth Elderli, who possesses a Texas-issued permit to carry concealed weapons, declared her two loaded firearms to a police officer, but was taken into custody as a result of New York's much stricter gun laws. The state does not recognize gun permits or licenses from other states and even licensed gun owners in New York aren't allowed to carry firearms into New York City. 

"If she had known that New York did not recognize her license, she would have left it [the guns] in a safe in the hotel," Elderli's attorney Amy Bellantoni told "She did what every responsible gun owner would do. If she thought she was doing something wrong, she would have turned around and walked out."

Bellantoni stressed that there was "absolutely no criminal intent" behind Elderli's decision to bring the weapons to the popular tourist destination. 

Elderlli is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 28, per 

Elderli's arrest is the latest in a slew of polarizing cases involving gun-toting tourists and New York area attractions.

In July, a Florida woman was arrested while attempting to board a ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Fifty-two-year-old Elizabeth Griffith is facing potential jail time for unlawful possession of a firearm despite possessing a permit to carry a weapon in her native Florida.

Prior to this summer's incidents, another Marine was arrested after attempting to check his handgun at the Empire State Building in September 2011. The weapon was registered in Indiana, but 28-year-old Ryan Jerome still wound up receiving a misdemeanor and a criminal record.

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