WBC welterweight boxing champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero of Gilroy was arrested and charged with gun possession Thursday morning at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said.
Guerrero was charged with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to a Queens County, N.Y., District Attorney news release. Arraigned on Thursday afternoon in Queens Criminal Court, Guerrero was released on his own recognizance.
His next court date is May 14, 10 days after Guerrero' scheduled fight on Showtime with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
A New York Post story cited a police report that stated Guerrero had said it was requested he bring the weapon for a photo op.
A joint statement from Team Guerrero, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions suggested Guerrero's welterweight bout oMayweather will be unaffected.
"We are very pleased Robert Guerrero was released on his own recognizance this afternoon in the wake of this incident and that he is on his way back to Las Vegas to continue training for his highly anticipated May 4 bout against Mayweather," the statement said.
Though the gun was not loaded, Guerrero, if convicted, faces up to seven years in prison, according to Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown. In January, New York state enacted the nation's toughest gun restrictions.
Said Brown in a statement, "I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks. For anyone who hasn't gotten the message, let me be crystal clear. You cannot bring an unlicensed weapon -- loaded or unloaded -- into this county or this city. And if you do you will be arrested and face felony charges."
Guerrero was arrested after he declared the weapon in a locked gun box at a Delta Air Lines check-in counter at 6:46 a.m., according to the district attorney's news release. The weapon was identified as a Smith and Wesson M&P .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, according to the district attorney's. release.
He also was carrying three unloaded 15-bullet clips, according to the news release.
Brown explained in his news release that New York state's passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 includes a provision raising the penalty for possessing an unloaded firearm from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony.
Brown stressed that anyone considering carrying a firearm in New York should familiarize themselves with the new law. "Otherwise," he said, "they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony -- as is what occurred in this case."
Guerrero was trying to board a flight for Las Vegas when the incident occurred. The New York Daily News was first to report the story and Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority, confirmed details to this newspaper.
A source told ESPN.com that Guerrero has a permit to carry a gun in California, but is not licensed in New York.
Guerrero, the WBC's interim welterweight champion, has a record of 31-1-1 with 18 knockouts.
Guerrero was on the East Coast to make several appearances promote the pay-per-view fight.He and his wife Casey appeared with Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America," on Tuesday. Roberts and Casey both are recipients of bone marrow transplants for cancer treatment.
A Christian who has spoken publicly about his faith, Guerrero also appeared on "The 700 Club" with Pat Robertson in Norfolk, Va., then visited ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., to tape interviews, ESPN reported.