The list of New York City tourists facing gun-possession charges keeps growing. Not only was a Tenn. nurse arrested for trying to check her gun at the 9/11 Memorial, but an Indiana jeweler was taken into custody when he tried to check his firearm at the Empire State Building. And now, an Ohio man who brought his three guns to his hotel room for protection, and had a permit in his home state, has been arrested on similar charges.
The New York Post reports Fred Vankirk, 59, of Columbus, was arrested at about 11 a.m. Saturday after cops found two .357 Magnum pistols and a .45 semiautomatic in his room at a Midtown-area hotel.
Police were notified of the guns’ presence by a maid who came in to clean the man’s room. She spotted one of the revolvers sitting on a table and notified security, who notified police.
Ankirk, however, does have a permit for his guns — in Ohio. But in New York City — where gun laws are some of the strictest in the country — it’s doubtful that will be a valid defense.
The Post reports more details:
Vankirk had been receiving room service at about 7 a.m. Saturday when a hotel employee spotted the loaded .357 Magnum on the nightstand, police sources said.
She reported it to security, who contacted police, according to the sources.
Detectives obtained a search warrant and recovered two more guns from the room — a .357 six-shot Magnum revolver and a .45 semiautomatic — as well as at least one box of ammo, a court complaint charges.
Police learned that Vankirk had a valid Franklin County handgun permit, sources said.
The other two people arrested recently also had permits issued in their respective states.
Vankirk was charged with three counts of second-degree gun possession and being held on $50,000 bond, the Post reports. If convicted, he could face a sentence of five to 15 years for each count, which would be served concurrently.