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A White House petition with more than 20,000 signatures is calling for the freedom of Marine veteran Jon Hammar. Hammar, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been jailed in Mexico for more than four months. His alleged crime was carrying an antique firearm that belonged to his grandfather into the country, according to McClatchy Newspapers.
Marine buddies and media outlets alike have begun to take up Hammar's cause, urging politicians to help bring Hammar home.
They say Hammar, 27, was jailed for illegally possessing a firearm - even though he declared the weapon to Mexican Customs agents.
Knight Ridder news reports Hammar's mother, Olivia, received a letter from the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukban, which read in part:
"As you know well, Mexico has had very stringent gun-control laws in place for many years, and has reinforced their application as a result of the flow of weapons illicitly purchased in the U.S., and then trafficked into Mexico and into the hands of Transnational Criminal Organizations. Mr. Hammar was arrested for the possession of a weapon that according to Federal Law in Mexico is restricted for the exclusive use of the Mexican Armed Forces."
Hammar faces up to 15 years in prison if he's convicted on the gun charges. His next court date is January 17.
This is an interview Hammar's parents did with Fox News: