Tenn. Tourist Who Brought Loaded Gun to 9/11 Memorial Avoids Jail

Meredith Graves, a 39-year-old registered nurse from Knoxville, Tenn., tried to check her loaded weapon with security officials at the memorial.

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012  |  Updated 10:38 AM EDT
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A Tennessee woman arrested for trying to check her loaded gun at the 9/11 Memorial during a visit to the city has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge.     

Meredith Graves, a 39-year-old a registered nurse from Knoxville, was spared jail time under the plea deal.

Her lawyer, Daniel Horwitz, said bringing the weapon to New York was "inadvertent," and that her actions did not constitute a crime in her home state.

Graves has a legal permit to carry a weapon in Tennessee, but New York's gun laws are among the strictest in the nation. It's illegal to carry a concealed weapon that is not licensed in New York even if it's licensed in another state.

The incident happened when Graves and her husband drove to the Big Apple for a job interview at a Long Island hospital last year. While in town Dec. 22, she decided to visit the 9/11 memorial and noticed a sign that said "No guns allowed," so she tried to check the loaded gun with security officials at the site. She was promptly arrested and hit with a felony weapons charge.

After court Monday, Horwitz said he engineered the plea deal in hopes the misdemeanor would not impact his client's ability to practice medicine in the field of her choice. She's due to graduate from a Tennessee medical school in May, Horwitz told The New York Post.

"She's happy that this ordeal is over, and she's looking forward to getting on with her life and her career as a doctor," Horwitz told the paper.

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