Bucs DE Da'Quan Bowers to appear in New York court on gun charge

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers will appear in court Thursday on felony gun charges. (AP)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers will appear in a New York court Thursday on felony gun charges stemming from a February arrest at La Guardia Airport.

Bowers, 22, has been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree -- the same charges levied against former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress -- which carries a minimun of three-and-a-half years in prison.

Dennis Coppin, Bowers' lawyer, was initially optimistic that his client would be "fully exonerated", but he has since backed off those statements somewhat.

He told the Tampa Tribune Tuesday that he would “rather not say anything until after we’ve gone to court on Thursday.’’

Without much legal scrutiny, it sounds as if Bowers has a pretty good chance of beating the charges -- or at least getting them reduced. 

Bowers told airline authorities after realizing he was in possession of a loaded .40 caliber firearm in his carry-on luggage. The gun is legally registered in his name, though not in New York.

“He did alert the authorities to his weapon because he was getting ready to go on the flight, but it’s illegal to carry a handgun in New York City,’’ Queens (N.Y.) District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Meris Campbell told the Tampa Tribune.

Bowers was initially jailed but released on $10,000 bond.

A second-round pick of the Bucs in 2011 out of Clemson, Bowers had 13 tackles and three sacks in 10 games last season.

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