Da'Quan Bowers is in trouble. He faces two counts of criminal possession of a weapon of the second degree, per NFL.com, which carries a mandatory 3.5-year minimum prison sentence upon conviction. Plaxico Burress faced the same charges after accidentally discharging a gun in a nightclub and shooting himself in the leg, although he also faced a reckless endangerment charge.

He eventually accepted a plea bargain and served two years in jail.
It's unlikely that Bowers' case will result in a conviction, as some form of plea deal is fairly standard in this case. Given the fact that Bowers did not discharge the gun and even turned it in himself, a lenient deal may be possible. In fact, that is not unheard of. A quick bit of research (also known as "typing stuff into google") shows up several cases of nearly identical stories where people got off with just a misdemeanor charge and no jail time, probation or community service. Like this story. This is a fairly frequent offense, as explained by Shalley and Murray.

Here is how it works: Passenger lives in a state where gun control laws are not as strict as New York, like say, Texas. In Texas, it is probably illegal not to carry a weapon. Passenger wants to travel by airplane with his gun as he has done a million times before to other southern states. He does everything by the book alerting the airline in advance and checking for the appropriate procedures.

This time, however, he is traveling to New York City. So this time he actually contacts the airline and asks for instructions. They give him instructions. He follows the instructions. He has all the paperwork, all the licenses, all the everything he needs to be in legal possession of that gun in Texas and probably 23 other states, except unfortunately, New York. The airline information people provide him with the Federal rules about which they are primarily concerned but do not provide him the information about New York State specific rules.

Is Passenger careless for not paying closer attention to the rules? Should he have been more careful about making sure that everything would be ok in New York? Absolutely. Unfortunately for Passenger, however, aside from being so careless, he is, the moment the plane lands in New York City, probably guilty of a violent felony offense in New York City (and he has NO LEGAL DEFENSE).