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HomeWorldAsiaWashington state senator arrested for bringing a gun into Hong Kong

Washington state senator arrested for bringing a gun into Hong Kong

Washington state senator Jeff Wilson was arrested Saturday at Hong Kong International Airport and charged with possession of a firearm without a licence, the indictment read.

The act is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and a fine of more than $12,000.

Wilson appeared at Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was released on bail, according to Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK).

According to a statement posted on his website, he claimed he did not realise he had packed his gun in a briefcase when he and his wife went on a five-week holiday to Southeast Asia.

It was an honest mistake. And I expect the situation to be resolved shortly.

Wilson stated that he “discovered the weapon mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong.” The statement said that he “did not realise his pistol was in his briefcase when he passed through airport security in Portland, and baggage screeners failed to note it.”

According to the statement, when the plane landed in Hong Kong, he “immediately went to customs officials and called their attention to the issue.”

Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department told CNN via email that it had no comment as legal proceedings were ongoing. According to RTHK, Wilson’s next court hearing will take place in Hong Kong on October 30.

Hong Kong’s gun control laws are strict: no one is allowed to possess any firearm or ammunition without a licence from the Police Commissioner. Licences are only issued to police officers, armed guards and operators of exclusive shooting clubs.

Gun violence is a very rare phenomenon in Hong Kong, unlike the US, where gun killings of children and teenagers are quite common.

In some states, such as Washington, people can carry both long guns and pistols without a licence into public places. The only restriction is on private property, where its owners can prohibit the carrying of guns.

However, a license is required to carry concealed firearms in the state. Wilson claims that his gun has been registered in the state of Washington, and he has a license to carry concealed weapons, CNN reports.

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