Washington state senator arrested in Hong Kong for gun possession

Washington State SenatoWashington state senator arrested in Hong Kong for gun possessionr Arrested in Hong Kong for Unregistered Firearm Possession, Faces Up to 14 Years in Prison

Washington State Senator Jeff Wilson was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport on Saturday after customs officials discovered a gun in his luggage. The firearm was not registered in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese city where private ownership of guns is strictly prohibited.

Wilson, a Republican from Longview, was traveling with his wife, Trisha, on a five-week vacation in Southeast Asia. The senator claimed to have discovered the weapon himself mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong and reported it to customs authorities upon landing.

“It was an honest mistake, and I expect the situation to be resolved shortly,” Wilson said in a statement on his website.

The pair were at the start of a five-week vacation to South-East Asia when he was arrested

After appearing in court on Monday, Wilson was released on bail but had to surrender his travel documents. His next hearing is scheduled for October 30 at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts.

Under Hong Kong law, carrying a firearm without a license is illegal, and offenders can face a fine of up to 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($12,800) and a maximum sentence of 14 years. However, the Magistrates’ Courts typically grant a maximum two-year sentence for cases they handle, according to the judiciary’s website.

In addition to facing charges in Hong Kong, Wilson could also be charged in the United States, where carrying firearms on board a plane is illegal under Transportation Security Administration restrictions. Guns can be carried in hold luggage, but they must be packed in a container and declared to the airline while checking in.

Wilson has been a prominent pro-gun advocate in his native state and sponsored a law this summer that made it easier for Washington’s museums to obtain historic firearms without the need for background checks.

The situation remains ongoing, and Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department declined to comment, citing the legal proceedings.

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