US politician arrested at Hong Kong airport for gun in luggage | ET REALITY

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A Washington state senator was arrested at a Hong Kong airport on charges of possession of a firearm not registered locally, his office said Monday.

Jeff Wilson, a Republican who represents parts of southwestern Washington state, discovered the gun on his flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong when he reached into his briefcase for chewing gum, his office said in a statement. statement.

Baggage screeners in Portland, Oregon, didn’t notice the unloaded gun in her briefcase before she left for her trip, and let her through airport security, according to her office. When she landed at Hong Kong International Airport, she told customs officials about the gun.

Wilson was arrested Friday night and later released on bail Sunday, his office said. His next court hearing is next Monday.

“It was an honest mistake,” Wilson said in the statement. “I hope the situation is resolved soon.”

The Transportation Security Administration, which manages passenger screening at U.S. airports, did not respond to emailed requests for comment late Monday. Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department declined to comment on Wilson’s arrest, saying the legal process was underway.

Wilson, who was elected to the Washington Senate in 2020, has sponsored legislation that made it easier for museums to receive weapons from firearms collectors. The bill was passed this year.

According to his office’s statement, the gun was properly registered in Washington and Mr. Wilson had a concealed pistol license, although the gun was not registered in Hong Kong.

Wilson had begun a five-week personal vacation with his wife, his office said. He hoped to resume his planned trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia once the matter in Hong Kong was resolved.

Under Hong Kong law, carrying firearms without a license is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and a fine of up to HK$100,000, or about $12,800.

In the United States, officials have raised the alarm about the increasing frequency of firearms at airport security checkpoints. Passengers can travel with unloaded firearms in checked baggage if enclosed in rigid containers. Weapons are not permitted in carry-on luggage at any checkpoint, even if the passenger has a concealed weapons permit.

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