# JEFF WILSON: WASHINGTON STATE SENATOR ARRESTED IN HONG KONG FOR CARRYING A GUN THROUGH AIRPORT
On October 23, 2023, American politician and Washington state senator Jeff Wilson was arrested in Hong Kong for carrying a gun into the city. Wilson was apprehended at Hong Kong International Airport and charged with possession of a firearm without a license. This offense carries a possible sentence of up to 14 years in prison and a fine of more than $12,000. The incident has been described by Wilson as an « honest mistake. »
HONEST MISTAKE OR SERIOUS OFFENSE
Wilson, whose full name is Stephen J. Wilson, maintains that he did not realize he had packed his pistol in his briefcase while he and his wife were traveling for a five-week vacation to Southeast Asia. In a statement posted on his website, Wilson expressed his belief that the situation will be resolved shortly. He explained that he discovered the weapon mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong and was unaware that the pistol was in his briefcase when he passed through airport security in Portland. Wilson claims that baggage screeners failed to detect the firearm, and upon landing in Hong Kong, he immediately alerted customs officials to the issue.
On the other hand, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has taken the situation very seriously and is investigating the circumstances. According to a spokesperson, TSA is aware that a passenger on a flight departing from Portland International Airport traveled with an unloaded firearm in his carry-on bag and passed through security. The individual was arrested upon arrival in Hong Kong.
HONG KONG’S STRICT GUN CONTROL LAWS
Under Hong Kong’s stringent gun control laws, no one is allowed to possess any arms or ammunition without a license from the Commissioner of Police. Licenses are typically only granted to police officers, armed security guard services, and exclusive shooting range clubs. In contrast to the United States, where firearms are a leading cause of death among children and teens, gun violence is exceptionally rare in Hong Kong.
Wilson is scheduled for his next court hearing in Hong Kong on October 30, as reported by RTHK. The incident has raised questions about the differences in gun laws between the United States and other countries, and the potential consequences for individuals who inadvertently violate foreign regulations. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding and adhering to local laws and regulations when traveling internationally.
For more information, you can visit the following links:
– Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department: [Link](https://www.customs.gov.hk)
– CNN article on gun deaths in the US: [Link](https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/01/us/gun-deaths-project-why-gdpr/index.html)
– Statement from Jeff Wilson: [Link](https://jeffwilson.src.wastateleg.org/sen-jeff-wilson-detained-arrested-hong-kong-airport-possession-firearm/)