US State Lawmaker Arrested in Hong Kong

US State Lawmaker Arrested in Hong Kong

( – One state senator recently discovered the consequences of making a critical mistake first-hand when authorities arrested him in Hong Kong.

On October 21, Republican State Senator Jeff Wilson, who is from Washington, boarded a flight in San Francisco bound for Hong Kong. He intended to enjoy a vacation overseas. But during the trip, Wilson realized that his briefcase still contained his unloaded pistol. He took measures into his own hands and notified authorities about the weapon in his possession as soon as he landed. They arrested the senator and charged him with possession of an unregistered firearm.

Wilson is barred from leaving the country until he appears for a hearing, which is currently scheduled for October 30. The magistrate agreed to release him on bail, but confiscated his passport and travel documents. According to a statement from Wilson’s office, the incident “was an honest mistake” and he “expect[s] the situation to be resolved shortly.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it is aware of the situation and is investigating how the pistol made it through security undetected. According to ABC News, it is taking the incident “very seriously.” Weapons aren’t allowed in sensitive areas, regardless of whether they are loaded. They must be declared and placed in checked baggage.

The TSA noted that it had witnessed an uptick in weapons seizures at security checkpoints in recent years. In 2022, the administration confiscated more than 6,500 firearms, its highest-ever recorded number. People who are stopped at security checkpoints with concealed or undeclared weapons face very heavy fines of up to $15,000.

Hong Kong was only Wilson’s first stop on a self-funded personal trip throughout Southeast Asia. Although he intended to enjoy a much larger five-week vacation, he will now have to answer to the charges instead.

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