Firearms charge against Wash. state senator dismissed in Hong Kong court

Oct 30, 2023, 7:29 AM | Updated: 8:20 am

wa senator hong kong...

Washington State Senator Jeff Wilson on Senate floor (Photo courtesy of State Republican Caucus)

(Photo courtesy of State Republican Caucus)

Update 10/30:

A Hong Kong court dismissed a gun charge Monday against a Washington state senator who had been arrested after he carried a gun into the Chinese territory in what he called an “honest mistake.”

Principal Magistrate Don So approved the arrangement for a bind-over order rather than a plea to possessing an unlicensed firearm, saying he was inclined to believe Wilson was innocent.

In a statement published on his website on Monday, Wilson said he was relieved that the matter could be resolved efficiently and apologized for the concern he created. He said he packed quickly and failed to check thoroughly what was inside his briefcase.

“This was a mistake on my part, and I regret it,” Wilson said.

Original 10/23: Republican State Senator Jeff Wilson has been arrested in Hong Kong for carrying a gun without a license.

Wilson claimed it was an honest mistake.

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Through spokesperson Erik Smith, Wilson said he was already on his flight to Asia when he realized his gun, which was not loaded, was still in his briefcase. It apparently hadn’t been detected at a TSA security checkpoint in Portland, Oregon. Wilson reported the gun to customs agents at the Hong Kong Airport.

The senator was arrested and subsequently posted bail of reportedly HK 20,000 (or approximately $2,500). A court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30. He also had to surrender his passport.

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Wilson — who represents Washington’s 19th legislative district — stated he was on a vacation in Southeast Asia with his wife, but planned to meet with government counterparts during his trip.

Smith told KIRO Newsradio that the gun is properly licensed and registered in the U.S.

Wilson was elected to represent the 19th Legislative District in Southwest Washington in 2020.

Contributing: Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest, Associated Press

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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