Washington State Senator Jeff Wilson Arrested in Hong Kong

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A Washington state senator was arrested in Hong Kong for carrying a gun that was not registered in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, his website and local media reported. He was released on bail on Monday.

Jeff Wilson, a Republican from Longview, was arrested after landing at Hong Kong International Airport on Saturday. Wilson was traveling with his wife during a five-week vacation in Southeast Asia, according to his website.

His weapon was not registered in the financial center but was registered in Washington, the statement added.

According to Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK, Wilson appeared in court on Monday to face the charge of possessing weapons without a license and was granted bail.

"It was an honest mistake and I hope the situation is resolved soon," he said on his website. He said Wilson's next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30.

After Monday's hearing at the Shatin Magistrate's Court, Wilson had to hand over his travel documents, local newspaper The Standard reported. He said the next hearing will take place at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts.

Hong Kong's Customs and Excise Department declined to comment as legal proceedings are ongoing.

Under Hong Kong law, it is illegal to carry a firearm without a license. Violators face a fine of up to HK$100,000 ($12,800) and can be sentenced to up to 14 years if convicted. However, trial courts typically grant a maximum sentence of two years for the cases they handle, according to the judiciary's website.

According to Wilson's website, he discovered the weapon mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong and reported it to customs authorities upon landing.

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