In a recent development, a Hong Kong court has cleared the charges against an American politician who voluntarily reported bringing a firearm into the city's airport, labeling it as "an honest


Washington State Senator Jeff Wilson, also known as Stephen Jeffrey Wilson, appeared before the West Kowloon Magistrates' Court on Monday, where he was acquitted of the charge of "possession of arms without a license." Instead, he was subjected to a 24-month "bind-over" arrangement in which the charge was withdrawn, and Wilson agreed to adhere to a good behavior order. His firearm was also confiscated as part of the resolution.

Both the prosecution and defense teams argued that this case was unique, highlighting Wilson's voluntary disclosure to Hong Kong customs and his admission to possessing the firearm unintentionally during questioning. The court noted that the Republican state senator had a clean record in the city and cooperated openly throughout the investigation.

Magistrate Don So, stating that based on the available evidence, he believed the defendant to be innocent, added that Wilson, being a frequent traveler in the region as a trade delegate, should have been aware of the strict firearm laws in China and Hong Kong.

Under the terms of the "bind-over" order, Wilson is required to refrain from possessing firearms and ammunition for 24 months. Repeated violations would result in a HK$2,000 (approximately $250) fine and further legal action.

Following the court's decision, Wilson's office released a statement in which the state senator accepted full responsibility for inadvertently carrying the unloaded revolver on an international flight. He expressed relief at the efficient resolution of the matter and apologized for any concern he may have caused.

Wilson went on to provide more details about how he discovered the gun in his possession, stating that he had failed to inspect the contents of his briefcase before his journey. While on the flight over the Pacific, he reached for gum and, to his shock, found his gun instead. Realizing the gravity of the situation, he promptly reported to the authorities and cooperated fully, respecting the laws of the country he was about to land in.

Wilson's passport has been returned to him, and he plans to continue traveling with his wife in Southeast Asia. He also commended the professional conduct of the Hong Kong authorities.

The court heard that on October 21, Wilson arrived in Hong Kong with his wife after taking a connecting flight from San Francisco to Portland. Less than 30 minutes after landing, he approached customs and voluntarily disclosed the presence of the firearm in his bag, which led to his arrest, as he could not produce a valid license to possess a firearm in Hong Kong.

Wilson characterized the incident as an "honest mistake" and expressed his desire to continue with his travel plans once the matter was resolved. He pointed out that his gun was registered in Washington state, and he held a concealed firearms license, emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility and showing respect when mistakes are made. Photo by User Siqbal on en.wikipedia