(The Center Square) – Washington State Sen. Jeff Wilson, R-Longview, is facing charges after a gun was found Friday night in his carry-on luggage at Hong Kong International Airport.
Wilson was arrested and later charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, according to a Monday news release from his office. The senator was released Sunday after posting bail and faces an Oct. 30 hearing.
“It was an honest mistake, and I expect the situation to be resolved shortly,” Wilson said in the news release.
Wilson explained that he did not realize the firearm was in his briefcase when he passed through airport security in Portland, and baggage screeners failed to notice the weapon.
He discovered the gun on a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong upon reaching into his briefcase for some gum, at which point he felt the unloaded pistol inside. When the plane landed, he immediately went to customs officials to alert them to the issue.
Per the news release, Wilson said earlier media reports claiming the gun was discovered during a bag check are incorrect.
Wilson and his wife traveled to Hong Kong for a vacation itinerary that includes plans to visit Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The firearm is properly registered in Washington state and Wilson has a concealed pistol license, according to the news release.