TSA Investigates Washington State Senator’s Arrest in Hong Kong for Carrying a Firearm in Luggage

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By journalsofus.com

Washington State Senator Jeff Wilson called the incident “an honest mistake.”

U.S. officials are investigating after a state senator boarded a flight to Hong Kong with an unloaded firearm in his carry-on luggage.

Washington state Senator Jeff Wilson was arrested in Hong Kong on Friday after discovering the firearm in his carry-on luggage and reporting it to customs officials upon landing, according to a report. statement of Wilson.

A Transportation Security Administration spokesperson said Tuesday that Wilson boarded a flight in Portland and “passed through security and traveled with an unloaded firearm in his carry-on bag.” He connected for a flight to Hong Kong at San Francisco International Airport and did not go through additional screening at that time.

The TSA “takes this situation very seriously and is currently investigating the circumstances,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Wilson called the incident “an honest mistake” and said he discovered the gun mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong when he reached into his briefcase and felt the firearm inside. Once the plane landed, Wilson said he “immediately” reported it to customs officials.

In an interview with Oregon Public BroadcastingWilson blamed the TSA for failing to detect the firearm in the United States.

“I should never have been without security in America,” Wilson said. The statement later added that “baggage screeners did not notice” the gun in his briefcase while he was going through security in Portland.

The senator said he has since been charged in Hong Kong with possession of an unregistered firearm. He was released Sunday after posting bail and faces a hearing on Oct. 30, Wilson said.

Wilson said he was traveling with his wife on the first leg of a five-week vacation in Southeast Asia when the incident occurred.

The TSA has previously reported that it has located firearms in carry-on luggage at a record rate in recent years. Earlier this month, the agency said it is on track to intercept a record number of firearms at U.S. airports this year, capturing an average of 20 weapons per day.

ABC News’ Karson Yiu contributed to this report.

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