19th District Sen. Jeff Wilson was arrested over the weekend at the Hong Kong airport after it was discovered he had a firearm.
In a post to his official website, Senator Wilson says that when he discovered the pistol was in his carry-on luggage he reported it to customs authorities.
Wilson said he did not realize his pistol was in his briefcase when he passed through airport security in Portland, and baggage screeners failed to note it.
He said he discovered the weapon mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong, when he reached into his briefcase for a piece of gum, and felt his unloaded revolver inside. When the plane landed, he said that he immediately went to customs officials and called their attention to the issue.
“It was an honest mistake, and I expect the situation to be resolved shortly,” he said.
He said that reports indicating the weapon was discovered during a bag check are incorrect.
Wilson was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm.
Wilson noted that while his pistol was not registered in Hong Kong, it is properly registered in Washington, and that he holds a concealed pistol license.
He was released Sunday after posting bail and faces a hearing on Oct. 30.
According to Hong Kong’s public broadcaster RTHK, Wilson appeared in court Monday to face the charge of possession of arms without a license and was granted bail.
Wilson said that he was traveling in the region with his wife on a five-week vacation in Southeast Asia.