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US businessman found with gun at airport fined $50K

US businessman found with gun at airport fined $50K

A United States man who was held at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport with a firearm and 15 rounds of ammunition was sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court today, June 20.

The offender, 52-year-old businessman Richard Shanahan, was slapped with a $50,000 fine for Carrying a Firearm without License and 55 days imprisonment for Unlawful Possession of Explosives.

Considering that Shanahan has been in custody since the time of his arrest in late April, Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin said he can be released after the fine is paid.

What happened

It is reported that Shanahan landed at the airport via a private aircraft on April 26 of this year. Security personnel reportedly held him inside the IAM Centre at the Beef Island-based airport on the suspicion that he was carrying a firearm.

The police were summoned to the airport where they met Shanahan and conducted an official search of the US citizen’s luggage.

While searching the bag, the Shanahan pointed to a grey shirt. It is reported that the police officer conducting the search took up the grey shirt and discovered a black 9mm glock.

The court was told that when shown the weapon, Shanahan responded, “yes, that’s my firearm”.

And when asked whether he has a license to carry a firearm, Shanahan responded by saying, “yes, I have a concealed license for the United States”.

He handed his license over to the police who observed that Shanahan was licensed to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida. The license had been expired since 2019, the court heard.

The police then informed the businessman that his US license is not valid in the BVI. Shanahan was further informed that it is illegal to carry a gun in the BVI without a license to which he replied, “I did not know I had to declare the firearm”.

He was then arrested and charged.


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