US businessman found with gun at airport fined $50,000


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An American man who was detained at Terrance B Lettsome International Airport with a gun and 15 rounds was sentenced by the magistrate court today, June 20.

The offender, 52-year-old businessman Richard Shanahan, was fined $50,000 for carrying a firearm without a license and 55 days in jail for unlawful possession of explosives.

Considering Shanahan has been in custody since his arrest in late April, magistrate Christilyn Benjamin said he could be released once the fine is paid.

What happened

It is reported that Shanahan landed at the airport via a private plane on April 26 this year. Security personnel reportedly detained him inside the Beef Island airport IAM center on suspicion that he was carrying a gun.

Police were summoned to the airport where they met Shanahan and conducted a formal search of the US citizen’s luggage.

Searching the bag, the Shanahan pointed to a gray shirt. It is reported that the search officer took the gray shirt and discovered a black 9mm glock.

The court was told that when shown the gun, Shanahan replied “yes, that’s my gun”.

And when asked if he had a gun license, Shanahan responded by saying, “yes, I have a concealed license for the United States.”

He surrendered his license to 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 American license is not valid in the BVI. Shanahan was further informed that it is illegal to carry a firearm in the BVI without a permit, to which he replied, “I didn’t know I had to declare the firearm.”

He was then arrested and charged.

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