An American tourist who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to possession of an unlicensed firearm – one round of .38-caliber ammunition – found in his bag as he was leaving the island was ordered to pay costs of $800.
In Summary Court, Chief Magistrate Nova Hall said no conviction would be recorded, but she ordered him to pay costs. Costs are different from a fine, which can be imposed only if there is a conviction.
A summary of facts provided to Chief Magistrate Hall indicated that the man was passing through security screening at Owen Roberts International Airport on Aug. 31 when an image resembling a bullet was seen in his bag, and authorities were called.
The item proved to be a live round of ammunition, which the man admitted was his. He said he is a firearms license holder in his home state of California and did not realize the bullet had been left in the bottom of his bag. “I’m 68. I’ve never been in trouble with the law,” he told the court.
Asked if he had traveled to Cayman before, he said he was here 15 or 20 years ago, just for a day on a cruise ship.
The magistrate noted there is a protocol usually followed in circumstances of visitors bringing in bullets by mistake.
“I wish I could say that it does not happen with frequency, but it does,” she said. “People come here from jurisdictions where the laws regarding firearms are different.”
The bullet was forfeited to the Crown and ordered to be destroyed.
“I wish I could say that it does not happen with frequency, but it does.” NOVA HALL, Chief Magistrate