A businessman on his first trip to Cayman ended up staying longer than he intended after a single round of ammunition was found in his knapsack on Wednesday, Feb. 20. In Summary Court the next day, Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson said the man was at Owen Roberts Airport about to board a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina.
His carry-on luggage was put through the X-ray screening and a single round of .22 ammunition was discovered.
Defense attorney Prathna Bodden said the defendant, 58, had come to Cayman on a business trip and it was his first visit.
He held a firearms license in his home state and he thought the bullet must have got caught in the lining of the knapsack when he had used it on a recent outing.
In addition to missing his flight, Ms. Bodden noted, her client had been obliged to stay on island the extra day. All the hotel rooms were full and he had to pay for a suite, at significant expense.
He said the kindness extended to him had been exceptional and he hoped to return to the island. Ms. Bodden, therefore, asked that no conviction be recorded against him.
The magistrate said that Cayman, unfortunately, has had more than a few of these cases lately. He suspected this might be because of the increase in the number of visitors, many from the U.S., which has liberal gun laws.
When a person has a gun, he or she has to make sure the luggage traveled with is isolated from the gun at home, he recommended.
He accepted that this defendant’s offense had been committed inadvertently and a conviction would harm his ability to travel here for business in the future.
The magistrate said Cayman’s enforcement officers were good ambassadors, treating people with dignity, as they should. The Flowers Group are the ones who screen passengers, he pointed out, and they were the ones who found the bullet even after the items had been through screening in the U.S. on the way here.
He imposed what has become the norm – a cost order in the sum of CI$1,000.
No conviction was recorded.