Oklahoma Man Jailed for Accidentally Bringing Ammunition to Turks and Caicos, Friends Say

KOKH - April 26, 2024 6:01 am

A vacation in paradise was turned upside down for one Oklahoma couple.

Friends shared online that the husband, Ryan Watson, is behind bars for accidentally bringing ammunition to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Friends noted that his wife Valerie was able to return home on Tuesday.

However, while Ryan remains abroad, he faces a daunting process and possibly years in jail.

Laws in Turks and Caicos forbid firearms and ammunition.

According to the organizers of a GoFundMe page set up to support the Watsons, airport security in Turks and Caicos found four rounds of ammunition from a deer hunting trip unwittingly left in Ryan’s duffle bag.

Kirk Evans, president of U.S. LawShield and a Second Amendment rights expert, explained, “Turks and Caicos statute makes no distinction… The same penalty applies to ammo and firearms.”

Evans has years of legal experience in the field of self-defense.

The attorney noted the same situation the Watsons are dealing with happens daily at the United States’ borders with Canada and Mexico—and elsewhere.

He said Americans have been getting light punishments and fines for bringing firearms and ammunition into Turks and Caicos up until recently—but not anymore.

“The attorney general there took notice and has now issued an edict that it’s going to be mandatory jail time for folks in… Turks and Caicos with a firearm or ammunition,” Evans added.

In Evans’ view, being an American may make the husband and father’s prospects even worse.

Friends worry Ryan could be in jail for at least 12 years.

According to the attorney, Americans who find themselves in such a situation should contact the nearest embassy or consulate—but should also expect to hire a local attorney and remain in the country until the matter is resolved or the sentence is served.

When traveling with guns in the us or abroad, Evans asserted, “Just know the law and research the daylights out of it. You can start on the TSA website. Dig through that. Make sure you do everything right before… flying anywhere, especially before flying out of the us.”

From airport security to state gun laws to Customs and Border Patrol to foreign gun laws—navigating the process of transporting firearms can be a very complicated process, according to Evans

The Watsons’ friends worry the situation could prove financially devastating for the family.

Main fundraiser photo

 

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