A TOURIST, who kept a tear-gas pistol loaded with three blank rounds of ammunition under her pillow in a hostel, was fined $8,000 yesterday. Petra Draxler, 21, an Austrian who has settled in Germany, pleaded guilty in the District Court to possessing firearms and ammunition without a licence. The court heard Draxler would be able to fly back to Germany with an air-ticket kept by Mr Simml Karl, the vice-consul of the Austrian Consulate General in Hongkong, after the fine was paid. Deputy Judge Chow accepted Draxler had kept the black pistol for self-defence rather than to commit any crime. He said one would expect the defendant to deal with the pistol more carefully rather than leaving it under a pillow if she had had the intention to pursue any criminal intention with it in Hongkong. He also ordered the pistol and ammunition be confiscated. Defence lawyer Mr G. Leung-Jackson-Lipkin said Draxler worked as an insurance agent in Germany before coming to Hongkong. Although Draxler had told police in a cautioned statement that the gun was given to her for safe-keeping by a Mr Alan So, whom she met in a French restaurant before she was arrested, her solicitor said she had kept the pistol for self-defence. He said the pistol in question was commonly available in Germany. He urged the court to consider that the defendant had already spent two months in custody. Although she had been granted bail, Draxler was unable to meet the conditions. Prosecuting counsel Ms Lisa Remedios said Draxler arrived in Hongkong on January 4 and stayed at the Garden View International House of the YWCA at 1 MacDonnell Road, Mid-Levels. A pistol-like object was found underneath a pillow in Draxler's room when a room attendant cleaned the room in her absence 18 days later. Draxler was arrested upon her return to the room late that night. A ballistics officer, who examined the pistol, held that it was in good working order and was capable of discharging tear-gas at very close range using o-chloro-benzalmalnonitrille (CS) or similar irritant cartridge. However, the officer said this type of pistol was not capable of discharging any projectile with the barrel partially blocked near the muzzle end. A government chemist, who analysed the white powder contained in the three rounds of ammunition, found that the powder contained traces of CS, a potent irritant to eye, throat and skin, and a common chemical found in a tear-gas mixture.