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Republican Congresswoman Charged With Weapons Violation At Airport

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Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) was charged with a weapons violation at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

The Indiana Republican reportedly brought a handgun in her luggage.

A spokesperson for Spartz said she “accidentally carried an empty handgun in her suitcase with no magazine or bullets,” NBC News reports.

NBC News reports:

The spokesperson, who said Spartz was charged Friday, cited a section of Virginia law tied to the dangerous use of firearms or other weapons, which makes it a crime to “possess or transport” a gun or a variety of other dangerous weapons “into any air carrier airport terminal.” The statute classifies the violation as a misdemeanor.

A spokesperson for Spartz said the citation was issued before her international flight to a meeting for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly, which took place in Romania.

“Last Friday, Rep. Spartz accidentally carried an empty handgun in her suitcase with no magazine or bullets, which she did not realize was in the pocket of her suitcase, while going through security at Dulles airport,” the spokesperson said in a statement Monday in response to a request for comment.

According to CBS News, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the weapon “was unloaded and in the individual’s carry-on bag.”

A .380 caliber firearm was reportedly detected during passenger security screening.

Per WISH-TV:

The 45-year-old from Noblesville serves the Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. The district includes Hamilton County and other counties north and northeast of Indianapolis.

She is seeking re-election in November’s election. She fended off eight rivals in the May Republican primary just months after she decided to run for reelection in a campaign that focused attention on her opposition to sending aid to her native Ukraine. She is the first and only Ukrainian-born member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Spartz wasn’t the only Hoosier caught with weapons in security checkpoints at Washington airports on Friday.

TSA issued a news release Monday about catching an Indiana man with a loaded .22 caliber handgun and a switchblade among his carry-on items at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. Dalton Patrick Raffert, 23, of Mitchell, Indiana, was issued a citation, the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority tells I-Team 8.

The TSA release notes, “Guns are not permitted through the security checkpoint and the traveler faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.”

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