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Rep. Victoria Spartz charged with weapons violation at Dulles Airport

<i>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call

By Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) — GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz was charged on Friday with a weapons violation at Washington Dulles International Airport, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Airports Authority told CNN.

Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, was charged with violating a section of Virginia law that prohibits carrying any gun, explosive or stun weapon into an air carrier airport terminal, the spokesperson said.

The congresswoman’s office said in a statement that on Friday, 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.” She received a citation and then flew to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly meeting, according to her office.

Spartz received a summons to appear in a Virginia court, according to the Metropolitan Airports Authority spokesperson. The violation is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Asked about the incident involving Spartz, a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson said, “TSA officers at IAD detected a .380 caliber firearm during passenger security screening. The firearm was unloaded and in the individual’s carry-on bag.”

Spartz, the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2020 and emerged as a leading Republican voice for a strong US response to Russia’s invasion before opposing a foreign aid package that included $61 billion for Ukraine earlier this year.

In May, she won her hard-fought Republican primary for her 5th District seat based in the northeastern Indianapolis suburbs.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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