GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz charged with weapons violation at Dulles Airport

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., has been charged with weapons violation at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority confirmed to NBC News on Monday.

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.

Spartz, who is the first Ukrainian-born immigrant to serve in Congress, is seeking re-election in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, which includes suburbs north of Indianapolis and is rated solidly Republican by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. She won her primary in May, defeating a challenger who took aim at her support of Ukraine aid and other issues.

Spartz is not the first lawmaker in recent years to have faced a violation tied to possessing a weapon at an airport.

Then-Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., was cited in 2022 for having a loaded handgun at a security checkpoint at an airport in his home state. He had been stopped twice with a firearm at an airport during his two years in office. Cawthorn lost his primary in 2022.

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