Spartz charged with weapons violation at Dulles Airport

Spartz charged with weapons violation at Dulles Airport

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) was charged with a weapons violation last week after she brought a handgun to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, authorities and Spartz’s office say.

The incident occurred Friday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Spartz’s office all confirmed to The Hill on Monday.

The TSA — which does not confirm names of passengers — said officers at Dulles Airport detected a .380 caliber firearm during passenger security screening on Friday. The gun, which was found in the traveler’s carry-on bag, was unloaded, TSA said.

Spartz’s office said the congresswoman “accidentally” brought the empty handgun in her suitcase. She was issued a citation then moved ahead with her trip to Europe for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Indiana Republican’s office said.

“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. Rep. Spartz was issued a citation and proceeded on her international flight to the OSCE PA meeting in Europe,” Spartz’s office said.

Spartz, who was first elected to represent Indiana’s 5th Congressional district in 2020, won the GOP nomination for reelection in May, fending off a conservative primary challenger.

The congresswoman announced last February that she would retire at the end of her current term — opting out of another bid for the House or a run for Indiana’s open Senate seat — writing in a statement, “I need to spend more time with my two high school girls back home.”

In February of the next year, however, she reversed course, announcing that she would run for reelection. Spartz is the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress.

The TSA seized 6,737 firearms in 2023, the agency announced in January, marking a record number of guns. The previous year, 6,542 were intercepted at TSA checkpoints.

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