Congresswoman Caught With Gun at DC Airport

( – A Republican congresswoman has been caught with a handgun at airport security. Representative Victoria Spartz (R-IN) was heading for an international conference in Europe when TSA officials found the unloaded pistol in her baggage. Her office says she accidentally left the gun in her carry-on bag. 

On June 28, Spartz, a two-term congresswoman and strong supporter of former president Donald Trump, arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport. Spartz was traveling to Romania to take part in a conference for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). However, as she went through security and scanned her hand baggage, TSA saw a handgun — which Spartz had not declared — in a pocket. The .380 semiautomatic pistol was unloaded and had an empty chamber.

While it’s not against TSA rules to travel with a firearm, all guns have to be declared to the airline and carried in hard-sided checked baggage. They’re prohibited at security checkpoints, so Spartz was in violation of the rules. In a statement, TSA said she had been issued a citation and allowed to board her flight. She’s also been charged with a misdemeanor weapons violation under Section 18 of the Code of Virginia, which makes it unlawful for anyone except law enforcement to carry a gun into an airport terminal in the state.

While Spartz has now been charged with a misdemeanor, she was still lucky; if she’d somehow managed to get through security at Dulles, and then the weapon had been found on arrival in Romania, the consequences would have been much more serious. The country has strict gun laws; only Romanian or EU citizens with a valid firearms license are allowed to possess guns, and many types — including compact handguns — are completely forbidden. Romania also has serious problems with international crime gangs, so anyone illegally bringing a gun into the country is likely to face years in prison.

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