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January 1, Congresswoman Faces Weapons Violation Charge: Unloaded Firearm Found at Airport

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Republican Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz faced a weapons violation charge at Virginia’s Washington Dulles International Airport, as reported by a Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) spokesperson.

The charge falls under Virginian law, which prohibits possession or transportation of dangerous weapons in any air carrier airport terminal.

MWAA spokesperson Crystal L. Nosal confirmed the charge and referenced “18.2-287.01 of the Virginia code.” Violating this statute is considered a misdemeanor.

A Transportation Security Agency (TSA) spokesperson revealed that officers discovered an unloaded “.380 caliber firearm” during screening in a carry-on bag.

Spartz’s spokesperson maintained that the incident was accidental. They explained that Rep. Spartz unknowingly carried an empty handgun in her suitcase, without a magazine or bullets, while going through security at Dulles airport.

At the time, Rep. Spartz was en route to an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly gathering in Romania.

Spartz, first elected to Congress in 2020, is seeking re-election for a third term. WISH-TV notes that she is the first and only Ukrainian-born citizen to serve in Congress.

For such a violation, the TSA can impose a fine up to $15,000 and revoke PreCheck eligibility for as long as five years.

However, according to Robert Herron Law, P. C., it is possible to significantly reduce the total amount of the civil penalty for a charge like this.

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