Rep. Victoria Spartz caught with gun at Dulles Airport checkpoint

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 8: Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., is seen after the House Republican Conference election where Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, won the position of vice chair, in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll

Indiana Republican U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz has been charged with bringing a firearm through Dulles International Airport security, authorities said Monday.

Spartz, 45, was charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia law, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said Monday.

A TSA spokesperson said officers detected an unloaded .380-caliber firearm in Spartz’s carry-on during passenger security screening on Friday at Dulles Airport.

"It is disappointing to see travelers bring firearms to our checkpoints," said Scott T. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. "If you own a firearm, you should know where it is at all times so you don’t bring it to a checkpoint. Our TSA officers are good at their jobs and they are staying vigilant during this very busy summer travel period to ensure that passengers get to their destinations safely. I commend our officers on their good catch."

Spartz's Office said in a statement that Spartz mistakenly carried an unloaded handgun in the pocket of her suitcase while going through security on her way to a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Europe.

"Rep. Spartz was issued a citation and proceeded on her international flight," the statement said.

Photo via Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Washington Dulles International Airport 

TSA allows passengers to travel with a firearm, but it must be declared with the airline and packed in a hard-sided case in the passenger’s checked baggage. Firearms are prohibited at security checkpoints.

The charge carries up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted.

The two-term congresswoman from central Indiana won a contentious and competitive primary in May after she had said in 2023 that she wasn’t going to run again.

Spartz — a Trump-aligned, Second Amendment touting Republican — is the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress. However, she recently voted against sending war aid to the country, a reversal from her position when Russia invaded Ukraine.

So far in 2024, 10 guns have been recovered at Dulles Airport checkpoints. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.