GOP US Rep. Spartz, of Indiana, charged with bringing gun through airport security, officials say

FILE - Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., speaks during a Lincoln Day Dinner, May 2, 2024, in Noblesville, Ind. Spartz faces a weapons violation charge for bringing a firearm through airport security, airport authorities said Monday, July 1. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Republican U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz has been charged with bringing a firearm through 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 Washington Dulles International Airport.

Her 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.

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.