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Police: Gun brought in by the legislature to Denver airport is loaded

DENVER – Colorado state lawmaker arrested for having a gun at Denver International Airport had a loaded gun in her purse which was discovered by an airport security officer, police said Wednesday.

State Rep. Lori Saine “knowingly brought the gun to the checkpoint” at the airport on Tuesday, according to a police report written by Denver police officer Gregory Zimmerman. The report does not explain how Zimmerman made that determination.

Saine, a Republican who has advocated for gun rights, was arrested on suspicion of introducing a firearm into a transportation facility and scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

A Transportation Security Administration agent saw the Kahr Arms 9mm semi-automatic pistol as a bag that belong to the Saine went through an x-ray machine, according to the arrest report. It had four rounds in the magazine, but no one in the room.

The arrest report said Saine requested a lawyer before he went to prison from the airport, but it was not immediately clear if they had one.

She spent the night in jail and could not be reached for comment.

Saine was elected in 2012 and represents a largely rural, agricultural area about 25 miles (40 km) north of Denver, and that’s given the intense oil and gas activities and a burgeoning residential development.

Saine in 2017 co-sponsored bill to repeal a prohibition on the sale, transfer and possession of large capacity ammunition magazines. The ban was issued after the 2012 Aurora theater and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

State law prohibits people from carrying weapons — either concealed or openly — on transportation facilities, including the airport, said the spokesman of the airport Heather Montgomery.

He said passengers who wish to travel with firearms can convert unloaded weapons in secure cases in the checked baggage and must declare them to the airline companies.

Denver airport ranked fifth highest for firearms discovered in carry-on in the United States last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

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Associated Press writer James Anderson in Denver contributed to this report.

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