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Capt. Kevan Smith, of the Asheville Regional Airport Police, said that Ohio resident Joseph McVey, 23, was charged with the misdemeanor of “going armed in terror of the public”.

Airport police saw Mr McVey carrying a gun as he got out of a car at about 2pm local time in the rental car return lot, Capt Smith said. He was taken into custody immediately and was being held at the county jail.

Security was heightened at the airport because President Barack Obama was leaving in Air Force One after a short holiday in the state. The president was on his way to a memorial service for the 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in an explosion. The suspect was not near the president’s plane and was in a public area.

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