ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) -- Secret Service agents found two .22-caliber pistols in vehicles admitted to the secured area for news media covering President Bush's departure from Los Angeles International Airport last night, the White House announced.
Presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Houston that drivers of the vehicles were detained for questioning by uniformed Secret Service agents who searched the vehicles.
It was the first time firearms had been found so close to a presidential departure, Mr. Fitzwater said.
One of the vehicles was labelled as a television van and the other as a courier's car, Mr. Fitzwater said. He said he had no further information about them.
The pistol in the van was found in a briefcase. The pistol in the car was in the glove compartment, Mr. Fitzwater said.
The two drivers had passed what Mr. Fitzwater called "a routine magnetometer search" -- a metal detector search -- for individuals entering the area but wanted to bring in their vehicles.
Both had credentials for covering Mr. Bush's departure.
The incident happened between about 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Los Angeles time, about 45 minutes before Mr. Bush arrived at the airport.
Mr. Bush, whose departure was not delayed, was told of the incident, Mr. Fitzwater said.