Pamela Whitfield, 31, of Hampton, Va., was charged with carrying an unauthorized weapon through airport security, a misdemeanor, after an X-ray machine operator noticed an "unusual image," said Kawika Riley, a Transportation Security Administration spokesman. The comb was lying along the binder's spine among some papers and a folder.
An officer confiscated the weapon, issued the criminal citation and allowed Whitfield to continue to the gate with her daughter. The maximum penalty is a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.
The incident did not delay checkpoint or airport operations, Riley said.