Former Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) pleaded guilty on Friday to bringing a loaded Staccato C2 9 mm handgun through a TSA checkpoint at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport last year.

Cawthorn’s trial was scheduled to begin on Friday. He submitted a guilty plea for the misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous weapon on city property.

The former congressman was fined $250 and his handgun will be returned.



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This incident was the second time in just over a year that airport officials have stopped Cawthorn in possession of a gun. In February 2021, security agents at the Asheville Regional Airport discovered an unloaded gun and a loaded magazine in Cawthorn’s carry-on bag. After his spokesperson said that he had brought the gun “by mistake,” the congressman was not charged and his firearm was given back after the flight.

Cawthorn was elected to Congress in 2020 as an ally of President Donald Trump. However, he irritated many of his fellow Republican lawmakers with his controversial statements, claiming on a podcast that he had been invited to an orgy in Washington and had seen colleagues leading efforts to combat drug addiction doing cocaine.

In his bid for a second term, Cawthorn lost in the Republican primary to Chuck Edwards. Edwards went on to win the general election.

Cawthorne was investigated by the House Ethics Committee for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a male staffer, Stephen Smith.

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