Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) was cited by security at Charlotte Douglass International Airport for possessing a loaded handgun, according to the TSA. Cawthorn was heading for a flight on Tuesday morning when a 9mm handgun was discovered in his carry-on, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department said he “stated the firearm was his and he was cooperative with the CMPD officers.”

Cawthorn was “issued a citation for Possession of a Dangerous Weapon on City Property, which is a City of Charlotte ordinance. Mr. Cawthorn was released, and the CMPD took possession of the firearm, which is normal procedure.” They also mentioned that they usually “cite in lieu of arrest for the misdemeanor charge,” besides in cases where “there are other associated felony charges or extenuating circumstances.” He is also due in court this May for charges of driving with a revoked license while two speeding tickets were pending.

It isn’t clear if the congressman was fined, but the TSA guidelines list a fine of $13,000 as a potential response for repeated offenses. Cawthorn has repeated this offense before when an unloaded gun and loaded magazine were discovered in his bag at Asheville Regional Airport. Cawthorn was not charged in that incident and was allowed to retrieve his gun from holding at the airport “after his flight.”

Cawthorn has been the subject of frequent controversies since he was elected in 2020. Video footage from Cawthorn at a rally spurred backlash from both sides of the aisle because he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and the Ukrainian government “incredibly evil,” in the midst of the Ukraine-Russia war. He also reportedly lost the confidence of much of GOP leadership when he claimed that a senior republican invited him to an orgy and did cocaine in front of him.


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