By Sarah Brumfield, AP
A loaded gun was found in North Carolina U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s carry-on bag at an airport security checkpoint Tuesday — the second time he has been stopped with a gun at an airport in the past 14 months, officials said.
When Cawthorn went through checkpoint D at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with the gun, a 9 mm Staccato C2, around 9 a.m., Transportation Security Administration officers notified Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers on standby in the area, TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston said.
Responding officers identified the 26-year-old Republican as the owner of the bag where the gun was found, police said in a statement. Cawthorn acknowledged that the gun was his and cooperated with officers, authorities said. He was issued a citation for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property, a misdemeanor. Cawthorn was released but police held on to the firearm, as is routine.
The infraction is punishable by civil penalties, including a fine of up to $13,900 depending on certain factors, such as whether a firearm is loaded and multiple offenses, Langston said. In this case the firearm was loaded.
Langston said this was the second time in recent history that a gun was found in Cawthorn’s carry-on bag. The first was at an Asheville Regional Airport checkpoint in February 2021.
TSA officers have intercepted more than 1,800 firearms at checkpoints so far this year, Langston said.
A spokesperson for Cawthorn’s office and his campaign didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.