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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn Cited For Bringing Gun Through TSA Checkpoint

Charlotte, NC – Controversial U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) was busted on Tuesday with a handgun in Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

It was the second time Cawthorn has been caught with a firearm in an airport since he took office last year, NBC News reported.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) said the incident occurred just before 9 a.m. on April 26 when Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents found a 9mm handgun, a magazine, and ammunition in the congressman’s belongings at a security checkpoint.

The police report said the 26-year-old Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair, was cooperative and told officers that it was his gun in the bag, NBC News reported.

He was issued a citation, in lieu of an arrest, on a charge of possession of a dangerous weapon on city property.

Police kept the congressman’s Staccato 9 mm handgun, the Ashville Citizen Times reported.

If convicted of the charge, the penalty could be as much as 60 days in jail.

A TSA spokesperson told NBC News that Cawthorn could be fined as much as $13,900 for the security violation.

He also said that fines could be higher for a repeat offender.

The agency has not yet said whether it will pursue a fine against the young congressman, NBC News reported.

It’s not uncommon for passengers arrested with firearms inside the Charlotte airport to find themselves behind bars for carrying a gun through a TSA checkpoint, the Ashville Citizen Times reported.

Cawthorn was caught with an unloaded pistol in the Ashville airport in 2021.

He was not cited with a criminal violation on that occasion because that’s not how they handle things at the Ashville airport, the Ashville Citizen Times reported.

Eight other people who were caught with unloaded firearms at the Ashville airport in 2021 were released without citations.

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Mark Howell said criminal rules about guns in airports vary dramatically per local and state laws, the Ashville Citizen Times reported.

Cawthorn’s office has not yet released a statement about the incident.

The youngest person to ever serve in Congress set off party elders last month when he was asked how close to “House of Cards” the nation’s capital actually was during the “Warrior Poet Society” podcast, CNN reported.

“The sexual perversion that goes on in Washington … being kind of a young guy in Washington, where the average age is probably 60 or 70 — [you] look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life, I’ve always paid attention to politics,” Cawthorn explained.

“Then all of a sudden you get invited — ‘We’re going to have a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come.’ … What did you just ask me to come to? And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy. …,” he continued.

“Some of the people leading on the movement to try and remove addiction in our country, and then you watch them do a key bump of cocaine right in front of you. And it’s like, this is wild,” the congressman said.

When he was further questioned about who on Capitol Hill had invited him to cocaine-fueled orgies, Cawthorn refused to elaborate, CNN reported.

Although the congressman from North Carolina is still in his first term of office he’s already made headlines that embarrassed GOP leaders a number of times.

Cawthorn also found himself in the crosshairs of social media outrage after a video surfaced of him describing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “thug,” CNN reported.

He also said the Ukrainian government was “incredibly evil.”

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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