GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn cited for loaded handgun at Charlotte, N.C., airport
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Chelsey Cox



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Rep. Madison Cawthorn was caught trying to board a flight with a loaded gun Tuesday morning.

A 9 mm Staccato C2 handgun was discovered in Cawthorn’s possession in a bag at Checkpoint D at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Officials contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, local news station WSOC-TV first reported.

CMPD said Cawthorn, 26, was identified as the owner of the gun. The North Carolina Republican was cooperative with the officers, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Cawthorn was released after being issued a citation for Possession of a Dangerous Weapon on City Property. CMPD took possession of the firearm, “which is normal procedure,” according to the statement. 

USA TODAY reached out to Cawthorn’s office for comment.

This is the second time a gun has been discovered on Cawthorn at an airport. The TSA found an unloaded Glock 9mm handgun in Cawthorn’s carry-on bag at Asheville Regional Airport in February 2021. He was not charged with a crime.

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Cawthorn has also been charged twice with driving with a revoked license and has repeatedly brought weapons into educational facilities, despite warnings from law enforcement.

Reach out to Chelsey Cox on Twitter at @therealco.

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