Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., was cited Tuesday for having a loaded 9 mm handgun at a security checkpoint at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, the second time he has been stopped with a firearm at an airport since he took office last year.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the incident occurred just before 9 a.m., when it was notified that Transportation Security Administration agents had found a firearm, ammunition and a magazine in Cawthorn’s belongings at a security checkpoint, according to a police report.
Cawthorn was issued a citation in lieu of an arrest on a charge of possession of a dangerous weapon on city property, a misdemeanor. The airport, which is owned and operated by the city of Charlotte, has several postings stating “no dangerous weapons allowed,” police said in their report. They added in a statement that Cawthorn was cooperative and told officers that the gun belonged to him.
A TSA spokesperson said the penalty for violating rules about firearms is up to $13,900. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the agency will pursue a fine against Cawthorn. The spokesperson said that while it doesn’t discuss the details of each case, “in almost every incident we issue one,” with a review and a potential penalty likely in the coming weeks.
Authorities last year stopped Cawthorn from carrying a loaded 9 mm handgun onto a flight out of Asheville, North Carolina. The TSA says civil penalties are often higher for “repeat violations.”
After Cawthorn was released Tuesday, officers took possession of the firearm, a standard procedure, police said.
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