How Madison Cawthorn Could Avoid Charges After Another Airport Gun Incident

Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn was caught with a gun at an airport on Tuesday for the second time, but he is likely to avoid any criminal charges for the offense.

In a tweet, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed Tuesday on Twitter that Cawthorn had a firearm in his luggage while at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

"Responding CMPD officers identified the owner of the bag containing the firearm as David Madison Cawthorn DOB: 08/01/1995. Mr. Cawthorn stated that the firearm was his and he was cooperative with the CMPD officers," police said on Twitter, adding that Cawthorn was cited for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property but was released shortly after.

The incident on Tuesday comes several months after Cawthorn attempted to bring a gun onto a flight.

Following this most recent incident, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a statement sent to Newsweek that authorities detected a firearm at Gate D of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The TSA spokesperson also told Newsweek that the administration's "civil penalty structure" for firearm incidents results in a possible fine of up to $13,900. "Loaded firearms and multiple offenses are examples of the aggravating circumstances," the spokesperson told Newsweek.

Madison Cawthorn
Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn was cited for having a gun on his possession at a North Carolina airport on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Above, Cawthorn speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 09, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. Brandon Bell/Getty

According to WLOS-TV in North Carolina, on February 13, 2021, TSA agents discovered a person in possession of a Glock 9 mm handgun, located in the person's carry-on luggage, the local station reported.

Several months later, WLOS-TV reported that authorities confirmed Cawthorn was the person in possession of the Glock 9 mm handgun at the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina.

In a statement sent to WLOS-TV at the time, a spokesperson for Cawthorn said, "Five months ago, while boarding a flight, Rep. Cawthorn erroneously stowed a firearm in his carry-on (that often doubles as a range bag) instead of his checked bag."

The statement continued, "The firearm was secured, and unchambered. Rep. Cawthorn endeavors to always follow TSA guidelines, and quickly rectified this situation before boarding his flight."

According to WSOC-TV in North Carolina, Cawthorn did not face any criminal charges following that incident.

Newsweek reached out to Cawthorn's office for comment.

Following the most recent gun incident, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said that "It is standard procedure for the CMPD Airport Division to cite in lieu of arrest for the misdemeanor charge of Possession of a Dangerous Weapon on City Property unless there are other associated felony charges or extenuating circumstances."

In addition to the incident on Tuesday, Cawthorn has recently faced backlash for comments he made about being invited to parties with other elected lawmakers, where he alleges they were involved in cocaine use and orgies.