Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina sparked outrage after he was cited for bringing a loaded gun through a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Cawthorn committed a “weapon law violation" when TSA agents detected a loaded Staccato 9mm handgun around 9 a.m. at a checkpoint inside the airport.
Police said "Mr. Cawthorn stated the firearm was his and he was cooperative with the CMPD officers.
"Mr. Cawthorn was issued a citation for Possession of a Dangerous Weapon on City Property, which is a City of Charlotte Ordinance. Mr. Cawthorn was released, and the CMPD took possession of the firearm, which is normal procedure."
"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."
This is the second time in a little over a year Cawthorn has been caught with a weapon at an airport. The TSA notes on its website repeat offenders can be fined over $13,000.
The incident made waves on social media.
Many criticized Cawthorn, saying he poses a threat to public safety and anyone else not in his position of power would have been arrested for the same action.
He should now be put on the no-flight list. He has shown a pattern of non-compliance which makes him a threat to public safety.https://twitter.com/AP/status/1519089690544123904\u00a0\u2026— Sandra Kicklighter (@Sandra Kicklighter) 1651048524
Did we get rid of no-fly lists?https://twitter.com/ap/status/1519089690544123904\u00a0\u2026— Marion Rogders (@Marion Rogders) 1651039950
In addition to TSA catching him twice with a gun, since entering Congress he\u2019s had 4 springblade knife on school property violations, at least 3 driving offenses, and helped incite an insurrection. When will this habitual criminal be held accountable? @SpeakerPelosi @GOPLeaderhttps://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1519076587790114816\u00a0\u2026— Moe Davis \u2014 Triple Vaxxed Vet \u2014 Unaffiliated Voter (@Moe Davis \u2014 Triple Vaxxed Vet \u2014 Unaffiliated Voter) 1651064048
In just over a year, Cawthorn has TWICE been caught driving w/o a valid license after being pulled over for speeding, and TWICE been caught bringing a gun through an airport.\n\n... Isn't "Law & Order" supposed to have consequences? https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/status/1519004648513888256\u00a0\u2026— Fr. Robert R. Ballecer, SJ (@Fr. Robert R. Ballecer, SJ) 1651015719
How many times does Rep. Madison Cawthorn have to be cited for trying to take a gun onto a plane before there are consequences?— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1651007098
If this was me I\u2019d still be locked up in the little TSA room at the airport.https://twitter.com/harrylitman/status/1519176539794935808\u00a0\u2026— winotone \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@winotone \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1651038222
He got a citation for carrying a gun in the airport? People usually get tackled by TSA, in addition to getting locked in an interrogation room for 11 hours before their name gets added to a no-fly list.https://twitter.com/harrylitman/status/1519176539794935808\u00a0\u2026— Christian, not Christopher (@Christian, not Christopher) 1651039885
If you or I tried this, we\u2019d be given a prominent place on the no fly list!https://twitter.com/crewcrew/status/1519004648513888256\u00a0\u2026— Matt Eastwood (@Matt Eastwood) 1651011107
Why is this persistent law-breaker still in office? Does he believe laws don't apply to him? Or does he oppose the role of government so intensely that he doesn't plan to follow laws at all? He's a pathetic joke and needs to be voted out.https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/status/1519004648513888256\u00a0\u2026— \ud83c\udde9\ud83c\uddf0 Pamela Clare \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@\ud83c\udde9\ud83c\uddf0 Pamela Clare \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1651009989
Only cited.\nIf any of us did this we would have gone to prison the first time, if we even survived the encounter. Different set of laws for those in power.https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1519103300129468416\u00a0\u2026— Pinko Scum (@Pinko Scum) 1651025288
The incident is not the first time Cawthorn has run afoul of the law, having generated headlines for behavior his critics have derided as reckless.
Cawthorn even has a history of unlawfully carrying weapons, as when he sparked controversy when he was accused of bringing a large knife to a school board meeting in his district.
Cawthorn, who appeared at the school board meeting to protest COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates, denied the allegations, saying he didn't "know anything about it."
Back in February 2021, Cawthorn was stopped at the Asheville Regional Airport after TSA agents discovered an unloaded Glock 9mm handgun and loaded magazine in Cawthorn's carry-on luggage.
Cawthorn's gun was confiscated. He was allowed to retrieve it when he returned to Asheville.