Former U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge after airport security found a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Cawthorn was fined $250, but was allowed to keep the 9mm pistol. A spokesman from the sheriff’s office claimed that TSA officers confiscated his weapon in April of 2022. The news was reported Friday by various outlets.
Prosecutors had anticipated that the gun would be confiscated, but city District Court Judge Cecilia Oseguera, who presided over the trial, disagreed. Cawthorn was grateful for the judge’s decision and said so to reporters after leaving the courthouse. She clarified that the possession of a hazardous weapon on city property charges did not necessitate the gadget’s surrender.
After serving as the representative for the 11th Congressional District in the mountains for one term as a Republican, Henderson County native Cawthorn lost the Republican primary to eventual Democratic nominee Chuck Edwards in 2022. Cawthorn has stated he plans to return to politics in the future.
Cawthorn had previously received a warning after being caught with an unloaded firearm while attempting to board a plane at Asheville Regional Airport in 2021. The airport’s police confiscated this gun but permitted him to board.