According to various sources reported by local media, embattled Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn was caught trying to smuggle a loaded firearm onto a plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
After the weapon was discovered by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspectors on Tuesday, the controversial legislator faces a criminal investigation as well as a civil penalty of between $10,000 and £13,910.
The TSA acknowledged that security workers discovered a 9mm handgun at Checkpoint D on Tuesday, but the agency refused to provide any other information, including the perpetrator’s name.
However, sources close to the airport allege that the gun belonged to the freshman Congressman. WSOC-TV 9 received a photo of a loaded Staccato C2 handgun that is thought to belong to Cawthorn.
Cawthorn was previously nabbed in February 2021 for attempting to smuggle a 9mm handgun onto an aircraft. Civil penalties for attempting to transport a loaded gun through a TSA airport checkpoint generally range between $3,000 and $10,000.
Cawthorn, who is a repeat offender, faces a minimum fine of $10,000 as well as a criminal referral. On Tuesday, it was unclear if the young and divisive lawmaker would face criminal charges.
The generally outspoken Congressman from North Carolina has yet to respond to the incident.
Cawthorn rose to prominence after he was elected to represent North Carolina’s 11th district in 2021 at the age of 26. He is the first member of Congress born in the 1990s and the youngest since Jed Johnson Jr.
Cawthorn considers himself a conservative Christian after becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in Florida in 2014. In recent weeks, he has enraged his senior GOP colleagues by implying that he was invited to sex orgies by Republican politicians.