Charlotte Hornets hooper James Bouknight lay passed out in his Mercedes-Benz AMG GT with a bag of Doritos and a Glock handgun in his lap before he was arrested for DWI … a photo obtained by TMZ Sports appears to show.

The 22-year-old former 11th overall pick (2021) was arrested around 2 AM early Sunday morning in a parking deck in Mecklenburg County, NC for driving while intoxicated.

It’s a bit misleading, ’cause Bouknight wasn’t actually moving at the time of the arrest … he was allegedly conked out in the driver’s seat of his $100K Benz, blocking access to the garage.

Witnesses tell us security attempted to wake up James, but despite repeatedly pounding on the window, they couldn’t get his attention.

NBA's James Bouknight Arrested For Driving While Impaired

When they looked through the car’s windshield (the tint made it difficult to see through the other windows), security saw a weapon on James’ lap — a .40 caliber Glock 23.

That’s when security called the cops … who responded and were ultimately able to wake up the 6’4″ guard and place him under arrest.

Bouknight was booked, before being released on $2,500 bond.

He was NOT charged with any crime relating to the gun … North Carolina doesn’t require a permit to open carry a weapon.

Bouknight played in 31 games for the Hornets last season … averaging 5 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist.

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