North Carolina Republican Rep. and habitual fabalist Madison Cawthorn loves guns. He loves guns. I'm not saying he'd marry a gun if he could (he's a committed Wife Guy) but I could definitely see him having a torrid love affair with an AR-15, plus a little Sig Sauer P210 action on the side. How much does the freshman congressman and enthusiastic seditionist love guns, you ask? Soooooo much so that he evidently tried to bring a Glock 9MM and loaded magazine onto a plane flying out of Asheville, NC, this past winter. Whoopsie!
In audio obtained and published this week by FireMadison.com, an anti-Cawthorn non-profit dedicated to making the first-term congressman a one term congressman, TSA officials clearly identify "Elected official, Madison Cawthorn, with a firearm" while detaining Cawthorn on Feb. 13 at the Asheville Regional Airport. Over the course of the brief recording, TSA officials are heard debating whether to allow Cawthorn to return the gun to his car, before determining that with just "seven minutes until his flight" they would simply confiscate the firearm until he returned, which he did a week later.
In a statement to the Asheville Citizen Times, Cawthorn's spokesperson Micah Bock tried to explain away the incident as a simple accident:
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 firearm was secured, and unchambered.
Bock added that "Rep. Cawthorn endeavors to always follow TSA guidelines, and quickly rectified this situation before boarding his flight."
I, too, endeavor to always follow TSA guidelines, but usually when I slip up, it's because I forgot there was some hand lotion or a can of pop in my backpack — not a deadly firearm and a full magazine of ammo.
Earlier this year Cawthorn admitted he'd been armed during the January 6 insurrection — which he helped animate — although it's unclear whether he was packing heat on the House floor, which is illegal. And when it comes to his attempt to fly the friendly skies with a piece at his side, Cawthorn's airport security stop may have further consequences for the first time congressman, as well.
'We can’t deem you a low risk any more if you are bringing weapons in your carry-on bag to the checkpoint," TSA Spokesperson Mark Howell told the Citizen Times, noting that the "Feb 13th incident" was still pending investigation, but that Cawthorn risked several thousand dollars in fines, and the revocation of any fast-track TSA privileges. Bummer.