Democrats ask TSA to crackdown on guns after Cawthorne incident

Madison Cawthorne (R-North Carolina)

Democrats ask TSA to take a crackdown on guns after the Cawthorne incident

Representatives Penny Thompson (D-Miss) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) have asked the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to take action against Rep. Madison Cawthorne (R-North Carolina) for his incident involving a firearm at an airport checkpoint.

Their letter comes just days after Representative Madison Cawthorne was cited for trying to bring a loaded pistol through a TSA checkpoint.

Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to the TSA that the Homeland Security Committee "has long expressed concerns about the threats posed by firearms at TSA checkpoints and in airport public areas."

They added that they wanted to address the "dangerous and persistent trend our country is facing of individuals bringing weapons to airport checkpoints" and asked the authority to share its plan to address the rise in weapons at airport checkpoints.

They criticized the Cawthorne incident and said that this was not the first time the new congressman from North Carolina had shown such a disregard for aviation security; He was also caught carrying a loaded handgun through a checkpoint in Asheville Regional Airport last year."

According to Thompson and Coleman, two incidents in such a short period should be cause for concern regarding the frequency of crimes involving a firearm.

They urged the TSA to "act decisively to ensure repeat offenders like Representative Cawthorne faces the full scope of TSA enforcement actions."

They lobbied the TSA to "take appropriate action without fear or favoritism against all such offenders," regardless of whether they are public figures.

The chairs of the Transportation Security and Maritime Security Subcommittee asked a series of questions to the TSA about specific actions taken by TSA and local law enforcement after the firearm was discovered in the Cawthorne carry-on.

They also requested details about the number of firearms TSA has found at checkpoints so far in 2022 and the number of individuals who provided a loaded or unloaded gun at a checkpoint in

The past five years have been repeating offenders.

The letter highlighted the confiscation of nearly 6,000 rifles in airport security by TSA officers in 2021.

Last February, it followed a House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security hearing, which saw Democrats and Republicans debate how best to reduce the number of passengers bringing guns to airports.

Democrats advocated increasing the fine for criminals, while Republicans on the subcommittee argued that most perpetrators were unintentional criminals — people who forgot to have a gun in their bag, Roll Cole reported.

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