Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) was reportedly seen carrying what looked like a switchblade dagger while he was at an event at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina on Tuesday.
David Wheeler, the president of the FireMadison.com super PAC, reportedly took photos and videos of Cawthorn with the weapon in his pocket while the lawmaker was meeting with the right-wing college group Turning Point USA.
The images were published by the Asheville Citizen Times on Friday.
WCU spokesperson Benny Smith told the Citizen Times that the school “has been made aware of an allegation regarding an invited speaker to campus by a student organization” and “has no further comment.”
Law enforcement has previously warned Cawthorn against carrying a knife on school property.
A dagger was allegedly spotted under the Republican’s wheelchair at a school board meeting in Henderson County, North Carolina on September 13. Henderson Sheriff Lowell Griffin told the Citizen Times that Cawthorn is “now aware” that “the administrative offices of the school system is considered educational property and NO WEAPONS are allowed.”
The next day, Cawthorn was allegedly stopped by an officer when he entered a Johnston County School Board meeting with a knife. The school district’s spokesperson Caitlin Furr told the Citizen Times that the knife was “forfeited upon entry” and given back to Cawthorn “upon departure.”
Cawthorn had attended (and in the case of Johnston County, led) the meetings to rail against the school boards’ mask mandates.
Luke Ball, Cawthorn’s spokesperson, accused the criticism of the Republican’s weapons of being part of a “smear campaign.”