Madison Cawthorn polished a gun during a House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing, per the Daily Beast.
The hearing, which took place on Zoom, was attended by lawmakers and veterans.
Several attendees were infuriated by Cawthorn's gun-cleaning, the Daily Beast reports.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn polished his pistol for several minutes during a House Veterans' Affairs Committee virtual hearing on Wednesday, according to the Daily Beast.
While veterans and lawmakers discussed how toxic chemicals are killing US soldiers, the Daily Beast reported that the 26-year-old Republican was busy cleaning his gun on the Zoom call.
—Lindsay Church (@lkmchurch) January 20, 2022
His polishing became visible to attendees during the testimony of an Afghanistan veteran, two people familiar with the hearing told the Daily Beast.
According to former 9/11 first responder John Feal, several attendees were furious with Cawthorn.
"It was immature. He's a child. He lacks common sense," said Feal, who was on the Zoom, per the Daily Beast. "I think the congressman was overcompensating for something that he lacks and feeling inadequate among the heroes on that call."
Another attendee, cofounder of Burn Pits 360 Rosie Lopez Torres, told the Daily Beast that while she did not notice that Cawthorn was cleaning his gun, it was evident that he seemed distracted.
When Lopez Torres saw a photo of what he had been doing, she told the media outlet that it showed a "total disregard and disrespect" to America's veterans.
Cawthorn appeared to be in his congressional office during the hearing, but his location was not confirmed.
Firearm possession is generally illegal in the District of Columbia, the Daily Beast said, but members of Congress are allowed to keep firearms in their offices.
Insider contacted Cawthorn's communications director Luke Ball for comment and to confirm where Cawthorn was during the hearing but did not immediately receive a response.
In a statement to the Daily Beast, Ball said: "What could possibly be more patriotic than guns and veterans?"
It isn't the first time Cawthorn and one of his guns have made the news.
Insider's Alia Shoaib reported that Cawthorn tried to board a plane while carrying an unloaded Glock 9mm handgun and a loaded magazine in his carry-on in February 2021. Cawthorn was not charged with a crime or fined.
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