Arkansas Republican busted with gun at Clinton National Airport

Arkansas Republican busted with gun at Clinton National Airport
Arkansas State Rep. Jason Rapert, Image via Screengrab/Twitter

A former Arkansas lawmaker with extensive ties to the Christian nationalist movement was caught trying to carry a gun through security at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, reported the Arkansas Times on Thursday.

"Agents with the federal Transportation Security Administration discovered a possible weapon and called in the local police in accordance with federal policy at 12:33 p.m. A Little Rock police officer searched Rapert’s tan backpack and found a black Taurus 410/45 revolver with 'six rounds in the weapon' and a Browning 22 with '7 rounds in the clip, none loaded,' the police report states," reported Griffin Coop. "Rapert told the officer he had 'checked the bag and did not know the guns were in his bag,' according to the report, which also noted Rapert has a concealed handgun carry license. The officer determined that Rapert did not have a criminal history and that the guns were 'clean' after checking with the Arkansas Crime Information Center."

According to the report, police allowed Rapert to go back to his car, secure his guns there, and continue with his trip without charges: "The incidents are considered Class A misdemeanors and arrests are based on circumstances, Little Rock Police Department Spokesman Mark Edwards said in a statement Thursday afternoon."

Rapert repeatedly got into controversy when he was serving in the Arkansas legislature.

In 2015, he threatened to shoot anyone who approached him on the street and asked him about legislative business. In 2017, when a reporter unearthed social media posts of his calling for "Muslim sympathizers" to be "rounded up," he compared that reporter to a terrorist.

Rapert is a Christian nationalist — an extremist movement that holds the United States was founded explicitly for Christians, to be ruled by Christian law. He heads up a group, the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, which, similar to the American Legislative Exchange Council for business interests, seeks to draft model legislation that lets any lawmaker around the country push a carbon-copy Christian nationalist agenda in their state.

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