After the video appeared on social media, Cawthorn tweeted, "A new hit against me just dropped. Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny.
We were acting foolish, and joking. That's it. I'm NOT backing down. I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won't win. We will."
A Cawthorn spokesman told the Asheville Citizen-Times when the paper published a story about the incident in July 2021 that the congressman had had brought the gun "by mistake." Cawthorn was not charged.