The NY Times has a short piece about the mascot for a West Virginia basketball team that showed up at Madison Square Gardens for a college tournament and wasn't searched even though he was carrying a rifle.
When I first saw the headline, I thought it might have been about the Mountaineer mascot of my own alma-mater, Appalachian State University. I believe that, at least in the 1980's, the mascot there fired a rifle or musket with gunpowder during some parts of the games. (College memories are a little hazy these days...)
article at NY Times