A Texas state lawmaker has been reported to the FBI for making what Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke considered a death threat, after O’Rourke called for a mandatory buyback of assault rifles during Thursday’s Democratic debate in Houston.
At the debate, O'Rourke was asked if he would stand by his announced plan to force owners of the weapons most often used in mass shootings to surrender them to the government.
“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” the former Texas congressman shouted, to cheers from the audience. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
Briscoe Cain, a Republican serving in the Texas House of Representatives, responded with a tweet that read: “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”
O’Rourke posted a screengrab of Cain’s message on his Twitter feed.
This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else. pic.twitter.com/jsiZmwjMDs
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 13, 2019
"You’re a child Robert Francis," Cain replied.
Beto O’Rourke’s given name is Robert Francis. It was also the given name of Bobby Kennedy, the Democratic presidential candidate who was shot to death while campaigning in 1968.
The original tweet was removed by Twitter for violating the social media platform’s “violent threat” policy.
An official with O’Rourke’s campaign told CNN that the message was reported to the FBI.
Following the mass shooting in El Paso last month, O'Rourke returned to his hometown to offer support to victims. He returned to the campaign trail with a focus on gun control.
Cain is something of a notorious figure in Texas politics. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he was booted from the state Democratic convention in 2018 for trying to distribute fake gun-control signs after brandishing what appeared to be a sidearm.
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