Houston, TX – Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke called the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to report a Texas lawmaker’s tweet as a death threat after he told Americans he was going to take away their semi-automatic rifles during the Democratic Presidential Debate on Thursday night.
"Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke answered the moderator’s question about gun confiscation.
“We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” he proclaimed.
The candidate from El Paso then said he would start a mandatory buyback of “assault rifles” and forcibly remove the weapons from those who did not comply, ABC News reported.
"If the high impact, high velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body, because it was designed to do that, so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers," O'Rourke said. "When we see that being used against children, and in Odessa, I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15, and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa and Midland, there weren't enough ambulances to get to them in time, hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47."
Late Thursday night after the debate in Houston, O’Rourke reiterated his pledge on Twitter.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” the candidate tweeted.
Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain took umbrage at O’Rourke’s vow to take away rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and let the candidate know it.
“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Cain wrote in a post that Twitter has since deleted.
O’Rourke’s campaign reacted by reporting the tweet to the FBI as a death threat, ABC News reported.
"This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else,” O’Rourke replied via tweet to Cain.
“You’re a child Robert Francis,” Cain tweeted.
Cain’s tweet was then removed by Twitter for violating the platform’s “violent threat” policy.
"I think it's a really irresponsible thing for him to do, especially somebody who is a public servant and in a position of public trust to be sending that kind of message to this country,” O’Rourke complained to CBS News. “We are a nation of laws, and if that ends up becoming the law of the United States of America, then we expect the people of this country to comply with it."
Cain said that his tweet wasn’t a threat, it was a "come and take it" message.
ABC News reported that Cain’s account was put in “Twitter Jail” for about 10 hours after his post was removed.
The second-term gun-rights advocate, who represents House District 128 east of Houston, has been put under police protection due to threats made against him in the wake of the Twitter war with O’Rourke.
Cain has been rated the most right-wing member of the Texas House and is known for posting provocative content on social media, ABC News reported.