Beto O’Rourke’s campaign reported a Texas Republican lawmaker’s “death threat” to the FBI.
During Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate in Houston, O’Rourke responded to the moderator’s question about his stance on guns by saying he supported a ban on weapons “designed to kill on the battlefield.”
“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…there weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time,” he said.
“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47s, we are not going to allow them to be used against fellow Americans any more,” O’Rourke added.
Republican state representative Briscoe Cain tweeted out a response to O’Rourke later on in the night.
“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Cain said in the tweet.
O’Rourke replied with a tweet of his own, characterizing Cain’s comments as a “death threat” and declaring that neither Cain nor “anyone else” should own an AR-15.
I reported it to the Texas state police.@TxDPSSoutheast
Everyone should, too.
— Sez Me (@HoffmanHopes) September 13, 2019
According to the Dallas Morning News, Twitter removed Cain’s tweet and said in a statement that his comments violated its policy against threats of violence.
A press secretary for the O’Rourke campaign told CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago that it was reporting Cain’s remarks to the FBI.
O’Rourke responded Friday morning to reporters asking if Cain’s tweet constituted a death threat by saying, “it sure reads like one to me, and I think it’s a really irresponsible thing for him to do.”
Beto O’Rourke, Briscoe Cain and what constitutes a death threat
O’Rourke’s pro-gun control stance has unsurprisingly proved unpopular with many advocates of gun rights.
Many conservatives and proponents of the Second Amendment mocked O’Rourke after he recently said American gun owners will willingly handover their firearms under his promised mandatory buyback program.
On the other hand, many on the left have been much more receptive to the El Paso politician’s position.
Such was the case in the aftermath of Cain’s challenge, which appalled many liberals who perceived it as a threat of violence.
If you threaten to kill a presidential candidate you should not have a gun pic.twitter.com/YqkzXaer2U
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) September 13, 2019
Prominent progressive activist Amy Siskind tweeted that Cain “should be arrested for making a death threat.”
Not everyone saw it the same way.
Stephen Gutowski, firearms policy reporter for the Washington Free Beacon, compared Cain’s remark to a common gun rights slogan.
"I'm coming to take your guns" is every bit as much a "death threat" under this ridiculous calculation as "come and take them." https://t.co/h2tnkZJx1w
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) September 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Being Libertarian co-founder Eric July argued that “taking people’s guns is the death threat.”