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Texas lawmaker tweets at Beto: ‘my AR is ready for you’ after Beto calls for nationwide AR-15 confiscation at presidential debate

An AR-15 build, magazines and Federal ammunition. (docmonstereyes/Flickr)
September 13, 2019

A state lawmaker has been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation after he tweeted a threatening response to presidential candidate Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke’s comments on gun control during Thursday’s presidential debates.

Texas state representative Briscoe Cain has been reported to the FBI following a tweet saying “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” a nod to O’Rourke’s legal name, ABC News reported.

Cain’s tweet, since removed by Twitter due to its apparent threatening nature, came as a response to a prior tweet by O’Rourke, echoing his Thursday night debate comments in favor of a mandatory gun “buy-back” program, wherein O’Rourke said, “hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15.”

O’Rourke called Cain’s tweet a “death threat” and said Cain “shouldn’t own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else.”

“You’re a child,” Cain replied in the ensuing twitter feud.

In comments provided to ABC News by a campaign official, the O’Rourke presidential campaign has reported the tweet to the FBI.

As the State House representative of Texas’ District 128, Cain’s district covers an area east of Houston, the city that hosted the debate.

Cain has criticized O’Rourke’s proposals for mandatory gun buy-backs and in a prior tweet said “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Sincerely, a Real Texan.”

It was not clear from Cain’s comments alone how he intended the Thursday night tweet to be received, though he called a Twitter user “an idiot” for asking him if he was threatening to shoot O’Rourke.

Twitter removed Cain’s original response to O’Rourke’s tweet because it “violates our rules for threats of violence,” according to The Guardian reporter Lois Beckett.

It is not yet clear how the FBI will weigh in on the issue, following Twitter’s actions against Cain’s tweet.

Chris Loesch, who is married to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, joined in the Twitter argument, saying O’Rourke’s original comment was a threat to “steal our property and destroy our natural rights,” and asked how O’Rourke’s comments were permitted by Twitter.

O’Rourke’s current stance on confiscation for AR-15s seems to run counter to comments he made during his 2018 senate campaign in Texas, in which he came out in favor of letting owners keep those firearms. Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra shared a clip of O’Rourke’s appearance on the Chad Hasty Show, where he said: “if you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it, continue to use it responsibly.”

The issue of gun control took much of O’Rourke’s focus at the Thursday debate, where he said President Donald Trump “inspired” a shooter to kill 22 people inside a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso and focused much of his comments on a proposed mandatory buyback or confiscation of modern sporting rifles like the AR-15.

Fellow Democratic contender Julian Castro also said the shooter was “inspired by this president to kill people who look like me and people who look like my family.”

Various candidates supported laws expanding background checks for gun purchases, magazine bans and debated whether “buy-back” proposals would have gun owners voluntarily sell their firearms or whether mandatory confiscation would be in order.