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Beto O'Rourke campaign reports Texas lawmaker's AR-15 tweet to FBI

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Beto O’Rourke's presidential campaign reported a tweet from a Texas state lawmaker to the FBI on Friday after the candidate described it as "a death threat," a campaign spokesperson told the Guardian.

The big picture: Briscoe Cain, a 34-year-old Republican who represents a district outside of Houston, tweeted "My AR is ready for you Robert Francis" after O’Rourke pledged during the third Democratic debate to enact a mandatory buyback program of all military-style rifles if elected.

What they're saying: Cain violated Twitter's rule that “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people," a Twitter spokesperson told the Guardian. The platform removed the post.

  • Cain defended the tweet, saying it was a a version of "Come and take it," a popular slogan among American gun rights activists.

Of note: Security escorted Cain out of Texas' 2018 Democratic convention in Fort Worth after he appeared to carry a sidearm as part of a prank, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control