Beto O’Rourke reports Twitter ‘death threat’ to FBI

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke has reported a “death threat” tweet from a Texas state Republican to the FBI. 

This comes after his big moment on the Democratic debate stage in Houston Thursday evening in which he promised to confiscate guns like AR-15s.

Beto is coming for your guns

In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, Texas, O’Rourke has made gun control a central tenet of his 2020 campaign, and he had some powerful rhetoric ready for the most recent Democratic debate.

“If it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield, 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 you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers,” he said, continuing, “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, there weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time … ”

This was O’Rourke’s leadup to the line that got everybody’s attention.

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take you AR-15, your AK-47,” he declared. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore.”

Threat made

Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain, a Republican, responded to O’Rourke’s bold declaration with one of his own. “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Cain wrote on Twitter, using O’Rourke’s real first name, in a tweet that has since been removed for violating the social media site’s policy.

Besides reporting the threat to the FBI, O’Rourke responded to Cain’s message, writing on Twitter, “This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else.”

O’Rourke has since appeared on CNN, where he said that this is “a matter for law enforcement.” His campaign staffers confirmed to the Washington Post that Cain’s tweet had been reported to the FBI.

The Post noted that Cain has often made provocative and over-the-top statements via his Twitter account, including calling to “abolish” the liberal city of Austin.


It’s not clear how worried O’Rourke really is about the threat, which has only served to further highlight his big debate night moment, which now appears to have been pre-planned.

Shortly after O’Rourke unleashed his new catchphrase, t-shirts bearing the words, “HELL YES WE’RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR AR-15,” went on sale on his campaign website. They are being sold for $30.

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