O'Rourke's campaign said it would report the threat from Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain to the FBI.
Briscoe Cain, a Republican state representative in Texas, found himself in the hot seat on this week after he targeted Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) in a threatening tweet.
During the third Democratic presidential debate on Thursday night, O'Rourke said he supported measures to decrease gun violence by buying back assault weapons.
"Hell yeah, we're going to take your AR-15. If it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on the battlefield, we're going to buy it back," he said.
His team also tweeted a similar remark from his official campaign account around the same time.
AR-15s have been used in several deadly mass shootings across the United States since 2012. O'Rourke spoke at length about the recent shooting in his hometown of El Paso on Thursday night, though the shooter in that attack allegedly used an AK-47.
O'Rourke represented El Paso in Congress and has made gun violence a central issue in his campaign.
Cain responded to O'Rourke's remarks Thursday night in a menacing tweet.
"My AR is ready for you Robert Francis," Cain wrote, including the tweet from O'Rourke's campaign.
"This is a death threat, Representative," O'Rourke later replied on Twitter. "Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else."
Twitter eventually removed Cain's threat on Friday. A Twitter spokesperson said that the message "violates our rules for threats of violence."
— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) September 13, 2019
O'Rourke's campaign told CNN the threat would be reported to the FBI.
It was not Cain's first stint in the public eye weighing in on the side of gun violence.
Last year, Cain tried to prank attendees at the Texas Democratic convention by handing out anti-gun control placards.
Cain was forced to leave the property and revealed that he was wearing a sidearm.
In his first year in the legislature, 2017, Texas Monthly crowned Cain the "worst legislator" in the state of Texas.
"When we asked Capitol insiders for Worst list suggestions, his name, almost universally, was the first one mentioned," the outlet wrote.
Texas Monthly noted his "uninformed and belligerent performance" during the legislative session as a major reason for the designation. In one instance, Cain called palliative care a "death panel."
"Under questioning from his colleagues, it became clear that Cain didn’t know that palliative care is the treatment of terminally ill people for pain and anxiety to ease their passing," the outlet reported.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.