Beto Reports 'Death Threat' to FBI Over Gun Confiscation Pledge
2020 Democrat claims Republican Texas State Rep Briscoe Cain made threats against his life
2020 Democrat Beto O'Rourke has told the FBI he has received a "death threat" from a Texas Republican in response to his radical calls to confiscate guns from American citizens, according to reports.
Earlier this week, during Thursday's Democratic presidential debate, the former congressman vowed to take automatic weapons from law-abiding Americans, saying:
"Hell, yes, we are going to take your AR-15s."
Amid the outrage that has followed the calls, O'Rourke's campaign contacted the FBI, claiming to have received a threat against Beto's life, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
O'Rourke's team claims that when Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain wrote "my AR is ready for you Robert Francis" on Twitter, the Republican lawmaker was making a "death threat" against Beto.
"It's a matter for law enforcement," O'Rourke told CNN of the matter.
According to the Mail, O'Rourke also capitalized on his breakout gun moment at Thursday's Democratic debate by selling a t-shirt carrying his signature line from the evening.
"Hell, yes, we are going to take your AR-15s," reads the shirt, which the campaign is selling on its website for $30.
And his campaign sent out a fundraising email Friday afternoon on his "breakout moment in the debate."
The appeal for money notes O'Rourke came under attack for his stance on assault weapons by the NRA, Fox News, and Vice President Mike Pence.
"We’re going to embrace the courage of our convictions. No matter what Fox News, the NRA, Pence or others throw our way," the email read.
"Now we have a hugely important FEC deadline coming up.
"Our fundraising numbers will be made public and we need to show strength."
These numbers will be seen as a sign of whether or not the American people agree with Beto.
The end of September is the deadline for third-quarter fundraising.
The former Texas congressman's vow in the debate went viral and his response to the August shooting in his hometown of El Paso earned him the praise of his Democratic rivals.
But O'Rourke clarified that - despite saying "we are going to take your AR-15s" - there would be no door-to-door searches if he got elected and banned the assault weapons.
Instead, he would expect Americans to voluntarily turn their weapons over.
"It’s expecting Americans to follow the law. And I know that they will," he told MSNBC Friday morning.
"I’m going to work with police chiefs, with sheriffs with law enforcement to make sure we implement this in the most effective way possible," he added.
"It will by and large be dependent with people complying with the law."
But, he clarified, it would not be voluntary and people would be expected to follow his ban.
"It is mandatory. It will be the law. You will be required to comply with the law.
"As with many of our laws, we won’t be going door-to-door, searching people’s homes to see if they are in fact breaking the law.
"We expect them to comply with the law," O'Rourke said.
The former Texas congressman was applauded by the Democratic audience when he made his declaration about the assault weapons Thursday night but risked handing Republicans red meat for attack advertisements if he makes it to the head-to-head race with Donald Trump.
O'Rourke has made gun safety issues the centerpiece of his campaign in the wake of mass shootings in Texas, both in El Paso - where a mass shooter killed 22 people and injured 24 others at a Wal-Mart - and Odessa, where eight were killed 25 injured.
But making the declaration on the debate stage reaches a wider audience - and could be used against him.
It gained an instant response from Cain, an ultra-conservative Texas lawmaker.
Since Briscoe Cain posted the message, Twitter removed it for violating the social media platform's policies.
This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else. pic.twitter.com/jsiZmwjMDs— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 13, 2019
During the debate, O'Rourke got heated talking calling for gun confiscation laws speech that had the audience cheering him on.
Beto was asked whether he is proposing to confiscate American’s guns, to which he answered, “I am.”
"Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," Beto declared to cheers from the liberal audience.
"We're not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore," he said as the audience broke into a long applause.
Shortly after his intervention, his campaign tweeted a clip of it and a link to his fundraising website, suggesting he had practiced the line in advance.
Then an outspoken Texas Republican state lawmaker, Briscoe Cain, took up the challenge, tweeting "My AR is ready for you Robert Francis."
O'Rourke's twitter account responded:
"This is a death threat, Representative.
"Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15 — and neither should anyone else."