A Texas GOP lawmaker told Beto O'Rourke that his 'AR is ready for you' after the 2020 Democrat called for banning assault weapons

Screenshot/ABC NewsFormer Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas during the Democratic presidential debate on Thursday.
  • A Republican state lawmaker told the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke that his “AR is ready for you” after O’Rourke advocated a mandatory assault-weapon buyback program during Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Houston.
  • In response to a question on gun control, O’Rourke said: “Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
  • State Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Texas Republican, did not take kindly to the proposal and tweeted his displeasure. His tweet has since been removed.
  • O’Rourke took a screenshot of Cain’s tweet and called it a “death threat.”
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A Texas Republican state lawmaker responded to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s calls for stricter gun control on Thursday, writing on Twitter that his “AR is ready for you,” referencing the semiautomatic assault-style rifle widely associated with mass shootings in the US.

O’Rourke on Thursday night had participated in the latest Democratic debate, where he delivered an impassioned promise to tighten gun control if he were to be elected.

During the debate, which took place in his home state of Texas, O’Rourke cited recent mass shootings – including one in Odessa, Texas, last month that left seven people dead and 21 others injured – as reasons to tighten gun laws in the US.

Responding to a follow-up question about his advocating a mandatory assault-weapon buyback program, O’Rourke said he wanted to prevent weapons modelled after those used in war from getting into the hands of civilians.

“If it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield … Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said to roaring applause from the audience.

“We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”


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State Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Republican representing a district east of Houston, did not take kindly to O’Rourke’s proposal and tweeted his displeasure.

“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Cain wrote, referring to O’Rourke’s legal first and middle name.

The tweet has since been removed.

O’Rourke took a screenshot of the tweet and called the message a “death threat.”

“This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15-and neither should anyone else.”

Cain responded shortly after with another screenshot, calling O’Rourke “a child.”

O’Rourke’s campaign is now selling T-shirts online with his quote about AR-15s from the debate.

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