Published: Fri, September 13, 2019

Beto O’Rourke claims Trump inspired El Paso gunman

Beto O’Rourke claims Trump inspired El Paso gunman

A Republican state lawmaker from Texas has caused outcry for tweeting "My AR is ready for you Robert Francis" after Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke pledged to ban and confiscate AR-15 military-style rifles.

"My AR is ready for you Robert Francis", Texas state representative Briscoe Cain wrote, using O'Rourke's full given name.

Within hours, more than 4,000 people replied to the tweet, mostly criticizing Cain for making what they considered to be a death threat. Cain's original tweet was removed by Twitter for violating the service's rules. O'Rourke has made gun control a major part of his platform after recent mass shootings in the Texas communities of El Paso, Odessa and Midland.

Cain didn't immediately respond to a reporter's request for comment.

Meanwhile, a Texas state lawmaker sent a threatening tweet, which O'Rourke reposted with the message, "Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15-and neither should anyone else".

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

But as a Senate candidate in April 2018, O'Rourke struck a different tone during an interview on "The Chad Hasty Show", whose host asked: "I own an AR-15".

In response to a question about his proposal that owners of assault weapons be forced to sell them to the government, O'Rourke said, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47".

Cain responded by calling O'Rourke a child. When another critic told him they had saved a screenshot of his comments for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the lawmaker responded, "Cool bro". "People were murdered. The language you are using and the way you are using it is unsafe".

Weeks after the El Paso shooting, a 36-year-old man killed seven people and wounded 22 others as he fired at them while he was driving.

The O'Rourke campaign is reporting the original tweet from Cain to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a campaign official told ABC News.

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