Texas Lawmaker to Beto O'Rourke: 'My AR Is Ready for You'

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"Hell, yes. We're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47". "If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it".

Mr Cain later hit back on Twitter, calling Mr O'Rourke "a child". Cain's original tweet was removed by Twitter for violating the service's rules.

Democratic lawmakers in Texas also rebuked Cain's tweet. "My sons and I have gone skeet shooting and hunting and, frankly, I don't think having our presidential candidates, like congressman O'rourke did, say that we're going to try and take people's guns against their will is a wise either policy or political move". If the high impact, high velocity round, when it hits your body shreds everything inside of your body because it was created 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.

"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".

O'Rourke emphasized Friday morning that his buy-back plan was "not voluntary".

His tweet came during a politically charged moment in Texas over gun control following the El Paso shooting and a Labor Day weekend rampage in West Texas that left seven people dead.

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Liberal MSNBC host Joy Reid defended Democratic calls for confiscation of AR-15s on Thursday, saying the only people she knew with those rifles were just "collectors" anyway.

He received praise from his fellow Democratic contenders on Thursday night for his actions following the shooting in El Paso.

The Republican talking point machine immediately began the messaging that all Democrats want to take all guns. By the end of the night, it had turned into a slogan, appearing in red, white and blue letters on T-shirts sold on O'Rourke's campaign website.

Since O'Rourke's run for Senate, there have been several mass shootings across the USA, including in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, which he has said has changed his views on gun control. A gunman who told police he was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a Walmart on August 3 and killed 22 people, most of whom had Hispanic last names. "The language you are using and the way you are using it is unsafe".

The O'Rourke campaign is reporting the original tweet from Cain to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a campaign official told ABC News. "I think it's a really irresponsible thing for him to do", he added, "especially somebody who is a public servant and in a position of public trust to be sending that kind of message".

Cain is a member of the Texas House of Representatives for House District 128, which covers an area east of Houston, where the debate was held. Typically, the publication explained, freshmen lawmakers are exempted from the list, but they cited Cain's "uninformed and belligerent performance".

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