AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Republican Texas state lawmaker accused of threatening gun violence during an immigration protest on the House floor says his life was threatened, not the other way around.

Rep. Matt Rinaldi of Irving said in a statement on Facebook that he "called ICE on several illegal immigrants" Monday based on signs protesters were waving reading, "I am illegal and here to stay."

Rinaldi says his Democratic colleagues were encouraging protesters "to disobey law enforcement" and that when he mentioned calling federal authorities he was "physically assaulted" by one Democrat.

Rinaldi says another Democrat claimed he would "get" him on his way to his car.

Rinaldi says he responded saying he "would shoot him" in self-defense. He added that he is currently under state trooper protection.