State representative contacts SLED about threatening messages

Threatening messages came after Rep. William Gilliard's press conference on banning assault...
Threatening messages came after Rep. William Gilliard's press conference on banning assault weapons on July 20.(Live 5)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 4:55 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A state representative says he has a warning for anyone who threatens him or his team: He will report them to the state police.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard says the threatening phone calls and Facebook messages came after he called for an assault rifle ban. He says he warned the other speakers at Wednesday’s news conference that they would most likely receive harsh messages. Right after it ended, he says the backlash began.

Gilliard says he believes that assault weapons should only be in the military and claims his critics say he is against the Second Amendment. Gilliard says this is not true. He says he just believes everyone has the right to live.

When asked what he would say to people that disagree with him, he says everyone can believe what they want.

“They have a right to,” Gilliard said. “They have a right to agree and disagree but don’t come with threats. Don’t come with intimidations. Okay? Cause the so-called Founding Fathers didn’t have that in their minds when they wrote the so-called Constitution. It’s not about taking your Second Amendment. Hell, what about the right to live.”

Gilliard says he will notify the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division if any intimidation or personal threats are made. He says these threats will be taken seriously and prosecuted if they are found to be credible and unlawful.

SLED says they have not opened an investigation into the messages Gilliard received at this time.

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