statehouse-john-carlos (copy)

The S.C. Statehouse in Columbia.

A Greenville man was arrested Monday after he allegedly threatened to kill a South Carolina lawmaker last month.

Ian Nicholas Nix, 28, has been charged with threatening the life, person or family of a public official after Nix reportedly sent a death threat to state Rep. Steven Long, a Spartanburg Republican, according to warrants from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

Authorities report that Nix sent a message to Long's Facebook page on June 1 in which Nix referred to Long as "right wing scum" and said "Your party's days are numbered."

Nix then reportedly told Long in the same message, "You're a (expletive) dead man."

Long told The Post and Courier on Monday that he was at home when he received the message last month. Long said he alerted SLED.

"I've received rude messages many, many, many, many, many times, but this is the first time that someone has made a threatening message to the extent that they said they wanted to take my life," Long said.

Long said he wonders whether social media makes it easier for people to feel like they can make such comments without facing repercussions.

Nix reportedly told authorities that his comment was a part of his "schtick" of being viewed as an "outlaw revolutionary."

Nix was booked at the Spartanburg County Detention Center Monday on charges of threatening a public official, which carries a penalty of up to $5,000 and five years in prison.

Long said he was thankful that law enforcement looked into the threats, but he isn't worried about his security.

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"I am a strong believer in the Second Amendment, and I can and do carry a firearm legally," he said. "I will be fine."

Long held a raffle earlier this year to give away handguns to K-12 school and college staff members after recent mass school shootings. He introduced a bill to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns on college campuses. It didn't get out of committee.

He also was the primary sponsor of unsuccessful bills to ban abortions and gay marriage in South Carolina.

A 24-year-old businessman, Long was elected in 2016 and won his GOP primary last month. He has no Democratic challenger in the fall.

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.

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