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Purcell receives threats over bill
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State Rep. Ann Purcell has received threats from supporters of a gun bill that is pending in her committee, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed Thursday.

According to spokesman John Bankhead, GBI director Vernon Keenan met with Purcell on Thursday to discuss the threats she has received regarding proposed legislation to eliminate the requirement for a concealed-weapon permit in order to carry a hidden gun.

"The appropriate people are aware of this," Bankhead said. "We ask any legislator who receives threats like these to contact us."

No arrests have been made, Bankhead said.

Purcell (R-Rincon), chair of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, had not planned to make the threats public. However, a remark made during another committee meeting Wednesday brought the threats to light.

As Purcell was explaining a bill about oversight of 911 fees during an Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee meeting, Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming) asked, "Isn’t it nice to be involved in legislation that, I’m assuming, you’re not receiving any death threats on?"

"You’re right," Purcell responded. "Ladies and gentlemen, I am receiving death threats."

Hamilton added, "It’s amazing how vile some people can get down here. It’s one thing for people to be angry with us, to say things, but to actually put in writing death threats is pretty amazing. I appreciate your courage."

Purcell’s committee held a hearing Feb. 9 on the proposal, House Bill 679, but did not take action on it. If the bill does not pass the House by midnight March 7, it will die, unless it is tacked onto another bill.