Swatting of Celebrities Like Justin Bieber Could Bring Jail Time Under Calif. Bill
Swatting is the must-have accessory in Hollywood, more necessary than a reality show, porn tape or Third World baby.
But one L.A. state assemblyman has been working hard to keep these victims -- Khloe Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Justin Bieber -- from being so easily bumped up from B to A lists with legislation that would seriously punish the pre-adolescents involved in this crime:
Of course, you'd expect a backlash in Hollywood. So far, silence.
L.A. state legislator Mike Gatto, meanwhile, is triumphant. His proposed, anti-swatting legislation would
make it a crime to be a pimply faced weasel with a smartphone institute fines and even possible jail time for multiple-swatters.
The bill, AB 47, passed the assembly unanimously yesterday and now must pass muster in the state senate before heading to Jerry Brown's desk, if Gatto is lucky.
Here's how his office describes it:
Under the provisions of AB 47, anyone who makes a swatting call would be subject to a $2,000 fine and a year in jail, and significantly increased fine and jail time if the call results in bodily harm. The bill further stipulates that any swatting call that results in a death can be considered manslaughter.
See also: SWATting, a Deadly Political Game.
Gatto's people note that he introduced the bill last year:
Since the start of 2013 swatting -- calling cops with fake reports of home invasions and kidnappings by armed criminals -- has gotten worse, with more than a dozen such pranks aimed at high profile celebs and others so far this year.
Seriously, while some in the narcissistic celebrity game no doubt enjoy the press, the real victims are the rest of us who might actually need cops in a time of real-deal emergency.
Swatting is a dangerous prank that costs local governments and homeowners thousands of dollars and takes public-safety resources away from real emergencies. It is only a matter of time before someone is struck by an emergency-response vehicle or a firearm is accidentally discharged in a moment of chaos.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.