Senate Passes Legislation to Enhance Swatting Penalties

On Tuesday, the Georgia State Senate passed Senate Bill 421, sponsored by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Youth, Sen. Clint Dixon (R–Gwinnett).

This legislation would revise punishments for the offense of making an unlawful request for emergency services assistance. Specifically, the bill creates tiers of punishment to include:

  • First conviction – a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature
  • Second conviction – a felony and punished by imprisonment 5-10 years, with a fine of not less than $5,000.00, or both. (This is increase of the previous 1 year minimum sentence)
  • Third conviction – a felony and punished by imprisonment 10-15 years in prison and a fine of not less than $25,000.00.

Additionally, if the swatting takes place at a place of worship, the first conviction is a felony offense.

Sen. Dixon celebrated the passage of this measure, stating, “I came into the 2024 Legislative Session seeking to pass anti-swatting legislation, and I am very pleased to have accomplished that goal today. The passing of SB 421 is of significant importance, as several Senators, including myself, were the victims of the swatting calls. We are one step closer to holding those who make unlawful requests for emergency services accountable under the full extent of the law. Together, we will not stand for these threats of violence and intimidation.”

This bill will now go before the Georgia House of Representatives for further consideration.

Read the full text of SB 421 here.

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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