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Swatting Justice

New Bill Gunning

To CRUSH Pranksters

4/16/2013 1:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0416-senator-swatting-cruise-ashton-bieber-diddy
Would-be swatting pranksters better think twice about making bogus 911 calls ... a new bill is winding its way through the Legislature that aims to put them behind bars for a long time.

This has become a huge problem in L.A. and there are no specific laws prohibiting the prank calls, although various laws can currently be used to prosecute anyone who's caught.

The new anti-swatting legislation is the brainchild of Assemblyman Mike Gatto (left) ... and it just passed its first hurdle toward becoming law ... the Assembly Public Safety Committee ... by a vote of 6-0.

If the bill becomes law ... swatters would be subject to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine ... and they could get even more time if the swatting prank results in someone getting hurt.  In that case it becomes a felony.

Recent celebrity swatting victims include Justin Bieber, Diddy, Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake, Tom Cruise and Rihanna.

Gatto tells TMZ, “This bill is not just about protecting folks like Justin Bieber.  It’s about protecting kids playing in the street when emergency vehicles needlessly speed by."

But let's be honest ... it's really about protecting Justin Bieber.

0403_stars_swatted_footer

58 COMMENTS

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1.

GoAwayGloria    

What is the point of putting a law in place if they can't even catch who is doing it....

453 days ago
2.

Tj    

And there it is! Your daily knock on Justin Beiber. Come to expect your daily dose of trash journalism. Even as an entertainment site.

453 days ago
3.

KnuckleDragger    

Sure, let's make another law, that'll stop 'em! Since you can't seem to catch these people...I'm sure they're very intimidated.
.
Laws don't stop law breakers.

453 days ago
4.

H1tters    

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjVUs4vql7g

453 days ago
5.

chunkydough    

"... and there are no specific laws prohibiting the crank calls, although various laws can currently be used to prosecute anyone who's caught."

No specific laws. LA stupid justice system never fails to surprise me. From jail overcrowding to Donner and now this.

453 days ago
6.

DefinityFL    

What is in this for Assemblyman Mike Gatto?

453 days ago
7.

KnuckleDragger    

"The new anti-swatting legislation is the brainchild of Assemblyman Mike Gatto (left) ..."
.
Yes, the guy on the (left), because you know, without you thinking you should point that out I might have thought it was the black guy with his hat on backwards! *rolls eyes*

453 days ago
8.

HappYdayZ    

I rarely get serious on here but in light of yesterdays Boston bombings I think anyone wasting emergency personals time on a prank should face a mandatory year in a federal prison, we don't live in a time we can tolerate people that have their heads up there ass!

453 days ago
9.

Carl    

I feel bad for (most) of the celebs affected, but I care more about how much money it is costing me as a taxpayer in LA. So if this bill helps put a stop to it, great!

453 days ago
10.

Kelly    

Mike Gatto is hot.

453 days ago
11.

GetOverYourself    

If the cops didn't have thier heads up these stars' a**e* they wouldn't need legislation. All the pigs have to do is ignore the calls, or take forever to respond (you know, the same way they treat us common folk), and the pranksters would get bored and move on! Problem solved!

453 days ago
12.

catster    

"But let's be honest ... it's really about protecting Justin Bieber." ... Don't say things like that, TMZ! Too many idiots believe that... It's about protecting our TAX DOLLARS from being needlessly wasted! I pay taxes in LA and I wish the penalty was even worse.

453 days ago
13.

Wow ...    

Excellent news. Criminals do not care about breaking the law, so they may not care. But if there aren't any laws on the book for punishment when they are caught - then they get a slap on the hand. So I am happy about this, though I believe the fines should cover at least half, if not all the cost of 911 resources used.

453 days ago
14.

obvious    

Who ever wrote the end of that article is a dumb @ss

453 days ago
15.

flyskimmer    

gatto looks like the greasy bastard that sold my last car.

453 days ago
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