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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.

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58 COMMENTS

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16.

Kaaka    

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

You completely miss the point , the point is that when they catch you be prepared for whats coming , I say good job by this Mike Gatto and the rest in the committee .

519 days ago
17.

tremers    

why are the police still sending swat teams and helicopters? probably only because they are stars... I bet if this was done to the avg joe... it would take hours for a squad car to show up!

519 days ago
18.

TimP    

NO, NO, NO!!! You don't charge them a 2K fine, You charge them or their parents what it actually cost to respond!! From my understanding it cost 10K to roll out SWAT.

519 days ago
19.

judy jetson    

There's a report out saying half of Justin biebers twitter followers are fake. I know that MOSTof Harvey levins twitter followers are fake!!! Hahahaha!!!! :)

519 days ago
20.

CoconutScrimp    

If swattings stop, what's TMZ going to do? Dee posts on which celebrity hasn't been swatted?

519 days ago
21.

Jordan    

LA sheriffs are more concerned with protecting Kim Kardashian for a Divorce Hearing. The only person that LA Sheriffs could catch is a 12 year old kid that needs help and LA District Attorney wants to Prosecute this kid and send him to Prison for Life.

519 days ago
22.

Truth    

YAAAWWN!!!! ONLY ONE F*CKING PROBLEM WITH THIS LAW... GOTTA FIND THE HACKERS FIRST. OOPS, YEA.. FORGOT ABOUT THAT SH*T. #TRUTH!!

519 days ago
23.

StevenB    

Nice idea but the law has no real deterrent in it. Let's face it -- unless someone gets hurt or the perpetrator has several priors, the jail time will be converted to probation and most people, when push comes to shove can come up with $2000 somehow. They need to also have to reimburse the city, county and state officials for the costs of the police officers, SWAT officers, firefighters, EMTs, ambulance crews, helicopter pilots, bomb squad teams. . . . . Coming up with tens of thousands or more is much much harder. And these charges should be in categorized as ones that can not be erased by bankruptcy filings. Knowing that you are going to be billed for more than they or their Mommys and Daddys make in a years and that that debt will never leave you until you either pay it off or die will have some deterrent effect.

519 days ago
24.

Timmy Boy    

That guy looks gay

519 days ago
25.

Jordan    

This is like DUI no one cares if they get one just look at Kevin Hart.

519 days ago
26.

Purple Crayon    

Who cares about Bieber? It's also about police and emergency resources being available to people who really need them and the money it costs us as taxpayers to respond to these crank calls.

I hope they catch and nail every one of these stupid swatters....and present them with a bill for the cost to respond to their calls. Little punks.

519 days ago
27.

Phreaky    

LMAO @ a year in jail and a $2000 fine - that's nothing if these pranks are as dangerous as they claim. You know damn well the year in jail will be plea bargained to probation, and mommy and daddy will pay the $2k.
They need to make it a felony and make it 10 years and $100k.

519 days ago
28.

Cecilia     

So what's that, like 10-15 minutes at Lynwood or associated L.A. County jail?

519 days ago
29.

LISA    

That’s great, but I’d like to see the fine and jail time doubled or even tripled - and I hope this includes young offenders. They better hurry up with the felony part, and advertise it well, because someone WILL get hurt or killed, eventually.


I suspect it's mostly young people (12-18) doing this. If the media didn't show coverage of the chaos, there probably wouldn't be any more incidents - but that's not going to happen.

519 days ago
30.

Elle    

Would this bill only protect the rich and famous or is it for everyone?

519 days ago
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