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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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31.

a short haired girl    

"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."

Did he just pull a Mrs. Lovejoy? We gotta think about the children!

No, this bill is exactly about protecting celebrities. Tacking on anything about the welfare of children is only a ploy.

You're not a monster that wants kids to get hurt, do you? That's what I thought. Now, go support my bill.

365 days ago
32.

cobrazombie    

They sure didn't rush through putting those economy-crippling bankers behind bars.

365 days ago
33.

Cricket    

It protects everyone. Saves taxpayers $$,saves first responders trouble, and the list goes on. I just hope it passes quickly and these idiots find something productive to do.

365 days ago
34.

cabuchholz73    

Yes swatting puts people in danger and uses resources unnecessarily but again Jail time and fines, but celebrities with DUI that is ok, here is your licence and have a nice day. Oh caught again, 'slap fingers' and off you go.

365 days ago
35.

laffnbear    

Another law is not a deterrent.
The jails and prisons are full, there are hundreds of laws on the books now.
Laws only create criminals.

364 days ago
36.

HillbillyGoat    

Given that it can be used by criminals to divert emergency responders from responding quickly to REAL crimes, and given the fact that regular folks have no emergency responders when they're all busy going to fake emergencies involving celebrities, the penalties should be far, FAR worse. Ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine (plus the cost of the emergency responders) sounds more like it to me.

364 days ago
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