Swatting bill passes the Kansas House

Posted: Updated:
Andrew Finch Andrew Finch
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Lisa Finch stood before lawmakers several weeks ago to back House Bill 2581, now named after her son, Andrew Finch.

“It has affected my entire family to a level that nobody should ever have to reach,” Finch said.

Wichita police shot and killed her son last year after someone called in a fake emergency. The man arrested for making that call is in jail awaiting trial.

“The law in Kansas it was really not designed initially at least to prosecute this type of crime,” said Rep. John Carmichael, one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill.

Carmichael says the bill, which passed the Kansas House on Thursday, will increase the penalty for anyone who makes a swatting call that results in death or extreme injury.

“We have now made this apply specifically to false calls to law enforcement, fire departments, EMS or other emergency assistance agencies,” Carmichael said.

The current law says offenders would not have to serve prison time in a deadly swatting incident.

Lawmakers have expanded it to cover not only phone calls, but also emails, and social media threats.

The bill passed the House floor 117 to 0. It will next go to the Kansas Senate.

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