Senate Republican Whip Applauds Passage of "Swatting" Bill
Threat of a shooting would become a felony offense
SANTA FE — Today, the Senate advanced Senate Bill 513, sponsored by Senate Republican Whip, Senator Craig Brandt (R-Rio Rancho), on a vote of 39-1. The bill would raise the crime of threatening a shooting to the same penalty as threatening a bombing—a fourth-degree felony. The bill also codifies the term "swatting" into law as it has become a common term for prompting a SWAT police response on false pretenses. Senator Brandt passed a similar measure in 2021 but the penalty for the crime was reduced to a misdemeanor. In February, false threats of a mass school shooting occurred all around the Albuquerque area prompting mass panic and school lockdowns.
Senator Brandt issued the following statement regarding the passage of his bill:
"Whether it be for the attention, for the thrill, or a serious threat no one should go unpunished for the fear caused by a threat of a shooting. The individuals who cause fear and panic for our students and the public deserve real consequences for the trauma induced by these incidents. We must pass this bill to ensure our state prosecutors have the tools to track these individuals down and hold them accountable.
The bill now heads to the House.