(Jefferson City, MO) – Missouri Senate President Pro-Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said he will file legislation designed to increase the penalties for swatting.
Swatting is when a prank call is made to law enforcement to prompt armed officers to respond to a specific location.
Making a false police report in Missouri is currently a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Rowden made the announcement after Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s home was the target of a swatting call Sunday night.
This is becoming an alarming trend. I will be filing legislation ASAP to increase penalties for swatting in Missouri.
— Caleb Rowden (@calebrowden) January 8, 2024
Ashcroft said he was at home with his wife and children when he received a phone call from law enforcement asking if everything was fine in his house.
“It ended up with me walking out of my front door with my hands up with several armed police officers in front of my house. I’m so thankful the Jefferson City Police Department handled the situation with an extreme amount of professionalism and that no one was hurt. It is unfortunate their resources and manpower had to be used on a prank,” said Ashcroft. “I am hopeful those responsible for such childish, cowardice acts will be brought to justice.”
The police told Ashcroft that they received an emergency call saying that there had been a shooting at the residence.
Ashcroft said he and his family are safe.
Several Missouri schools and politicians around the country have been the recent targets of swatting calls. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia is one. After announcing that Donald Trump was ineligible to appear on Maine’s primary election ballot, the Maine secretary of state was also the target of a call.
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