Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, wants to add ‘private residences’ to places that a person could be charged for making terroristic threats. The recent swatting situation on January 7 involving the home of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft pushed Rowden to file the legislation.

“I’ve had issues of, you know, folks coming to my house during elections,” Rowden said. “It’s not fun and I don’t care if you’re, you know, far right or far left or somewhere in between, that’s not how we should be doing things. Hopefully we can get something done.”

Swatting is when someone contacts law enforcement and falsely claims a crime is being committed at a specific address.

“We had been talking about, there have been other instances, you know, not in Missouri, but there have been other political and non-political, you hear stories every once in a while, you know, kids online playing Fortnight and basically just trying to screw with their friends,” he said. “So, there’s malicious stuff and then there’s people just being stupid.”

Rowden’s legislation would also make it a Class D felony if a swatting call results in death, injury, or property damage.

“It’s all bad, right? The person who’s getting their door knocked down in some instances doesn’t really care if it’s meant to be malicious or not. I think that was the thing that kind of put us over the top of saying, ‘Hey, let’s do something about this in Missouri and make it a priority.’ But it’s been an issue,” said Rowden. “You’ve seen it covered in the media in a number of states around the country, political or non-political.”

The bill has recently been introduced in the Senate and could be considered by a Senate committee soon.

Click here for more on Rowden’s bill.

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