Cooke’s Anti-Swatting Bill Passes the Senate

DENVER – Senator John Cooke’s bill, Senate Bill 68, that increases penalties for those who engage in “swatting,” passed unanimously through the Colorado State Senate this morning. “Swatting” is the practice of reporting a fake emergency, such as a live shooter or hostage situation, with the aim of sending police tactical unity to an unsuspecting target’s home.

“As we’ve seen in recent years, swatting has become more and more prevalent and it has led to the deaths of innocent individuals,” said Senator Cooke. “These false reports, the waste of law enforcement resources, and the deaths that have resulted are unacceptable. Hopefully, with legislation like Senate Bill 68, we will begin to send that message to anybody who considers trying to pull one of these pranks.”

Currently, falsely reporting an emergency is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado. SB-68 increases those penalties, depending on if physical harm or danger to public safety results. False reports would now become a Class 6 or Class 4 felony if bodily injury to individuals results, and if a false report results in death, it can now be charged as a Class 3 felony. Additionally, it holds guilty parties responsible for any emergency response.

“I was very glad to see this piece of legislation get unanimous, bipartisan support from the Senate, and I applaud my colleagues for moving forward to put an end to these pranks once and for all,” said Senator Cooke. “I expect that Senate Bill 68 will see support in the House, and hope to see it signed by the Governor soon.”

Senate Bill 68 now moves to the floor of the Colorado House of Representatives.

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