MSD Safety Commission, Legislators Seek Law Covering Verbal Shooting Threats

first_imgState Representative Massullo, from Lecanto, filed a bill last week that would modify the bomb threat law to address firearms as well. He says,“We don’t want to infringe on people’s First Amendment rights and that can be tricky, so we’re crafting the legislation around a statute we already have in place.” The recommendation will be submitted to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Legislature in early November. Another law, which is designed to outlaw bomb threats, makes it a crime to threaten in writing or verbally, to”throw, project, place, or discharge any destructive device.” Massullo adds that several senators have also expressed interest in filing a companion bill, and the Florida Sheriffs Association is supporting the bill. One existing law makes it a crime in Florida to write or compose “a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to the person to whom the communication is sent.” Verbal threats to kill people with firearms are not addressed in Florida law at this time.center_img They want a mass shooting threat, whether it is written or spoken, to be a second-degree felony. However, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, which is reviewing ways to improve school safety after last year’s Parkland shooting, has joined with Republican State Representative Ralph Massullo in an effort to change that policy. Under current Florida law, a deranged person can tell people about a plan to commit a mass shooting and not be arrested, as long as the threat is not written down. A draft report from the Commission states, “If someone calls a bank today and tells the bank employee that he is going to ‘blow up the bank,’ that is a crime. If someone calls the same bank and says he is going ‘shoot up’ the bank, that is not a crime.”last_img

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