'Swatting' now a felony under Ohio governor's new law
Many swatting calls were reported across the state during 2022, including a false report of an active shooter that sent hundreds of students into lockdown
By Ashley Silver
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill into law this week that aims to deter swatting: an all-too-common crime that is tying up police resources.
According to WCPO News, DeWine signed House Bill 462 on Monday, which declares that anyone who reports false or misleading information to a law enforcement agency, emergency service provider or public safety answering point can be found guilty of a fourth-degree felony. The minimum sentence for a person convicted of a fourth-degree felony in Ohio is six months, but offenders can be sentenced up to 18 months in prison.
“All across the country, folks have been killed in these instances — law enforcement officers and civilians as well,” said bill sponsor state Rep. Kevin Miller.
The bill comes at an opportune time, with numerous swatting calls being reported across the state during 2022, including a false report of an active shooter that sent hundreds of students into lockdown in November.