Bill Would Crack Down On Celebrity ‘Swatting’ Pranksters

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The state Assembly has unanimously approved a bill that would impose a fine of up to $2,000 and a year in jail for people who make false 911 calls targeting the homes of celebrities.

AB47 by Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles was approved 70-0 Tuesday and moves to the Senate, which previously approved similar legislation.

There have been more than a dozen incidents in the past few months of the prank known as “swatting,” mostly in the Los Angeles area and targeting celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Rihanna.

Police often mobilize special tactical units and say the calls waste law enforcement resources as officers search for phantom intruders. The Assembly bill would also boost the penalties if a “swatting” call results in bodily harm.

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