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Kustoff Re-Introduces Legislation to Prevent Swatting

July 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08) was joined by Representative Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Representative Pete Stauber (MN-08), and Representative John Rutherford (FL-04) in re-introducing the Preserving Safe Communities by Ending Swatting Act of 2021. Swatting is a call to a police department with a false story of a crime in progress with the intent to draw a large number of police officers to a particular address. This measure would penalize false communications intending to cause an emergency response.

This legislation is supported and endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).

“Swatting is a dangerous and criminal trend that can result in serious injury and even death to victims and law enforcement. Our brave law enforcement officers work hard to serve and protect our communities in West Tennessee and across the United States. Swatting only prevents our law enforcement from properly and successfully doing their job,” said Congressman Kustoff. “This bipartisan bill will impose strict penalties for swatting, including up to 20 years in prison if someone is seriously hurt. I thank my colleagues Representatives Cuellar, Stauber, and Rutherford for joining me in introducing legislation that will help address this crime and put an end to this type of harassment.”

“Men and women in blue risk their lives daily for the health and safety of the communities they serve. Unfortunately, however, swatting has eroded the efficiency of our limited public safety resources while consistently putting civilians in dangerous situations,” said Congressman Cuellar. “That’s why I am leading this legislation that protects our officers and communities. We must set tough penalties in order to protect law enforcement officers from false or misleading information that could be reasonably expected to cause an emergency response. We must also protect and save the lives of community members who could fall victim to these crimes. As a member of Congress, I will continue to support legislation that protects and supports our law enforcement and local community members from bad actors looking to cause serious harm.”

“As a former law enforcement officer, I know that swatting is a crime that can result in the injury or death of victims and law enforcement officers responding to the call. Swatting also diverts law enforcement’s attention and resources from other serious situations that require their immediate attention. Many police departments across the nation are already understaffed and struggling to protect our communities against the recent uptick in violent crime, so they cannot afford to be distracted by fake calls. That’s why I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that will help put an end to these crimes by increasing the penalties for swatters,” said Congressman Pete Stauber.