UTICA, N.Y. -- State Senator Joe Griffo is introducing legislation to criminalize threats of mass violence against schools, colleges, universities, places of worship, businesses and mass gatherings.
“Threats of mass violence have resulted in widespread fear and disruption and come at significant cost to the communities in which the threats are made,” Sen. Griffo said in a statement. “Currently, the consequences of such threats are minor. Those who decide to make a threat of mass violence need to understand that there are real consequences for doing so. This bill will ensure that individuals making these threats are punished accordingly.”
It would establish making a threat against a gathering of 25 or more people, whether in written, verbal, or expressed through any other means of communication as a crime with punishment of a $35,000 fine.
“Whether it's fear economics the financial implications and there needs to be consequence for that so regardless of people state of mind or behavior or pass anything like that there has to be in my opinion a consequence to this type of activity and behavior in order to prevent it,” Griffo said.
Griffo's legislation is in the Senate's codes committee awaiting further debate.
The fine would be coupled with three years in prison for people 18 and up – 10 days in a juvenile detention facility for those 18 and under.