“SWATting” is the nefarious act of calling 911 on a unsuspecting and innocent person and telling the police that something criminal and immediately dangerous is taking place at their location.
The origins of SWATting go back to disgruntled online gamers who would be beaten by an opponent and instead of being gracious in defeat would use the IP address of the victor to find their real life address and then call the police.
It gets worse. Because now gun control groups are openly encouraging their supporters to initiate SWATting against law abiding citizens who carry firearms.
Moms Demand Action (MDA) for instance has regularly encouraged its followers to practice SWATting whenever they see a person carrying a weapon. And not criminals. Law abiding citizens.
MDA wants their followers to call the police when they see law abiding citizens going about their daily business solely because they exercise their right to keep and bear arms. National Review Online profiled MDA’s actions and the fallout of tragic consequences. One gun control advocate, for example, called 911 about “an imminently dangerous situation” of a man with an air-soft toy gun, who was killed.
It’s not only MDA. On July 24th the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence posted this on its Facebook page:
“If you see anyone carrying a firearm in public—openly or concealed—and have ANY doubts about their intent, call 911 immediately and ask police to come to the scene. Never put your safety, or the safety of your loved ones, at the mercy of weak gun laws that arm individuals in public with little or no criminal and/or mental health screening.”
A myriad of supporters spoke of how they would SWAT innocent people exercising their Second Amendment rights. One comment sums up the rest rather succinctly:
“Whenever I see someone openly carrying a gun somewhere, I call the police immediately and let them know there is someone with a gun acting very threatening.”
Finally after all the insanity resulting from gun control advocates willfully lying to the police in the hope that they accidentally kill a law abiding citizen, federal lawmakers are stepping in to actually make these “pranks” a crime.
Rep. [score]Patrick Meehan[/score] (R-PA) Rep. [score]Katherine Clark[/score] (D-MA) recently introduced the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act.
While the legislation was initially written in response to bomb and attack hoaxes especially at soft targets like schools, the text is broad enough to include throwing gun control zealots into jail for SWATting law abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment Rights. Under this bill SWAting would be a criminal violation:
“Whoever, with the intent to cause an emergency response by any law enforcement agency, in the absence of circumstances requiring such a response, uses a telecommunications system, the mails, or any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to knowingly transmit false or misleading information indicating that conduct has taken, is taking, or will take place that may reasonably be believed to constitute a violation of any State or Federal criminal law, or endanger public health or safety, shall—
(1) if an emergency response results, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both; (2) if serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) results, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; (3) if death results, be fined under this title or imprisoned for any number of years or for life, or both; and (4) in any other case, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”
This legislation will make it harder for “anonymous” tips to be anonymous, and will offer harsher penalties than those the states might have otherwise.
Hopefully this bill will finally reign in gun control zealots’ reckless and dangerous behavior of SWATting innocent people.
Tony Oliva is a Second Amendment advocate who writes for BulletsFirst.net.