SC Bill Would Allow People to Be Arrested for Threatening Schools with a Gun

Currently there are no laws in place that address threats of gun violence in schools. A Senate bill would address that.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The discussion continues on a bill that would allow officers to arrest people who threaten public or private schools with the use of a firearm.

On Tuesday the full Senate Judiciary committee discussed the bill.

This bill, S.431, would give law enforcement officers an adequate statute to make an arrest.

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Currently, there are no laws in place that would combat school threats, especially when it comes to threats on social media.

Those who make the threats are normally charged with disturbing schools, or assault, something Senator Sandy Senn says is not accurate.

"If you look under the disturbing schools or assault, which is what they are generally arrested under, neither of those statutes are dead on point," says Sen. Senn, R-Charleston County.

This bill would make it so that if a threat was made, then officers could detain the person and investigate if it is a credible threat.

"This was not meant to be another bill that causes a school to prison pipeline, that's not what it is intended to be," says Senn. "It's intended to press the pause button for us to asses if this child or student needs mental health counseling."

The penalty, if convicted would be a two to five year sentence. Those charged with the crime could face a misdemeanor, or a felony if injuries occur.

The senate judiciary committee had to wrap up before voting on whether or not they would pass the bill out of committee.