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Senator Simpson, District 10 — Press Release


March 9, 2016

CONTACT: Rachel Perrin Rogers, 850.487.5018

Anti-Terroristic Threat & Public Servant Protection Act Passes Unanimously

Tallahassee, Fla. —

The Florida Senate and House unanimously passed the Anti-Terroristic Threat & Public Servant Protection Act of 2016 (Senate Bill 436).

Senate Bill 436 criminalizes threats made against law enforcement officers, state attorneys, firefighters, judges, elected officials and the families of these public servants. If an individual threatens to kill or cause serious bodily harm to a public servant or family member, the first offense is a misdemeanor. The second and any subsequent threat is a third degree felony.

“It was an honor to sponsor this legislation. I was truly shocked to find out that it was not already illegal to threaten the life of our law enforcement officers and other public servants and I am grateful to all of my colleagues for their unanimous support. I look forward to Governor Scott signing this bill into law,” said Senator Simpson.

“As we see a change in society from one of trust and respect for law enforcement, firefighters, and others, to one of a world that targets them, we must ensure that Florida leads the way in protecting our protectors and ensures the rule of law matters,” said Representative Smith.

This bill also makes it clear that threatening to use firearms in a violent manner will result in the same penalties that exist in law for bomb threats. It’s been difficult to prosecute individuals who make threats to commit school shootings.

"Our schools have experienced a disturbing trend where individuals have made threats to harm a mass number of students and faculty,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.  “This new law will provide law enforcement a tool to arrest those making such threats.  We appreciate Senator Simpson and Representative Smith’s leadership in passing this bill.”