"Swatting" is Now a Felony in Ohio

Swat officers aiming guns

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Columbus, Ohio (WTVN)--A new law in Ohio now makes the act of "swatting" a felony.

Lawmakers increased the severity of the crime after recent incidents across the country, and in Ohio, that prompted police responses to schools.

"Swatting" refers to a caller phoning in a fake threat, usually either an active shooter or a bomb, that prompts a large police response.

In Ohio, the move is now a 4th-degree felony, which comes with a minimum 6-month prison sentence on a conviction. If it causes serious physical harm to someone, it becomes a 2nd-degree felony.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the law increasing the offense back in January.

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