2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
September 18, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Vorpagel, Duchow,
Anderson, Brandtjen, Brostoff, Dittrich, Edming, Gundrum, James,
Murphy, Novak, Plumer, Sinicki, Skowronski, Tittl and Vruwink,
cosponsored by Senators Cowles, Wanggaard, Bewley, Jacque, Marklein,
Nass, Olsen and L. Taylor. Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and
1An Act to create
947.014 of the statutes; relating to: falsely reporting an
2emergency and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under this bill, it is a Class I felony to engage in the behavior known as
“swatting,” which means falsely reporting an emergency to a public safety entity,
knowing that no emergency exists, with the intent to elicit a response from an
emergency response team. In addition, under the bill, it is a Class H felony to engage
in swatting if the incident results in physical harm to any person.
Under current law, certain false emergency reports result in a fine or a
misdemeanor conviction, depending on the circumstances of the report. A false
report of a bomb threat or a threat to release a harmful substance is a Class I felony,
and a false terrorist threat is a Class G felony.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
947.014 of the statutes is created to read:
4947.014 Falsely reporting an emergency. (1)
In this section:
(a) “Emergency” means any of the following:
1. A condition that results in or could result in the response of a public official 3
in an authorized emergency vehicle, aircraft, or vessel.
2. A condition that jeopardizes or could jeopardize public safety and results in 5
or could result in the evacuation of any area, building, structure, vehicle, or other 6
place that an individual may enter.
(b) “Swatting” means knowingly falsely reporting to any public safety entity 8
that an emergency exists, with the intent to elicit a response from any public safety 9
entity's emergency response team.
Whoever commits an act of swatting is guilty of a Class I felony.
Whoever violates sub. (2) is guilty of a Class H felony if the violation 12
resulted in physical harm to any person.