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State senator taking aim at ‘swatting’

A state senator plans to introduce legislation during the upcoming session of the General Assembly aimed at “swatting,” false reports of criminal activity that send police to the homes or offices of targeted victims.

Since Christmas Day, three Republican state senators, a Democratic state senator, GOP Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, RRome, have been targeted by swatting calls.

“This issue goes beyond politics – it’s about public safety and preserving the integrity of our institutions,” said state Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford, one of the victims of swatting, who announced Thursday that he will back legislation strengthening penalties for false reporting and misuse of police forces.

“We will not stand for these threats of violence and intimidation. Those involved in swatting must be held accountable under the full extent of the law.”

Besides Dixon, other state senators targeted by swatting calls include Republicans John Albers of Roswell and Kay Kirkpatrick of Marietta, and Democrat Kim Jackson of Stone Mountain.

Greene told The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper covering Congress, that her two daughters were targets of swatting on Thursday, just days after she experienced what she estimated was the eighth swatting call aimed at her.

The 2024 session of the General Assembly will begin Jan. 8.

Dave Williams is the bureau chief for Capitol Beat News Service, a nonprofit news service operated by the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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