Minn. 'swatting' law targeting prank 911 callers goes into effect this week

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A new state law going into effect Thursday targets people who make prank calls to 911 with the intention of luring authorities somewhere, The Associated Press reports.

The law against the practice, known as "swatting," applies to both calls and texts.

The measure was passed by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton in April.

Under the new law, a person who reports a fictitious emergency to 911 dispatchers could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Repeat offenders could be charged with a gross misdemeanor and if a fake call results in an injury, the person could be charged with a felony.

The term "swatting" derives from police SWAT teams. The AP said that SWAT teams have responded to emergency calls because of some of the circumstances described by prank callers.

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