Kan. governor signs 'anti-swatting' bill

Published: Apr. 12, 2018 at 4:58 PM CDT
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Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer Thursday signed an "anti-swatting" bill into law. Specifically, House Bill 2581 "increases penalties for "swatting" or other false alarms if a third-party is injured as a result of the hoax," the governor's office says.

In signing the bill into law, Colyer sited the Dec. 2017 incident in Wichita in which a false 911 call led to the shooting death of Andrew Finch. The hoax call to the southwest Wichita home was made by a man named Tyler Barriss in California. Barriss is now in the Sedgwick County Jail, charged with involuntary manslaughter, giving false alarm and falsely reporting a felony in connection with Finch's death.

“We need to send a clear message that this behavior is unacceptable in our society,” Colyer says. “It isn’t a prank, it isn’t a joke, it is a deadly serious crime and this law makes it clear that we will treat it as such. What happened to Mr. Finch was unspeakably tragic, and we hope that this law will prevent any other innocent people from losing their lives as a result of this horrific behavior.”

Andrew Finch's mother, Lisa Finch, says she believes the legislation will serve its purpose to possibly save lives.