Making a Threat a Felony

State Senator Calls for Tougher Oregon Laws to Combat School Threats

On the same day that the Bend-La Pine Schools superintendent issued a call for action to address recent threats against Bend schools, State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) introduced an amendment to add the crime of Threatening to Commit a Terroristic Act to Oregon’s criminal statute.
Similar to existing laws in other states, the law would criminalize making a terroristic threat, which is the threat to commit a crime that will result in great bodily harm, regardless of whether the person intended to carry out the threat. This would help prosecutors charge individuals who don’t fall under disorderly conduct, menacing, or harassment statues and creates a criminal penalty commensurate with the harm caused by such a threat.
The amendment is supported by Deschutes County DA John Hummel, Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, and the Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson.
Earlier on Monday, Mikalson issues a letter to parents and students at all Bend-La Pine Schools in what he deemed a “call of action” to protect teachers and students at schools.
One of the action items he recommended was creating a “terroristic threat” crime which would be classified as a felony.

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