Statement from FPCA Executive Director Amy Mercer
“We can’t ignore threats to our communities. In the wake of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, we applaud the committee for passing Senate Bill 310 and thank sponsor Senator Steube and co-sponsor Senator Baxley for bringing this bill forward. SB 310 is critical to Florida’s police and all law enforcement officers as the legislature moves to address school and community safety.
“The law has not kept up with how we communicate in a digital age. This bill will update our laws around online threats.
“There is a misconception that a law like this is already on the books and that law enforcement can assess, and take action, on threats made online.
“SB 310 will allow law enforcement to act on a broader range of threats, including those made on social media. The bill makes it a third-degree felony to create and send certain written threats, including electronic communications, to kill or do great bodily harm.
“Under current law, law enforcement officers’ hands are tied when they try to act on non-specific threats made through digital platforms. The warning signs aren’t missed, law enforcement just doesn’t have the tools they need to act on them.
“Our law enforcement officers need the tools to do their jobs to protect our schools and our communities. This bill allows them to act on the warning signs.”