(Watch) CT needs harsher penalties for school threats

December 16, 2015

(Fox 61 Video) Sen. Hwang: CT needs harsher penalties for school threats

Article and video as it appeared on Fox61.com

FAIRFIELD – As news spread of threats to schools in Los Angeles and New York City on Tuesday, Connecticut State Sen. Tony Hwang was working on a bill he says will help make schools safer.

Hwang, a senator from Fairfield, plans to reintroduce legislation in 2016 that creates harsher penalties for those who make threats to schools. The Republican senator’s bill passed unanimously in the Senate last session, but never made it to the House floor.

“This bill is a small step to say to people that aim to scare us, to instill fear in us that we as Connecticut residents will not tolerate it, and we will punish you to the highest allow of the law,” said Hwang.

The bill would create a new section under the state’s existing threatening laws for school threats specifically. Under that new section, first-degree threatening would become a class c felony and second-degree threatening would become a class d felony. Under existing law, first-degree threatening is a class d felony and second-degree threatening is a class a misdemeanor.

The bump up in classes means harsher sentencing guidelines.

Hwang said, “It’s a way for us to seize back control and to let people know that we are in control of our own destiny, not terrorists.”

Hwang represents Connecticut’s 28th Senatorial District, which includes the towns of Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.