Rep. John Reilly (R-Oakland) filed Senate Bill 5483 after a Lake Superior State University student was arrested for making a social media post involving a firearm.
Lucas Gerhard, 20, faces charges of making a terroristic threat, a felony crime that could put him away for 20 years.
The Center Square says Gerhard sent a Snapchat of his AR-15 rifle to a group of friends with the caption, “Takin' this bad boy up, this outta make the snowflakes melt, aye? And I mean snowflakes as in snow.” When he arrived back at campus, he checked in the rifle and ammunition. The next day he was arrested and held for the following 83 days.
Reilly says this legislation would make a clear distinction between a terroristic threat and a joke amongst friends. In the bill, Reilly sets out three criteria for a comment to be considered terroristic. The Center Square explains, "The statement must be a true threat of violence against someone or property, must come from the speaker or an agent of the speaker, and be considered in context so that a reasonable listener would understand it was meant to threaten."