New Bill Would Tighten Definition of ‘Terror Threat’

A newly introduced bill in Lansing aims to clear up the definition of a terroristic threat.

It is based off the arrest of Lucas Gerhard, then a 19 year old Lake Superior State University student, who was arrested for posting on Snapchat a photo of his rifle and saying he was going to take it up north and “melt some snowflakes.”Screen Shot 2021 06 30 At 72754 Pm

Gerhard was arrested for making a terror threat while the student said he was joking and referencing actual snow.

Now, Representative John Reilly, of Oakland Township, introduced a bill that will clarify the definition of a terror threat, to need context and a direct intent to do harm to bring charges forth.

Reilly said the arrest and reaction are a sign of the times

“This is a free speech issue. I think that society has changed in the last 50 years,” said Reilly, “Now we put something out there and the excuse can be, ‘well now it’s on mass media,’ so everybody can take this as, ‘oh so it’s a threat against me.’ It’s ridiculous. We’ve lost our common sense.”

The bill was first introduced last year but failed to go up for a vote.