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General Laws

Section 14. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:—

“Hijack”, to commandeer or to take control without authority.

“School”, any public or private preschool, headstart facility, elementary, vocational or secondary school, college or university.

“Serious bodily injury”, bodily injury which results in a permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of a bodily function, limb or organ, or substantial risk of death.

(b) Whoever willfully communicates or causes to be communicated, either directly or indirectly, orally, in writing, by mail, by use of a telephone or telecommunication device including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications and facsimile communications, through an electronic communication device or by any other means, a threat:—

(1) that a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon, as defined in section 121 of chapter 140, an explosive or incendiary device, a dangerous chemical or biological agent, a poison, a harmful radioactive substance or any other device, substance or item capable of causing death, serious bodily injury or substantial property damage, will be used at a place or location, or is present or will be present at a place or location, whether or not the same is in fact used or present; or

(2) to hijack an aircraft, ship, or common carrier thereby causing anxiety, unrest, fear, or personal discomfort to any person or group of persons shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years, or by fine of not more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) Whoever willfully communicates or causes to be communicated such a threat thereby causing either the evacuation or serious disruption of a school, school related event, school transportation, or a dwelling, building, place of assembly, facility or public transport, or an aircraft, ship or common carrier, or willfully communicates or causes serious public inconvenience or alarm, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 3 years nor more than 20 years or imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than 6 months nor more than 21/2 years, or by fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $50,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) The court shall, after conviction, conduct a hearing to ascertain the extent of costs incurred, damages and financial loss suffered by an individual, public or private entity and the amount of property damage caused as a result of the defendant’s crime. A person found guilty of violating this section shall, in all cases, in addition to any other punishment, be ordered to make restitution to the individual, public or private entity for any costs incurred, damages and financial loss sustained as a result of the commission of the crime. Restitution shall be imposed in addition to incarceration or fine, and not in lieu thereof, however, the court shall consider the defendant’s present and future ability to pay in its determinations regarding a fine. In determining the amount, time and method of payment of restitution, the court shall consider the financial resources of the defendant and the burden restitution will impose on the defendant.

(e) Nothing in this section shall authorize the criminal prosecution of picketing, public demonstrations or other similar forms of expressing views.

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