< Back to H.R. 2954 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)

Text of the Federal Anti-Stalker Act of 1996

This bill was introduced on February 1, 1996, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 1, 1996 (Introduced).

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HR 2954 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 2954

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide Federal penalties for stalking.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 1, 1996

Mr. ROYCE introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide Federal penalties for stalking.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Federal Anti-Stalker Act of 1996’.

SEC. 2. TITLE 18 AMENDMENT.

    (a) OFFENSE- Chapter 41 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Sec. 880. Stalking

    ‘(a) Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (c) of this section willfully and maliciously--

      ‘(1) repeatedly follows or harasses another person; and

      ‘(2) makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of the death or serious bodily injury of that person or a member of that person’s immediate family;

    shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

    ‘(b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) of this section is--

      ‘(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the case of a first conviction under such subsection or a second or subsequent conviction not described in paragraph (2)(B); and

      ‘(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both, if the offense--

        ‘(A) violated a restraining order or other court order in effect prohibiting the behavior; or

        ‘(B) is a second or subsequent conviction under this section and is against the same victim as a prior offense under this section.

    ‘(c) The circumstance referred to in subsection (a) of this section is--

      ‘(1) that the offender crossed the border of a State during or for the purposes of the commission of the offense;

      ‘(2) that the offender in the course of the offense used the United States mail or a facility in, or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or

      ‘(3) the offense occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

    ‘(d) For the purposes of this section--

      ‘(1) one harasses a person if--

        ‘(A) one knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed specifically at that person;

        ‘(B) that conduct seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses that person but serves no legitimate purpose; and

        ‘(C) the course of conduct is such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and does in fact cause substantial emotional distress to the person against whom it is directed;

      ‘(2) the term ‘course of conduct’ means a pattern or conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose; and

      ‘(3) the term ‘credible threat’ means a threat made with the intent and apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat a reasonable fear for that person’s safety.

    ‘(e) This section does not prohibit activity protected by the Constitution.’.

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 41 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘880. Stalking.’.