A state lawmaker introduced a bill that, if enacted, would penalize threats against public officials.

Assemblywoman Rosy Garcia Zamarripa proposed a modification to the Penal Code to include public threats as a felony.

The proposal comes after unknown individuals have posted banners in Mexicali streets pointing out the Governor and Attorney General for allegedly protecting criminal bands.

It is unclear if the bill would become a freedom of speech issue once enacted.

The lawmaker said public safety has been affected every day in the state by criminals who have diversified their activities to commit crimes.

Garcia Zamarripa, who leads the Commission of Public Safety, said in a prepared statement that threats must be included as a crime as its impact on social order can lead to people’s panic and fear.

The bill includes provisions to impose up to three years in prison and a significant fine to those found guilty.

Penalties would increase if threats are made against law enforcement officials. The bill was turned to the Commission of Justice.

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