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Is It A Crime To Make A Bomb Threat In Maryland?

Most of us are familiar with a prankster who pulls a file alarm. In post-911 Maryland, this conduct is not viewed as harmless fun. Section 9-504 of the Criminal Law Article makes it a crime to

  • circulate or
  • transmit to another

“with intent that it be acted on, a statement or rumor that the person knows to be false about the location or possible detonation of a destructive device”. The law defines destructive device as “an explosive material, incendiary material, or toxic material that is: combined with a delivery or detonating apparatus so as to be capable of inflicting injury to persons or damage to property; or deliberately modified, containerized, or otherwise equipped with a special delivery, activation, or detonation component that gives the material destructive characteristics of a military ordnance”: Included within the definition are:

  • bomb
  • grenade
  • mine
  • shell
  • missile
  • flamethrower
  • poison gas
  • Molotov cocktail
  • pipe bomb, and
  • petroleum-soaked ammonium nitrate

The offense is punishable by 10 years in prison, and a fine. A person convicted is also responsible for restitution for lost goods or other damages.  A minor charged with a  delinquent act under this provision also stands to lose their driver’s license for 6 months.

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