Terrorist Threat in Fulton: The Criminal Consequences of the Things We Say

Gene McGrath was arrested in Fulton, Missouri for making terrorist threats at a bar. According to KOMU, McGrath threatened to “get his gun and shoot the place up.” Employees of the bar safely evacuated all patrons after learning about the threat. Police were notified immediately, and McGrath was taken into custody without incident.

Missouri Law and Threatening Language

According to 574.115, RSMo, a person is considered to have made a terrorist threat in the first degree if they purposely frightened ten or more people, causing the evacuation, quarantine, or closure of a building, inhabitable structure, place or assembly, or transportation facility.

Actions that can lead to this criminal charge include:

  • Communicating an expressed or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life;
  • Communicating a false report of an incident or condition involving danger to life; or
  • Causing a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life.

As you can see, Missouri law concerning terrorist threats is applicable to a variety of settings: schools, workplaces, government facilities, the bar, or even the grocery store. The Missouri Safe Schools Act attempts to standardize the response of school districts within Missouri to acts of school violence and other violent behavior. School violence and threats of school violence can result in the student being suspended or expelled and charged with criminal complaints.

In April of 2019, a northwest Missouri high school student was charged with making terrorist threats to his school. The threat prompted seven schools in and around northwest Missouri to go on lockdown. Authorities do not take these threats lightly. The United States has a long, dark history with mass-shootings, and authorities will do everything they can to prevent another one from happening.

Contact an Attorney for Help with Your Charges

If you were accused of using threatening language and are facing criminal charges, you need the help of a skilled attorney. Whether the situation involved a bar, school, or other populated building, contact us today. Our legal team can help you build a defense.