House Votes to Criminalize GPS Stalking


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Contact: State Rep. Pam Peterson
Capitol: (405) 557-7341
  
OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure that would expand stalking statues to include the monitoring of an individual using a GPS or similar device was approved today by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1516, by state Rep. Pam Peterson, proposes to add to the definition of stalking the use of a GPS or other monitoring device. The bill excludes parents, who have the right to monitor the location of their children, and law enforcement, who are allowed to do so if they have a warrant.

Peterson said the bill was inspired by a constituent who found a GPS device placed on his car in order to track his daughter’s movements. She said she modeled the measure’s language after a New York law put in place after a murder that involved the use of a GPS device.

“I talked to law enforcement about GPS stalking and they said the current law was ambiguous,” said Peterson, R-Tulsa. “My legislation clarifies the definition of stalking to include the use of monitoring devices. I tried to make the language broad enough to encompass any new monitoring devices that come on the market. I want to reduce the opportunities for stalkers to pursue their victims.”

Current stalking law provides for a misdemeanor on the first offense with a penalty of up to one year in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Subsequent offenses result in a felony charge with additional prison time.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 83-2 and now proceeds to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.