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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2021 12:51 PM
From: Representative Scott Conklin
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Communities and Property from Arsonists
It is one of the greatest fears; waking up in the middle of the night to the smell of smoke, the ear-piercing screech of smoke alarms and the feeling of terror as we try to ease the panic in our home and get our loved ones to safety. Sadly, this image is all too real for some people and while the cause of the fire may be ruled accidental, or unknown, there is a chance that arson was the underlying cause.

While the crime of arson may be committed for revenge, arsonists also set fires to conceal other crimes such as murder or to help someone gain profit from the fire by burning a property to collect the insurance payout. In rare cases, arsonists set fires as a hate crime or just because they enjoy the idea of setting a fire. Regardless of the reason, arson is a dangerous crime that puts the lives of many innocent people at risk. We need a way to identify these dangerous criminals and know their whereabouts so that we can keep our families and property safe.

My proposal establishes a database, which will contain the identifying information of convicted arsonists as well as residential information, similar to Megan’s Law. Like a sex offender required to register, any arsonist who fails to register will be subject to additional fines and jail time. It is important that we be able to identify and locate these criminals in order to ensure the safety of our families and our property.

Please join me in protecting innocent people and property from malicious people who intend to do harm.
Previously introduced as HB953 of the 2019-2020 legislative session.