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1418. False Information And Threats

Since October 12, 1984, the only false information offense in the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 is the felony now codified at 49 U.S.C. §  46507(1) (formerly 49 U.S.C. App. § 1472(m)(1)). This provision makes it a crime willfully and maliciously or with reckless disregard for safety to convey false information, knowing such information to be false, concerning an attempt to do an act which would be a felony prohibited by 49 U.S.C. §§  46502(a), 46504, 46505, or 46506 (formerly 49 U.S.C. App. § 1472(i), (j), (k) or (l)).

With respect to threats, the 1984 Aircraft Sabotage Act created a new felony offense for anyone to convey any threat to do an act which would be a felony prohibited by the former 49 U.S.C. App. § 1472(i), (j), (k), or (l) with an apparent determination and will to carry the threat into execution (now codified at 49 U.S.C. § 46507(2) (formerly found at 49 U.S.C. App. §  1472(m)(2))). The defendant must have exhibited an apparent determination and will to carry the threat into execution. Section 46507(2) does not specify the state of mind required for conviction of the offense. Since this offense is not merely regulatory, but rather malum in se, the generally applicable rule for criminal offenses, that a general mens rea is required, is applicable. See 130 Cong. Rec. E 4568 (daily ed. Nov. 14, 1984). See also H.R. Rep. No. 1396, accompanying H.R. 6915, the Criminal Code Revision Act of 1980, 96th Cong., 2d. Sess., at 31, 34-35 (1980).

Section 46507(2) does not require any demand for a thing of value. If an extortive demand is made, there may be violations of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951, the Interstate Communications Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 875(b), (c), or (d), or the Mailing of Threatening Communications Statute, 18 U.S.C. §§ 876, 877.

[cited in USAM 9-63.100]

Updated June 9, 2015