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Utah Cops: You Can't Just Shoot Clowns

Law is the same as for non-clowns
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2016 3:33 AM CDT
Utah Cops: You Can't Just Shoot Clowns
Clowns at a cricket match in London.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

With the recent spate of clown sightings, clown hoaxes, and assorted weirdness sweeping the US, police in a Utah town have felt it necessary to clarify the law on shooting them. "Can I shoot or take action against someone that is dressed up like a clown?" is "not a simple yes or no question. It has a lot of variables to it," the Orem Police Department says in a Facebook post. The department says people are welcome to call the cops about clown sightings, but there isn't a great deal they can do if the clown is "just standing there not chasing anyone around." But clowns chasing kids to scare them should "plan on facing some criminal charges." But as Fox 13 puts it, "No, you can’t just shoot someone dressed as a clown because they are dressed as a clown."

The department—which stresses that people shouldn't believe everything they read online—says it decided to issue the clown advice after fielding around 50 queries on Facebook and dozens of phone calls from people concerned about clowns, Fox 13 reports. Police in Ogden, 66 miles south of Orem, say two schools were placed on lockdown Monday after a clown-related threat on Facebook, but police found nothing of concern, the Gephardt Daily reports. The Orem department says there have been no calls about actual clown sightings in the town, and the only one they have encountered "is the one across the street at Mickey D's." (In 2014, there were fears of a clown shortage.)

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