FILE - Montana state capitol

Montana State Capital Building in Helena, Montana

(The Center Square) – A Montana lawmaker wants to increase criminal penalties for anyone convicted of making a threat against a school or student.

State Rep. Wendy McKamey, R-Ulm, filed House Bill 377, which could lead to a prison sentence of up to 10 years for an offender.

"A person who purposely or knowingly makes a credible threat ... of violence, which if carried out would result in death or serious bodily injury ... and has taken an action in furtherance of the threat, including but not limited to bringing a weapon ... to a school, commits the offense of issuing a credible threat of violence in a school setting," the bill says.

"A person convicted of issuing a credible threat of violence in a school setting shall be imprisoned in a state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years or be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000, or both," it continues.

The House Judiciary Committee heard debate on the bill Monday.