18 USC Sec. 871 01/05/2009
TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 41 - EXTORTION AND THREATS
Sec. 871. Threats against President and successors to the
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in
the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter
carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document
containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict
bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-
elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of
succession to the office of President of the United States, or the
Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes
any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice
President or other officer next in the order of succession to the
office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) The terms "President-elect" and "Vice President-elect" as
used in this section shall mean such persons as are the apparent
successful candidates for the offices of President and Vice
President, respectively, as ascertained from the results of the
general elections held to determine the electors of President and
Vice President in accordance with title 3, United States Code,
sections 1 and 2. The phrase "other officer next in the order of
succession to the office of President" as used in this section
shall mean the person next in the order of succession to act as
President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections
19 and 20.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 740; June 1, 1955, ch. 115, Sec.
1, 69 Stat. 80; Pub. L. 87-829, Sec. 1, Oct. 15, 1962, 76 Stat.
956; Pub. L. 97-297, Sec. 2, Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1318; Pub. L.
103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat.
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 89 (Feb. 14, 1917, ch.
64, 39 Stat. 919).
Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as
unnecessary in view of definition of "principal" in section 2 of
Minor changes were made in phraseology.
1994 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this
title" for "fined not more than $1,000".
1982 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97-297 inserted ", to kidnap," after
"containing any threat to take the life of".
1962 - Pub. L. 87-829 designated existing provisions as subsec.
(a), extended the provisions of such subsection to include any
other officer next on the order of succession to the office of
President and the Vice-President-elect, added subsec. (b), and
substituted "and successors to the Presidency" for ", President-
elect, and Vice President" in section catchline.
1955 - Act June 1, 1955, included in section catchline and in
text, provision for penalties for threats against the President-
elect and the Vice President.
SHORT TITLE OF 2000 AMENDMENT
Pub. L. 106-544, Sec. 1, Dec. 19, 2000, 114 Stat. 2715, provided
that: "This Act [amending sections 879, 3056 and 3486 of this
title, repealing section 3486A of this title, and enacting
provisions set out as notes under section 3056 of this title,
section 551 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, and
section 566 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be
cited as the 'Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000'."