Making phony bomb threats across Texas is no laughing matter, and soon making them on college campuses could result in felony charges.

Earlier this week, the House passed a bill asking for the inclusion of public and private colleges to the list of places where creating false alarms is a felony offense. This is primarily due to an onslaught of fake bomb threats being made across some Texas campuses that have resulted in public panic and mass evacuations.

Most recently affected was the staff and students at the University of Texas – El Paso, where in upwards of 20,000 people were forced to evacuate due to an anonymous caller claiming there was a bomb on campus.

Incidentally, police searched the school grounds for nearly 5 hours and did not locate anything resembling a bomb. However, the false alarm triggered panic throughout the city and even created issues along the roadways due to an influx in traffic.

The current law dictates that actions, like making phony bomb threats, is a misdemeanor offense, with the possibility of one year in jail if convicted. Under the new law, if it is passed, those convicted could face more jail time and more costly fines.