On Tuesday night, the Carson City Council voted in favor of the measure. If the proposal is approved at the second reading on May 20, the ordinance would take effect after 30 calendar days.
There are no federal laws against bullying, the city noted in its report, and the state's laws only address bullying at school, where punishment is limited to suspension, expulsion or some other form of school discipline.
The proposed ordinance is intended to "fill the gap left in the California criminal justice system."
"We are going to protect not only the kid that is bothered in school, but when you leave school and go home, we're going to protect you as a city," said Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson, who co-sponsored the law.
The ordinance protects anyone from kindergarten through age 25 from bullying and cyberbullying. Offenders would face a misdemeanor charge or an infraction, and they would be required to pay a fine and seek counseling.