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US: House and Senate pass legislation against laser pointer aiming
The bill makes it a crime to aim or illuminate an aircraft with a laser pointer. From the bill:
Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. As used in this section, the term ‘laser pointer’ means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object.
There are three exemptions in H.R. 386: 1) R&D and flight testing approved by FAA, 2) Defense or Homeland Security department operations, and 3) use of a “laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.”
From an AP story running in many locations including here.
COMMENTARY: LaserPointerSafety.com has a page with our analysis of H.R. 386, written before the bill was introduced into the current session of Congress.