Thursday, March 17, 2005

The unlawful LASER Pointer: House Bill 2014

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta says that “Recent research conducted by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration… has found that some lasers, when shined into a plane’s cockpit, could temporarily disorient or disable a pilot during critical stages of flight such as landing or take off,” Mineta said. “Even worse, in a few cases, these lasers can cause permanent eye damage for those who look directly into the beam.”

“Let me be clear,” Mineta said. “Shining these lasers at an airplane is not a harmless prank. It is stupid and dangerous…If you are shining a laser at a plane, we will find you and we will prosecute you.”

Directly relating the U.S. Department of Transportation, Oregon has put a bill into the house that would make it illegal to point a LASER pointer HB 2014 would make anyone who purposely points a LASER pointer into a cockpit of an aircraft. This act alone would be punishable by a max of 18 months of imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, or both.

Furthermore, if someone shines a LASER pointer on a rent-a-cop (private security officer) that is on duty or on a “peace officer” that is acting in course of official duty they will receive a Class A misdemeanor. That means that they could go for up to one year in the county Jail.

Do you think this is a little extreme or just right?

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