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Arizona House approves laser-pointing prosecution bill

PHOENIX — The Arizona House has given final approval to a bill that would
allow county attorneys to prosecute people charged with pointing a laser at

The bill sponsored by Tucson Republican Rep. Ethan Orr would originally have
made pointing a laser at aircraft a class 5 felony, but an amendment adopted by
the Senate lowers that to a misdemeanor.

Pointing a laser at aircraft is already a federal offense. But Orr says federal
prosecutors rarely go after offenders and that he wants to give local
prosecutors “more teeth.”

The Federal Aviation Administration reported nearly 4,000 incidents of lasers
being pointed at aircraft in 2013, a more than 40 percent increase since 2010.

The House approved House Bill 2164 with a 46-7 vote Wednesday. The bill now
goes to the governor.


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