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Arizona bill: Laser pointing at aircraft can be tried locally

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill that would allow
county attorneys to prosecute people charged with pointing a laser at aircraft.

Brewer announced the enactment of House Bill 2164 on Wednesday afternoon.

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.


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