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.