Bill would limit laser pointer power

A bill that would limit the power of laser pointers in order to combat “strikes” on aircraft was moved by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Monday.

The bill, A3169, was introduced by Assemblyman Nelson Albano after reports of a rising number of incidents in which laser pointers were focused on planes.  Last year, pilots reported 269 incidents in the state, compared with just four in 2007.  Nationwide there have been 2,736 such strikes this year.

The measure would limit the power of laser pointers available for purchase to one milliwatt or less. Current federal regulations allow for the sale of laser pointers that have an output power of up to five milliwatts.

A person who violates the provisions of this bill shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $500 for the first offense and not more than $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

Assemblyman Chris Brown voted “no” on the bill, citing the request for an amendment that would limit the liability of someone selling a pointer with power higher than one milliwatt.

Bill would limit laser pointer power