Shining lasers at planes is crime under bills sent to Snyder

Southwest Airlines, Ford Airport, Midway Airport
A Southwest Airlines flight leaves Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids for Midway International Airport in Chicago. (April 12, 2016)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan would make it a crime to intentionally shine a laser at an aircraft under legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.

Pointing a laser at an aircraft — which can temporarily blind the pilot — is currently a federal crime punishable by five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. But the Michigan State Police says a state law would deter strikes and help authorities catch people who are increasingly “lasing” aircraft, often near airports.

The main bill passed the House 106-2 Tuesday. It would make shining a laser at an aircraft or moving train a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Exceptions would be made for research conducted by the military or aviation industry.

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Online:

House Bills 4063-64