Schumer Wants Tighter Laser Laws

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Colorful New York Sen. Chuck Schumer wants tougher regulations to prevent pilots from seeing red and particularly green lasers in the cockpit. The Democrat says he's written government regulators asking them to tighten up regulations on the sale of laser devices, which are sold primarily as pointers for people making presentations, usually indoors. There have been thousands of cases in which pilots have been intentionally targeted from the ground and Schumer said that in one incident earlier this year in Syracuse a JetBlue pilot suffered "minor" eye damage. "Some people are using this technology recklessly," the New York Democrat said Sunday. "Some who have far more evil intent may decide to use them as well."

Most retail store laser pointers emit a relatively low-power red light and while they have been used in aircraft incidents it's the exponentially more powerful green lasers available online that Schumer wants new rules for. He said he wants the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates laser devices, to limit the effective distance of consumer lasers and to restrict the sale of higher-powered lasers used in the entertainment business and by astronomers. It's already a federal offense to point a laser of any kind at an airplane.