February 1, 2011, 7:00 pm ET - Amendment SA 8 proposed by Senator Whitehouse.
February 2, 2011, 7:00 pm ET - Considered by Senate.
February 3, 2011, 12:11 pm ET - On the Amendment S.Amdt. 8 to S. 223 (FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act)

Full Text of this Amendment

SA 8. Mr. WHITEHOUSE (for himself, Mr. Kirk, and Mrs. Boxer) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 223, to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the end of title VII, add the following:
(a) Offense.--Chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:"§39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft

"(a) Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

"(b) As used in this section, the term `laser pointer' means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object.
"(c) This section does not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or the flight path of such an aircraft, by--
"(1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations;
"(2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing or training; or
"(3) by an individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.
"(d) The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, may provide by regulation, after public notice and comment, such additional exceptions to this section, as may be necessary and appropriate. The Attorney General shall provide written notification of any proposed regulations under this section to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee
on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, not less than 90 days before such regulations become final.".
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 39 the following new item:

"39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.".

(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Feb 1, 2011.)