Parliament spotlight on hand-held lasers

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A bill making it an offence to possess a hand-held laser in a public place without reasonable excuse will be debated in Parliament.

Penalties could include being sent to jail for three months, a fine of up to $2000, or confiscation of the laser without a warrant.

The member's bill is sponsored by National Party MP Cam Calder and was drawn from the member's ballot yesterday in Parliament.

There are no laws governing the import, availability and sale of high-power laser pointers in New Zealand.

Dr Calder said the consequences of an accident caused by laser misuse would be catastrophic.

The bill comes after 100 cases of lasers being shone into the cockpits of aircraft last year - 44 cases had been reported in the six months to June this year.

Earlier this month the Ministry of Health called for public feedback by December 14.

One of the recommendations was to ban the lasers if found by Customs, similar to knuckledusters and flick knives.

- APNZ

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