Senator Robert Singer today introduced legislation that would protect law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders from assault by laser sights, pointers and similar devices.
Pointing a laser at police officers or first responders would be a third degree crime under legislation introduced by Senator Robert Singer. (Flickr)
“The irresponsible use of lasers jeopardizes public safety and puts lives at risk,” said Singer (R-30). “When police officers are targeted by lasers, they may assume a weapon is pointed at them. If they draw their weapons in response to the threat, it can lead to tragic consequences.
“Lasers can also create temporary and long-term vision problems that can make it impossible for police or emergency personnel to do their jobs and serve the public,” Singer noted.
A violation of the provisions of the bill (S-3873) would constitute aggravated assault of the third degree, punishable by three to five years imprisonment and a fine of $15,000.
“We witnessed the abuse of lasers during television coverage of the protests across the country last summer, and this bill would establish penalties that will discourage the risky behavior from occurring here in New Jersey,” Singer said.
Currently, it is illegal to point a laser that is affixed to a firearm in the eyes of law enforcement. Singer’s bill expands the protection to include all laser devices and all first responders, including firefighters and EMTs.
“The goal is to keep everybody safe,” Singer said. “This seemingly innocuous practice is in fact extremely dangerous. The legislation should make people think twice before committing a crime with a laser.”
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