It has recently been brought to the attention of the City and the Modesto Police Department that there have been several reported incidents in the last few weeks regarding individuals pointing lasers at aircraft in the vicinity of the Modesto Regional Airport.
This press release is to inform our local residents that this act is not only a danger to the pilots and those aboard but is also illegal. There are both Federal and State laws preventing this kind of action and now that local law enforcement has been made aware of these incidents they will be actively pursuing any future reports of this activity.
United Stated Code TITLE 18, CHAPTER 2
Sec. 39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft
(a) OFFENSE -- 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.
California Penal Code
Any person who willfully and maliciously discharges a laser at an aircraft, whether in motion or in flight, while occupied, is guilty of a violation of this section, which shall be punishable as either a misdemeanor by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or a felony by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, two years, or three years, or by a fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000).