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Government to consider laser pen licence after attack rise

From BBC - August 11, 2017

Buying powerful laser pens could require a licence in future, the government has said, amid concerns over the number of attacks on aircraft.

Ministers say they could also bring in new measures to license retailers and restrict advertising after warnings about the risks to pilots and planes.

The government said it wanted to find "the best way to protect the public".

Last year, 1,258 incidents of lasers being shone at aircraft were recorded by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority.

This week, Spanish police said a British man and his son had pointed a laser at an airliner over the Costa del Sol.

Earlier this year, the government said it would introduce a new law meaning people who deliberately shone lasers at aircraft could face larger fines or even a jail sentence.

However, the proposal was dropped from the government's legislative programme after June's general election.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has now launched an eight-week consultation on the issue.

Business Minister Margot James said: "Public safety is of the utmost importance and we must look carefully to make sure regulations are keeping up with the increased use of these devices.

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