According to the FAA, aiming a laser at an aircraft creates a serious safety risk that violates federal law. High-powered lasers can completely incapacitate pilots flying aircraft that often carry hundreds of passengers.  On February 14, 2012, the President signed Public Law 112-95 , the "FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012." Section 311 amended Title 18 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) Chapter 2, § 39, by adding § 39A, which makes it a federal crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft.

The FAA and law enforcement agencies are working hard to increase public awareness of the dangers posed by lasers. Heightened public awareness of the serious safety risk posed by lasers reduced the total number of laser strikes for the second consecutive year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA works closely with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to pursue civil and criminal penalties against individuals who purposely aim a laser at an aircraft.   The FAA strongly encourages people to report laser incidents, whether they are pilots, air traffic controllers, or members of the public.

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