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City of Bremerton seeks to prosecute violators who use lasers

The City of Bremerton will Wednesday consider adopting state law on illegal laser use into its municipal code and create the possibility of misdemeanor prosecution should the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office decline to pursue a city case.

Currently, all violations of the states laser laws in Bremerton are handled by the county on behalf of the state because the city has no provision, said Roger Lubovich, Bremerton city attorney.

Examples of illegal use of a laser under state law include, pointing at on duty police, pointing at pilots, transit operators and firemen. The state perspective is that lasers are used to intimidate or harass. Washington state criminalized laser use for those reasons in 1999 saying “less expensive and more accessible.”

Lubovich said the idea is to adopt state law on the illegal use of lasers up to the misdemeanor level into city code.  The city can prosecute felonies, he said.

The proposed ordinance is the result of council direction to city staff.

City Councilperson Roy Runyon brought up the issue after hearing of lasers being targeted on a bus driver and others, including one person on a bridge, Lubovich said.

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