An anti-drug law sponsored by former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was signed into law Friday by President Obama. The law allows for long jail sentences and stiff fines for using ultralight aircraft to help with drug smuggling, according to CNN.
The Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 closes a loophole that treated the use of these planes to assist with drug smuggling differently from the use of other planes. The law was the final piece of legislation for Giffords, who was shot in the head on January 8, 2011. She left Congress last month after voting for the ultralight bill, CNN reports.
Ultralight planes, which weigh less than 254 pounds, have long crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to bring drugs into the United States, the article notes. More than 600 suspected ultralight planes were detected crossing the border between 2009 and 2011, and nearly 400 were confirmed.
The new law will treat ultralight planes used in drug smuggling the same as larger planes. Penalties for using the planes for drug smuggling can now reach up to 20 years in jail, and fines of up to $250,000.
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