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Obama signs Giffords’ final bill into law

In this Dec. 20, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington. Obama is pushing his economic message Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012 in Ohio, eager to make his appeal to the middle class heard in a politically important state amid the boisterous start of the Republican campaign for the White House. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law a final bill authored by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in an Arizona shooting rampage a year ago.

Giffords was taking part in the signing ceremony at the White House. She resigned from Congress last month as she continues to recover from a gunshot wound to the head.

The legislation increases the penalties for using ultra-light aircraft when smuggling drugs into the country. The small, single-seat planes are an increasingly favored tool that smugglers use to fly at night and then release their haul without detection.

Giffords stepped down on the day the House passed her bill by a vote of 428-0. She has focused on her recovery and said she will eventually return to public service.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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