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Old 01-27-2011, 02:16 PM #1
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Default ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW(New Bill/USA)

From: Patrick Murphy, Exec. Dir.
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2:31 PM
To: ilda-list@lists.laserist.org ; laserist-list
Subject: [ILDA List] Laser bills on fast-track in Congress




To ILDA Members and interested laserists:


Last September, ILDA told you about H.R. 5810, a U.S. Congress bill to regulates outdoor laser pointer use. The exact same bill (no new language) has just been introduced in the House as H.R. 386. I understand that the House Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the bill today, January 26. (I just found out about this an hour ago.)


Since H.R. 386 has not been changed since it was H.R. 5810, ILDA's position remains the same. ILDA certainly supports pilot safety, but this is NOT a good bill. It is too weak in some areas, and in other areas it could make currently-legal FAA reviewed shows become illegal.



Because ILDA is concerned that H.R. 386 could lead to partial or complete restrictions on safe, FAA reviewed shows, we ask Members and interested laserists to review the information and to write to your Representative, Senators and key Congressional leaders.At the ILDA Conference last year, ILDA Members discussed the bill. The consensus was that while the bill says it addresses only laser pointers, it could also be used against legitimate laser shows. For example, a local police officer or prosecutor could believe the bill applies to laser shows and thus shut down a show or even bring charges against the show producer. Obviously, ILDA wants to avoid any situation where laser laws could improperly be applied to legal, safe shows. Additional problems with the bill are discussed in the links above.


The bill has been introduced in the House Judiciary Committee and also will be introduced shortly in the Senate Judiciary Committee . If reported out of these Committees, it will then be voted on by the House and Senate. If it passes both houses, and the President signs it, then it would become law.


HOW YOU CAN HELP


You can help by doing the following:


Write to your Representatives, Senators, and to key House Judiciary Committee members. Due to this being a hot issue, it is best to fax a letter or send an email. It also helps to send a copy on on paper, sent by U.S. mail -- this shows you care more about this issue than just whipping off an email.



Attached is a Microsoft Word document and an iWork Pages document you can use as a guide. Be sure to edit the guide, or write your own, so it reflects your own views and so that the Representatives and Senators don't feel they are getting a form letter. Use your own words, clients and experiences.
  • You can find a list of Representatives at https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml. There is also a handy "Contact My Representative" form on this page. Ask them to not support H.R. 386 in its current form, since it has problems and can be improved as well.
  • You can find a list of House Judiciary Committee members at http://judiciary.house.gov/about/members.html. Be sure to write to Lamar Smith, the chairman. Also, if your Representative is on the Committee, be sure to write him or her and ask them to change H.R. 386 or vote against it.
  • You can find a list of Senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. Use the drop-down box to find the two Senators from your state. Important: At this time, there is only a House bill (H.R. 386). There is no Senate bill. Be clear to your Senator that you are asking them NOT to co-sponsor any Senate version of H.R. 386. Obviously they cannot vote against it until it comes to the Senate floor.
  • You can find a list of Senate Judiciary Committee members at http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/members.cfm. Be sure to write to Orrin G. Hatch, the chairman. Also, if either of the Senators from your state are on the Committee, be sure to write to them. See the note above, that there is no Senate version but one is expected soon, and that you are against any Senate version if it is identical to H.R. 386.
If you have any questions, write to me.


Thank you for your help,


-- Patrick Murphy, ILDA




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THIS NEEDS A STICKEY

THIS NEEDS ALL OF OUR ATTENTION AND ACTION_WRITE YOUR REP TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

see next post for letters to send


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Old 01-27-2011, 02:29 PM #2
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

AVERY this thread need to be at the top of every page--if we dont do anything we could be sooner or later finished with lasers.

copy and send these to your Senators and Reps. write handwriitten too.


************************************************** **



use these and write your own version too-no one else is going to stand up for us!!!



Dear [Representative or Senator name]:


I am concerned that H.R. 386, a recently-introduced bill to regulate laser usage outdoors, is poorly written and may criminalize behavior which is currently legal and safe.


H.R. 386 will directly jeopardize my ability to do legal laser light shows and displays for companies such as X, Y and Z. The FAA has stated they have “no problem” with laser light shows since we willingly comply with their regulations. But this bill is so poorly written that it contradicts FAA’s current established procedures and gives them no flexibility.


H.R. 386 provides penalties for anyone who “knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft … or the flight path of such an aircraft.” The admirable intent is to stop individuals with small handheld laser pointers. I certainly support this aspect of the bill. But sometimes laser light shows are used for “pointing” at objects during events such as the Super Bowl and Olympics, and thus laser shows could fall under the jurisdiction of this bill.


Unfortunately, there are no exceptions in H.R. 386 for laser light shows and displays -- not even for FAA-reviewed and approved shows. Further, FAA already allows safe levels of laser light to be aimed into specified airspace -- but the bill does not recognize this.


Also, H.R. 386 criminalizes aiming at a “flight path”. Since airplanes criss-cross the sky, at some point the laser’s beam will intersect where an airplane might fly. This is simply poor wording. The problem is with aircraft and not with flight paths.


The SAE G-10T, an industry group of laser and aviation safety experts, has provided the Senate Judiciary Committee with an improved version of H.R. 386 (based on the same bill introduced last session, H.R. 5810). The SAE G-10T version is better, but even their version has flaws; namely that FAA-approved levels of laser light are not recognized.


I support a version proposed by the International Laser Display Association, which has worked for laser-aviation safety for many years. The ILDA version punishes deliberate aiming at aircraft (essentially the same as H.R. 386), while also punishing negligent or accidental aircraft illumination based on the amount of laser light, the aircraft’s location within FAA laser safety zones, and whether the use was according to FAA prior review.


Attached is a copy of the ILDA version. I urge you to reject the current language and instead substitute language that improves the safety aspects while also allowing safe, legal, FAA-reviewed laser light shows and displays. This is not just a matter of economics for laser show companies such as myself. This is also a matter of fairness, of keeping current regulations which are working and of not overreacting in areas where there is no problem.


Sincerely,



Name of Laserist

H.R. 386 current language, with ILDA-suggested strikethroughs Improved language (in bold)
suggested by laser experts at the International Laser Display Association Notes/Reasons
SEC. 2. PROHIBITION AGAINST AIMING A LASER POINTER AT AN AIRCRAFT
(a) Offense- Chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
SEC. 2. PROHIBITION AGAINST AIMING A LASER AT AN AIRCRAFT
(a) Offense- Chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
The bill should address all lasers in airspace, not just “laser pointers.” It does not matter to an aircraft whether the laser beam is used to point, or for some other purpose such as cutting or welding.
Sec. 39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft Sec. 39A. Aiming a laser at an aircraft See above.
PROHIBITIONS SECTION - Behaviors to be punished
(a) Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. (a) (1) Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser into airspace with the intent to track, target or interfere with aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. Two changes:
1: Cover all laser uses, not just laser pointers

2: Only criminalize aiming at actual aircraft -- not flight paths. There are so many flight paths that just about anywhere a person could point in the sky will intersect a potential flight path.

[Note: no punishment of accidental or negligent laser use. The House version only addresses knowing, deliberate use.] (2) Whoever aims the beam of a laser at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, when both of the following conditions are true:
(a) the calculated or measured beam irradiance on the aircraft, or in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft, exceeds limits set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the FAA-specified laser flight zone (Normal, Sensitive, Critical, or Laser-Free) where the aircraft was located, and

(b) a pilot in the illuminated aircraft files a laser incident report with the FAA.
ILDA also believes that unknowing or negligent aiming of a laser needs to be punished if
1: the laser’s brightness exceeds FAA limits, AND

2: if a pilot saw and complained about the laser.


Thus, accidental or careless aiming is not prohibited if the light level can be proven to be safe, or if the pilot does not notice or is not bothered by the light.

DEFINITION SECTION
(b) As used in this section, the term ‘laser pointer’ means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. (b) As used in this section, the term `laser' means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam. As previously discussed, the bill should address all lasers in airspace, not just “laser pointers.” It does not matter to an aircraft whether the laser beam is used to point, or for some other purpose such as cutting or welding.
EXCEPTIONS SECTION -- When it is legal to illuminate aircraft with lasers
(c) This section does not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or the flight path of such an aircraft, by-- (c) This section does not prohibit aiming a laser beam at an aircraft, by -- See above.
(1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations; (1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations; No change (ILDA agrees with House version)
(2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing or training; or (2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing or training; or No change (ILDA agrees with House version)
(3) by an individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal. (3) an individual in an emergency situation using a laser to attract the attention of an aircraft for bona fide rescue purposes; or The House version only allows the use of devices specifically intended for emergency signaling. ILDA’s version allows use of any laser.
If a person in a true, bona fide emergency uses a general-purpose laser pointer to signal an aircraft, they should not be prosecuted.

[Note: The House version does not permit or acknowledge that FAA currently reviews laser shows. This is a major oversight.] (4) an individual whose laser operations have been submitted to and reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration, when
(a) the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a letter not objecting to the laser use, and

(b) the laser is operated in conformity with the Federal Aviation Administration submission.
ILDA’s language merely codifies current law and practice.
Outdoor laser shows are already required by the Food and Drug Administration to submit their plans to the FAA for prior review. If the FAA does not object to the show, they issue a “Letter of Non-Objection”. H.R. 386 does not allow this process. ILDA’s version restores current law and practice.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:10 PM #3
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

that's whack, Im gonna start my letter now.
I mean honestly, why aren't guns completely illegal if they are worried about light so much?
I just don't get/ am upset with our government. They really know how to push my buttons.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:11 PM #4
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

I'm preparing to send some off as we speak. Thanks for posting this Hak!!
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:22 PM #5
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

Would it be any support if people outside of the US (canada for example) wrote too?
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:31 PM #6
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

+1 to GBD. I'm willing to help. Is this already stickied yet?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:06 PM #7
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

move your body U.S peoples, today is the day.
(and it's good for us: European peoples)
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:12 PM #8
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

Len already hit My Rep, and both Senators with this. Have you had a chance to ping your Rep yet?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:35 PM #9
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

The ILDA Bill does not seem supportive of the Hobbiest at all ... is anyone considering that aspect?

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:47 PM #10
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

It's still better than what the current bill would do.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:04 PM #11
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

Put in your 2 cents about hobbiests- the media will never run any stories about the vast majority of us who would NEVER break the exisitng laws. Only 'incidents' are kept track of, not the opposite. If not for groups like NRA etc there would be many more laws making all sorts of things illegal.

If I had to pass a test or file papers/forms to own my lasers I would be glad to, the alternative would be an outright ban. If that happens, ever time anyone reports even seeing a laser there could be a confiscation. Once laws get passed it too late--getting them changed is WAY harder than stopping them in the first place.

We all have been asked why we 'do' lasers and our answers are not always understood-- this is the general mindset of the everybody around the world except us.

Never pass up a chance to do whatever it takes to keep the incident number down.

Many have said that shining a laser outdoors is pretty much always a bad idea.. do you understand now why they say that????

ADMIN- please sticky this thread-

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Old 01-27-2011, 08:12 PM #12
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

I'm certainly glad I live out in the country now, and I'm still careful with pointing My lasers into the sky. We have a 100mW Greenie on the 8" telescope to speed up target acquisition, and We use it fairly frequently. We've not had any issues with the locals or the Law. The Sheriff comes by once in awhile to have a peak, and thinks the lasers are pretty cool.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:20 PM #13
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

We need to start grouping together and having a "Laser Code of Law" we all can sign and we need to start banning together other wise we will not have a voice. This is going to affect Everything we do here. Most likely we will be the 1st targeted and to know about any crack downs.

Everyone promotes Eye safety, and thats Awesome.

We need to start talking about things you also should not be doing. Like how YOU SHOULD NOT IN ANY WAY point ANY laser at Aircraft and Etc etc.

At least if we had a large group of people all under a code of conduct and promoting safety and if we all have signed a contract, We would have a better chance of having a voice and being heard.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:29 PM #14
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

This would seem to be a good idea (to codify a Code of Conduct and get everyone to voluntarily sign / agree to it.

We'd need someone who was truly respected in the Laser Hobby to author it.

We also, sad to say, need an Organization name. Something like HARUPL (Hobbiests Advocating the Responsible Use of Private Lasers (haroople?) ... OK, that is bad, but you get the idea. Without a Organization, we will never be heard.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:38 PM #15
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

Damn, I can't help you all. I live in Brazil. If I can be of any help, I can contact some people to send some emails together with me. Hope you people get what you all want~

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Old 01-27-2011, 08:45 PM #16
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Default Re: ATTENTION!! Everybody needs to read this and take action NOW

That was what I was asking about a few posts above,
I do want to help, but I wonder if a letter be worth anything comming from outside the US.
Or is it pointless to send a letter and write an email instead?
Can someone clear that up?

Im in canada... not the same country.. but its the same continent
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