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Old 09-18-2011, 02:12 PM #17
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Default Re: Debate: Ban on laser pointers

What if we just ban importing anything that starts with an "L"...


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Old 09-20-2011, 11:15 PM #18
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Default Re: Debate: Ban on laser pointers

Well the debate can continue until the cows come home but once the FDA announces all portable/pointer lasers fall under 21 CFR 1040.11(b) anything more powerful than 5mW will be outright banned regardless of safety features. Previously you could import a class IIIb portable laser if it had an accession number, meaning it met the requirements of the FDA for class IIIb operation. Class IV portables were never legal to import nor were pointers of any power greater than class IIIa. If the FDA classifies all portables/pointers under 1040.11(b) surveying, leveling, alignment lasers all will become illegal to import or sell. There is no federal law or regulation against building your own laser so in reality only those who have an understanding of electronics or lasers will be building them with a higher probability that these individuals will use them in a more responsible manner. It it currently illegal to build and sell a laser without a product report but enforcement at the hobby level has been minor. I think the FDA will make an example or two out of those selling lasers without a product report or selling lasers in excess of 1040.11(b) regulations.

The FDA is not out to stop you from owning a laser. They do not regulate individuals. They regulate the production industry so they will go after manufacturers and resellers providing illegal laser systems. Build your lasers and have fun. Buy accessioned lasers and have fun but don't manufacture with intent to distribute or you will fall under every regulation of 21 CFR 1040 and they will come down hard on you if they catch you.
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