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Old 01-07-2014, 12:40 PM #1
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Lightbulb How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

Lasers are accepted in some countries (perhaps not for long), while tolerated in others. Cos it’s also the source of sore points with the law. Incidents in the media have surfaced, are surfacing or could surface more in future. Some look like hype. Not just about increasingly run-of-the-mill 'painting' of people, animals, premises, cars, planes; proliferation of keychain and pen lasers; >5mW being mislabelled but also speculation that one day, the one that could lead to a dreaded black box voice recording! Now that’s serious business that belongs only in terrorist territory. So it seems some authorities are initiating operations in response to this potential menace which could impact the hobby permanently. We’ve noticed some of these trends in the fora. My memory is definitely not exhaustive pls. While it is not meant to be paranoid, rising govt attention certainly raises concerns even amongst the more responsible owners and users. I really don’t know if it’s too late to do anything much about it now but at least it marks a golden era and perhaps irreversibly so.

Disclaimer : There’s nothing here that the we don’t already know. Everything here is for informational and educational purposes only. In instances where techniques for execution of law enforcement operations and security checkpoint inspections are described, these are only for theory and “paper tigers“. Any attempts at circumvention may land you in the soup. In cases of “unluckiness”, it might book you an interview. Having said all this, you see that it could depend on luck, and a little oversight or rather lack of it, to get into problems with the law. It’s by no means very hard, but just a tiny little wrench in the works, thrown in by an LEO actually being more alert, which will earn you attention. If you’re in Straya, US, EU or NZ, it might even get you on a watchlist or even the no-fly list. Still this rambling is just for novelty purposes only. There’s nothing here that isn’t possible to find elsewhere, by compiling and analyzing multiple online and offline sources. So here’s some examples :

1.If they carefully look for the silhouette of pen-lasers, laser-pointers, laser-scopes, keychains and flashlights in small mail packages by using x-ray machines :

and


2.If they closely examine customs declaration labels worded as “laser”, “flashlight”, “toy” and “party light”: HERE

3. If they open up packages and find completely intact lasers working by usage of the battery supplied inside (nothing against OP) : HERE and HERE

4.If they track down hobbyists from the package addresses to solicit a meeting, elicit a confession, charge for unlicensed importation, obtain a search warrant and seize home stash : HERE

5.If they start to target every single hobbyist based on the reports from popo/neighbors/pilots when certain norms are breached. Most serious being - “WARNING: Shooting a laser into the sky is irresponsible and highly illegal without prior approval from the proper agencies. Airline pilots do not appreciate being blinded.” : HERE (under 2nd last para subtitled 'Visibility of High Power Laser Beams')

6.If they ban them on inflight cabin carry-on luggage because of its potential as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ (nothing against OP) : HERE

7.If they try to bait hobbyists by using low-flying planes/helicopters, ambush suspects by installing surveillance cameras opposite their homes, catch them on tape with night vision/infrared devices and intercept with police :

and HERE

8.If they decide to trawl and troll laser hobby forums for clues or leads to investigate, prosecute and legislate (nothing against OPs) : HERE and HERE

9.If they sensationalize every incident that crops up, craft up ‘sound bites’ (eg ‘assault’ lasers) and mount propaganda on the front page news (nothing against OPs) : HERE and HERE

10.If they use the "At Risk Fallacy", lobby for and formulate laws within countries to prohibit the sale, purchase, trade, import, manufacture, customization and export of lasers (nothing against OP) : HERE and HERE

What’s next?


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MADE IN LPF - SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW LASERISTS FIRST!(by Wannaburnstuff)
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TRADES, FEEDBACK & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
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No matter the power, lasers should be treated like a loaded gun with these steps :
• ALWAYS keep the safety glasses/goggles on when operating lasers.
• ALWAYS keep the laser pointed away from humans, animals, cars, trains, air planes, etc.
• ALWAYS keep the laser “unloaded” until one is ready to use it (don’t store it with batteries inside).
• ALWAYS keep the finger away from the power button until one is ready to use it.
If one follows these simple rules, there will NEVER be any accidents involving lasers.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:02 PM #2
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

BS laws- too bad there had to be a few morons pointing lasers at planes, ruin the fun for the rest of us- Hope the US doesn't make garbage laws like that. Glad I am shipping that 520 to you in Singapore! I highly doubt it would make it to Australia...
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:49 PM #3
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?



Yup.

The laws are silly.

In Canada we can own lasers, and we can sell them to other people, as long as they are not Canadian

Last edited by ARG; 01-07-2014 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:03 PM #4
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

Back home I can use my laser whenever I want, police just come to admire the beam
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:40 PM #5
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

I don't own any lasers that have pistol grips. None of my lasers hold more than 10 rounds.

Don't worry about laws, just always ask, "Mother, may I?"
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:47 PM #6
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

Even though lasers are illegal, the police have worst things to deal with so I think if they see someone using a laser they either A) dont know the laws themselves B) dont care as long as you are not reckless C) to amazed to even know whats happening
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:33 AM #7
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Lightbulb Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

Unlike firearms, lasers are already used and accessible in all kinds of equipment. Generally, all sorts of overspec/underspec lasers are easily available online to buyers by direct import from related factories located overseas. And enthusiasts can even learn from trial/error, self-help tutorials on YT or blogs on how to build their own hand-helds using parts recycled off projectors and dvd burners. The point is that regulation by the powers-that-be through policy intervention can only go so far. Campaigns like that also consume a considerable amount of resources to enforce such rules and this is very difficult to sustain in the foreseeable future. Although the penalties that accompany such newly-defined offenses might increase to mitigate costs. Hence the media is also sometimes used to stir up undue attention and fear. Like Prohibition days, any misconceived policy will more likely just drive it underground but not bury it. Regulation was perceived as infringement of personal rights. So it was hard to stop others hell-bent on brewing/obtaining the boot-legged stuff. Engaging key stakeholders to take more active ownership in laser regulation is more effective than promoting bans. Genuine enthusiasts will always protect our hobby by refraining and enlightening others from using lasers in an unsafe or ill-intended manner. Education and self-censorship on laser safety and eye-pro is a more positive step in the prevention of incidents from unintended usage. It is the very reason why forums like LPF exist. The authorities should seriously consider forums such as LPF a key ally in promoting safer laser usage instead of enacting blanket policies.
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MADE IN LPF - SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW LASERISTS FIRST!(by Wannaburnstuff)
6 WAYS TO AVOID SCAMS (by Tech_Junkie)
TRADES, FEEDBACK & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
LASER OWNERS PLEDGE (by Hakzaw1)
4 LASER SAFETY: (by Livinloud)
No matter the power, lasers should be treated like a loaded gun with these steps :
• ALWAYS keep the safety glasses/goggles on when operating lasers.
• ALWAYS keep the laser pointed away from humans, animals, cars, trains, air planes, etc.
• ALWAYS keep the laser “unloaded” until one is ready to use it (don’t store it with batteries inside).
• ALWAYS keep the finger away from the power button until one is ready to use it.
If one follows these simple rules, there will NEVER be any accidents involving lasers.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:13 AM #8
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

The police in my neighborhood are sooooo chill. One officer scared the crap out of me he was like "hey let me see that!"

and then he was like "whoah! that's so cool where did you get that?"

I told him i built it myself and he was like "awesome that's a cool science projects keep it up!"

Then he left...

I don't think the police (at least here) care that much unless we are purposefully doing harm...


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Old 01-18-2014, 06:05 AM #9
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Default Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KRNAZNBOY View Post
The police in my neighborhood are sooooo chill. One officer scared the crap out of me he was like "hey let me see that!"

and then he was like "whoah! that's so cool where did you get that?"

I told him i built it myself and he was like "awesome that's a cool science projects keep it up!"

Then he left...

I don't think the police (at least here) care that much unless we are purposefully doing harm...
Definitely. Unless you're using your laser like an idiot you wont be treated like one by officers. Their job is to protect people and as long as your laser is being used responsibly there is no problems.
I bet most cops don't even know that there are laws restricting lasers.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:39 AM #10
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Cool Re: How May the Law Clamp Down on Lasers & Hobbyists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KRNAZNBOY View Post
...unless we are purposefully doing harm...
I agree. Using lasers maliciously, thoughtlessly or in any other kind of threatening manner will just provoke people and invite complaints. Newton's 3rd Law of Motion states that "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." And unfortunately in some cases, even incite over-reaction especially from the uninformed. So it is believed no law-abiding hobbyist would want trouble let alone lose their rights. The police also don't have time to ferret around for extra chores. They have more pressing matters to attend to than bother themselves over our 'science projects' (simply love the sound of that!). That's unless of course somebody is hell-bent on getting picked up by 'painting' a patrol cruiser on their beat.
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READ BEFORE POSTING! LPF FORUM ETIQUETTE (by ChipDouglas)
HOW TO GET ALONG & BE ACCEPTED AT LPF (by Daguin)
COMPLETE GUIDE TO OWNING LASERS (by Livinloud)
MADE IN LPF - SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW LASERISTS FIRST!(by Wannaburnstuff)
6 WAYS TO AVOID SCAMS (by Tech_Junkie)
TRADES, FEEDBACK & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
LASER OWNERS PLEDGE (by Hakzaw1)
4 LASER SAFETY: (by Livinloud)
No matter the power, lasers should be treated like a loaded gun with these steps :
• ALWAYS keep the safety glasses/goggles on when operating lasers.
• ALWAYS keep the laser pointed away from humans, animals, cars, trains, air planes, etc.
• ALWAYS keep the laser “unloaded” until one is ready to use it (don’t store it with batteries inside).
• ALWAYS keep the finger away from the power button until one is ready to use it.
If one follows these simple rules, there will NEVER be any accidents involving lasers.
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