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Old 08-19-2016, 12:55 AM #1
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Default Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Hey everyone,

So I have built my 1 Watt laser, and have seen that on laser pointer saftey that handheld class IV lasers are legal so long as they have the required safety features.

If im not mistaking, most home built lasers have no safety features, including my of course (just a simple rear toggle switch).

Is the key switch, button activation etc. only required for laser that are being sold/shipped or are they required on all Class IV lasers?

I read it under "Why U.S. laws are ineffective" here

Thanks!


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Old 08-19-2016, 02:13 AM #2
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Your laser is already legal to own. There are no laws against owning class IV lasers. The laws only apply to importation.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:18 AM #3
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Oh... Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:21 AM #4
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
Your laser is already legal to own. There are no laws against owning class IV lasers. The laws only apply to importation.
And sale of >5mW pointers inside of the US.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:18 AM #5
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

"In the U.S., it is legal under federal law to own a laser of any power" from: Laser Pointer Safety - U.S. regulatory agencies
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:03 PM #6
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Own yes, operate no. Shining a laser into the sky - very legally questionable. Shining a laser at someone - aggravated assault.

And if in doubt absolutely every cop in the US will happily arrest you and confiscate the laser, especially if you're doing something stupid or dangerous, under some disturbing the peace catch all law.

Last edited by InfinitusEquitas; 08-19-2016 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:46 PM #7
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Infinitus is correct, there are enough overlapping laws that you can't defiantly say this is legal as you hold it in your hand.

175 dollars in cash " or any amount " can be taken away from you if a cop simply thinks it's drug money, read about civil asset forfeiture, also ...not wanting to get off topic, but if your buddy ask for a ride to the store and he has illegal drugs in his pocket they will arrest everyone in the car under the arms reach law, so as much as I like to help people and give someone a ride it's just not safe anymore.

Basically either leave it at home or don't draw attention to yourself if you use a laser for a legal/harmless purpose outside your home, I read recently that if you are within 10 miles of an airport you can't even point at stars in an open sky.

In order to put on a laser display you need a permit, that is a live display, you can upload a video burning a popsicle stick, but if live people are watching you shine your laser you are in a grey area and in court likely guilty of putting on a display without a permit.

Sadly you are best to keep it to yourself or close friends and always in a safe manner with proper safety equipment. We are entering into a time where everything is going to be illegal somehow and while I am spitting doom and gloom know that Cortana on your windows 10 listens to you all the time for voice activated commands. Your cellphone, webcam, microphone can be turned on without you knowing it and everything we say or do online or on a cell phone is supposedly stored at the Utah data center including this.

But I digress, using lasers in public is asking for trouble, if you startle someone else they are being told " see something say something " so don't give strangers anything to see, they may think you mean harm even though you don't and it can cost you.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:44 PM #8
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Kinda sucks how our society has gone from "mind your own business" to "call the cops if you see anything potentially scary". Everyone is so damn afraid of everything these days.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:43 PM #9
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

The black box in the new car you buy is federally mandated as will be the rfid and remote shut down, no more police chases but also a hackable lack of safety for the driver.

The fuel air mapping set up in your cars computer is said to be intellectual property of the manufacturer and you can't "tune" your own car. This is getting out of hand.

It's illegal to delete your browser history.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...s-felony.shtml

Can you believe that BS, yet Clintons 33000 emails...Deleted, wiped server, nothing to see here.


The camera and microphone in your laptop belongs to you, do you suppose one day it will be illegal to remove them?


Amazing how tiny microphones and cameras are today.



Sorry I got off topic, here's the skinny of it, the more morons flashing around powerful lasers in public, the sooner they will be illegal, please don't add to the problem and always encourage others to be safe not draw bad attention.

p.s. No insult intended toward the original poster or anyone here.
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Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser-sany0418.jpg  
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:20 AM #10
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCowboy View Post
Infinitus is correct, there are enough overlapping laws that you can't defiantly say this is legal as you hold it in your hand.

175 dollars in cash " or any amount " can be taken away from you if a cop simply thinks it's drug money, read about civil asset forfeiture, also ...not wanting to get off topic, but if your buddy ask for a ride to the store and he has illegal drugs in his pocket they will arrest everyone in the car under the arms reach law, so as much as I like to help people and give someone a ride it's just not safe anymore.

Basically either leave it at home or don't draw attention to yourself if you use a laser for a legal/harmless purpose outside your home, I read recently that if you are within 10 miles of an airport you can't even point at stars in an open sky.

In order to put on a laser display you need a permit, that is a live display, you can upload a video burning a popsicle stick, but if live people are watching you shine your laser you are in a grey area and in court likely guilty of putting on a display without a permit.

Sadly you are best to keep it to yourself or close friends and always in a safe manner with proper safety equipment. We are entering into a time where everything is going to be illegal somehow and while I am spitting doom and gloom know that Cortana on your windows 10 listens to you all the time for voice activated commands. Your cellphone, webcam, microphone can be turned on without you knowing it and everything we say or do online or on a cell phone is supposedly stored at the Utah data center including this.

But I digress, using lasers in public is asking for trouble, if you startle someone else they are being told " see something say something " so don't give strangers anything to see, they may think you mean harm even though you don't and it can cost you.

Wow, we need a permit to shine a laser anywhere in public?!?! That seems a bit outrageous. But then again there are stupid and ignorant people out there unfortunately

Its a shame they ruin the hobby for people that use them responsibly... Luckily, I live out in the country and I don't have to worry about anyone saying anything because there's really no one around. The only thing I have to watch out for is planes when pointing at stars or simply gazing at the beautiful beam
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Last edited by kuhny1; 08-20-2016 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:56 PM #11
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhny1 View Post
Hey everyone,

So I have built my 1 Watt laser, and have seen that on laser pointer saftey that handheld class IV lasers are legal so long as they have the required safety features.

If im not mistaking, most home built lasers have no safety features, including my of course (just a simple rear toggle switch).

Is the key switch, button activation etc. only required for laser that are being sold/shipped or are they required on all Class IV lasers?

I read it under "Why U.S. laws are ineffective" here

Thanks!
Hobbyist built lasers are not governed. You are free to build any class laser of any wavelength you want.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:17 PM #12
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhny1 View Post
Wow, we need a permit to shine a laser anywhere in public?!?! That seems a bit outrageous. But then again there are stupid and ignorant people out there unfortunately

Its a shame they ruin the hobby for people that use them responsibly... Luckily, I live out in the country and I don't have to worry about anyone saying anything because there's really no one around. The only thing I have to watch out for is planes when pointing at stars or simply gazing at the beautiful beam
No as a hobbyist a variance is not needed to shine a laser into the sky. The law is quite clear as it applies to non hobbyists. There is so much misinformation continually posted on this forum about this specific concern. All folks should read the appropriate rules. Let me put it this way. If every time someone was thinking about shinning a laser into the sky complicated paperwork would have to be done, then submitted to the CDRH then reviewed by some employee there.... Now multiply those submissions X number of times by X numbers of people. In short it becomes impractical burden for both the laserist and for the employees.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:19 PM #13
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
Own yes, operate no. Shining a laser into the sky - very legally questionable. Shining a laser at someone - aggravated assault.

And if in doubt absolutely every cop in the US will happily arrest you and confiscate the laser, especially if you're doing something stupid or dangerous, under some disturbing the peace catch all law.
There are no laws making it illegal to operate also.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:26 PM #14
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCowboy View Post
The black box in the new car you buy is federally mandated as will be the rfid and remote shut down, no more police chases but also a hackable lack of safety for the driver.

The fuel air mapping set up in your cars computer is said to be intellectual property of the manufacturer and you can't "tune" your own car. This is getting out of hand.

It's illegal to delete your browser history.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...s-felony.shtml

Can you believe that BS, yet Clintons 33000 emails...Deleted, wiped server, nothing to see here.


The camera and microphone in your laptop belongs to you, do you suppose one day it will be illegal to remove them?


Amazing how tiny microphones and cameras are today.



Sorry I got off topic, here's the skinny of it, the more morons flashing around powerful lasers in public, the sooner they will be illegal, please don't add to the problem and always encourage others to be safe not draw bad attention.

p.s. No insult intended toward the original poster or anyone here.
The skinny is quite clear. Federally, don't intentionally mess with aircraft. Don't intentionally shine a laser at law enforcement personnel. State and local jurisdictions may have other harassment laws.
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:37 PM #15
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

If you are shining your laser around your yard and neighbors complain, a cop can find a reason to take it and a law you are breaking, I hate it, I really do, but our free country is not so free anymore. " Creating a hazardous condition " covers anything they don't understand and you can be held in jail for up to 72 hours on nothing but suspicion without being charged.

I use lens flare hiders so anyone off to the side won't see the bright spot at the lens and beams disappear from the side.

I avoid attention as much as possible and usually don't take a laser with me but when I do I am very careful where I point it.

I do a lot of my outside wood burning art in the daytime.

I say this as fair warning, I wish we had true freedom and common sense ruled the day more like when I was a kid, cops should find a way to leave you alone, not find a way to screw with you, but they are also pressed to generate revenue and that should be changed but it will take a lot to get it done.

Actually a lot of it has to do with how you talk to them more than what's right or wrong as we have so many laws, hell I'm sure my burning a scrap of cardboard in my yard violates zoning law, ok so I will take the ticket if I must, even though it's my dam yard and my laser and I know what I am doing, still it's a violation to burn without a permit except in a bar-b-Q grill, but this varies place to place and people burn all kinds of stuff around here all the time, but if you tell some cop F you pig I will burn what I want in my own yard, then you may find out how shredded our 4th Amendment has become and how many BS overlapping laws there are.

In my opinion it's best to keep a low profile, show off here in a video, but don't do anything illegal in a video of course.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:49 PM #16
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Default Re: Laws about Being in Possession of a Class IV Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve001 View Post
No as a hobbyist a variance is not needed to shine a laser into the sky. The law is quite clear as it applies to non hobbyists. There is so much misinformation continually posted on this forum about this specific concern. All folks should read the appropriate rules. Let me put it this way. If every time someone was thinking about complicated paperwork would have to be done, then submitted to the CDRH then reviewed by some employee there.... Now multiply those submissions X number of times by X numbers of people. In short it becomes impractical burden for both the laserist and for the employees.
Does it make sense that hobbyist use of class IV "shinning a laser into the sky " is OK and non-hobbyist use of class IV "shinning a laser into the sky " is prohibited/not OK.
I may be wrong but I can not find any mention of the words "hobbyist" or an "other than hobbyist use" exclusion in the FDA regulations.
If not just wishful thinking please post a link to the regulation or even FDA descriptive web page that makes that distinction.


THe FDA, under 21 CFR 1040.10, FDA regulates three uses/applications of lasers:
1.Demonstrations including laser light shows and artistic displays
2.Surveying, leveling and alignment (SLA)
3.Medical

All laser pointers are covered under either the demonstration or SLA definitions or both:

"What is a laser pointer?
Laser pointers are hand-held lasers that are promoted for pointing out objects or locations. Such laser products can meet one of two definitions for laser products. The first is for “surveying, leveling, and alignment laser products” as defined by Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1040.10(b)(39):
“Surveying, leveling, or alignment laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended or promoted for one or more of the following uses:
(i) Determining and delineating the form, extent, or position of a point, body, or area by taking angular measurement.
(ii) Positioning or adjusting parts in proper relation to one another.
(iii) Defining a plane, level, elevation, or straight line.”

Hand-held lasers promoted for entertainment purposes or amusement also meet the second definition, that of “demonstration laser products” as defined by 21 CFR 1040.10(b)(13):
“Demonstration laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended, or promoted for purposes of demonstration, entertainment, advertising display, or artistic composition.”

If a laser product is promoted for pointing purposes, either of these definitions can apply" from FDA web page: Important Information for Laser Pointer Manufacturers

From summary on use of lasers outdoors found here: Laser Pointer Safety - Rules and regulations in the U.S. (For those using lasers outdoors)

"Demonstration lasers such as light shows and SLA lasers are often used outdoors. For these two applications, anyone using Class 3B or 4 lasers (above 5 mW for visible wavelengths) must fill out FDA Form 3147 to obtain a “variance.” The user describes the intended use and safety features in order to get permission from FDA to vary from the regulations.
Further, if the use is outdoors, FDA will not grant the variance unless the user submits a description of their laser operations to FAA using FAA Form 7400.2 and receives a letter of non-objection from FAA. In this indirect way, demonstration/lightshow lasers and SLA lasers are the only outdoor uses of lasers that are required under Federal law to get permission in advance from FAA."

Last edited by Encap; 08-21-2016 at 12:59 AM.
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