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Old 04-16-2009, 08:07 PM #1
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Default Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

I am new here so please bare with me if my questions are basic or obvious. I have spent a good amount of time trying to find information on the legality of >5mw lasers in California, but I have had very very little success. Most of the stuff I find merely talks about the classification of the lasers and not what I can and cannot do with them. It perplexes me as it seems that the US does not WANT to inform the public of what will or will not get them into trouble or hurt their citizens... very strange. Any links to clear cut facts of what can and cannot be done is very much appreciated.

That being said, here is the issue... I would ideally like to use a ~350mw RGB laser for a one time party in a local bar in California. The bar will be charging at the door to enter unless one buys a presale ticket before (I do not know if this is considered public display anymore?). I plan to put a black plate or a mirror under the laser so that it cannot shoot down into the crowd, thus physically restricting the vertical beam angle as a second precaution along side simply not sending it ILDA instruction to shoot down. I plan to have the beam no closer than 4 feet above say a 6 foot person. The question is... is this illegal? If so, will I actually have a reasonable risk of being punished? How big of an offense is this? Is there a permit I can get from the local PD to make this legal if it is indeed illegal?

I appreciate any and all of your responses! Thanks!

-Chris


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Old 04-16-2009, 09:03 PM #2
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

You are providing a laser light show and must therefore acquire a variance from the FDA. You might also call your local health department to find out what paperwork they will require locally. Few locales have restrictions on owning or using a laser system with the exception of laser shows. You can check with your local constabulary about owning greater than 5mW lasers but I don't think it is relevant for a show. That is the realm of the FDA and local environmental health people.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:24 PM #3
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrothyChimp
You are providing a laser light show and must therefore acquire a variance from the FDA. You might also call your local health department to find out what paperwork they will require locally. Few locales have restrictions on owning or using a laser system with the exception of laser shows. You can check with your local constabulary about owning greater than 5mW lasers but I don't think it is relevant for a show. That is the realm of the FDA and local environmental health people.
Thank you for your response! How does one go about getting said variance? Do you think you could point me in the right direction?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:54 PM #4
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Getting a variance is not an easy thing to do.

is your setup safe? Probably yes...Is your setup legal? absolutely NO. Could you get away with doing a one night show? Probably yes....Would it be right to do it? absolutely NO. Would I (meaning me laserman532) do It? Probably yes...would it be legal? NO But I have 30 years of experience in doing so (my variance is invalid), It dosnt make it right or legal, but would I do it????? We will wait and see.

as far as you doing it...we will wait and see. It is a tough problem...you seem very safety oriented, I would probably trust you.

Legal vs Safety...this is a tough forum for that...rarely do I see anything legal on this forum...but that hasnt stopped anybody from doing it. It appears that most of the people here are safety oriented...but that dosnt make it legal...Not trying to crap in the punch bowl...but even a little bit of crap in the punch bowl wont taste good.
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:00 PM #5
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/radhlth/pdf/llsgde01.pdf - Please realize that you are the manufacturer as is described in the literature

http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ocer/guidance/1639.html

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/script....cfm?fr=1010.4


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Old 04-16-2009, 11:03 PM #6
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrothyChimp
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/radhlth/pdf/llsgde01.pdf - Please realize that you are the manufacturer as is described in the literature

http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ocer/guidance/1639.html

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/script....cfm?fr=1010.4

how does this affect "laser Pointer manufactures" ?

One night gig, safety oriented operator, private event??? If you have your lawyer on speed dial and have no assets to loose...sounds like it would be a good party ;D
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:42 AM #7
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Like the posters before me said. The CDRH will have all the necessary paperwork for you to fill out.

Once a variance application has been submitted to the CDRH, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks to receive the variance. Users should keep this lead-time in mind; without a variance, a laser can’t be used.

Potential laser users should read the CDRH handbook, “Laser Light Shows: Who’s Responsible,” a layperson’s overview of safety, which can be downloaded at www.fda.gov/cdrh/radhlth/pdf/llsgde01.pdf
Other CDRH documents of available for download, including reporting guides and annual reports, can be found at www.fda.gov/cdrh/comp/rad_consumer.html
http://www.laserist.org/Laserist/Safety_7.html


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Old 04-17-2009, 02:09 AM #8
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Thanks for these links! Unfortunately it seems that I will have to do a ton of work to become allowed to put on laser shows. I think I will research this more and then begin this process with no time limitations in mind...
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:46 AM #9
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Mmm, unless you can guarantee that the laser light will be far below the danger threshold in all situations, I would leave your laser at home. Actually, I'd leave it at home unless you can get legal authorization to use it.

There was this recent story about there being some higher powered laser at some outdoor rave or something, and while it was safe under normal circumstances, there was a rain shower, and the refractions from the raindrops resulted in eye damage for a lot of the people who attended.

You can still get "burned" whether or not anyone actually gets hurt. The last thing you want is to get sued by those lawsuit-happy folk in California. The very fact that you have a high powered laser without proper and legal authorization will lose you any case, especially when people can say their eyes were damaged and they had mental scarring or whatever other touchy-feely reasons they have for receiving compensation for their "suffering."
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:16 AM #10
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

I am not planning on using that laser for a show with out proper authorization. I do not have said high powered laser... I was thinking about getting it. Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it! =]
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:02 PM #11
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Default Re: Legality of using ~350mw laser in a local bar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bionic-Badger

...There was this recent story about there being some higher powered laser at some outdoor rave or something, and while it was safe under normal circumstances, there was a rain shower, and the refractions from the raindrops resulted in eye damage for a lot of the people who attended.

I think I herd about this party...only I herd that the rain caused the promoters to erect a tent for the crowd so the lasers that were supposed to be pointed in the air were now pointed towards the crowd....bad...bad...bad
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