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Old 02-23-2011, 02:10 AM #1
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Unhappy University Police Laser Confiscation

Just earlier tonight I had my 1 Watt 445nm laser confiscated. It wasn't taken indefinitely from me but instead locked up in the same place they keep all the guns. Basically, I'm allowed to check out the laser when ever I leave campus but as with all guns I am not supposed to have it with me while I am on campus.

As I would prefer to stay on the good side of the university and not get any charges written up against me, I decided to hand the laser over and allow them to check it in (especially because legally im sure the university has the jurisdiction to choose what is or is not allowed on campus especially of such a strong laser) I'll probably go pick it sometime and make sure to keep it out of view.


The only thing that really pissed me off is when I was trying to explain that I know the capabilities and dangerousness of the laser he straight up told me that I did not and that if they didn't confiscate the laser I was going to blind either my self or someone else or get charged with terrorism for shining it at airplane/helicopter.

Anyways before I gave them the laser I made sure to take out the batteries because I like my CR123s (and they're expensive). I'm going to stay on the down low for the next few weeks/months and make sure to only keep lower power lasers on me.


What would any of you guys have done in that situation?


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Old 02-23-2011, 03:48 AM #2
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

That stinks. I would have sent it back home rather then hand it over. Now every time you go to check it out you are going to probably have a hard time doing this and have to explain yourself why,what etc.

I would pick it up as soon as you can and send it to where ever you live, Like outside the campus or send it to your parents house etc.

This way they dont have control over you if you want to get your laser.

Mind i ask how did you get caught.?

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Old 02-23-2011, 04:02 AM #3
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Frustrating... but your cooperation reflects your intelligence & I applaud you're doing the right thing. There's no need to get on their bad side, complain, argue or fight as you've clearly presented. I completely agree with Lazeerer too.... Whenever the next opportunity might present itself you should get your laser upon 'exiting' and tell them it's not safe on campus or in their possession therefore you're taking it home. From there, obviously don't ever get caught lasing 445 again or your problems will be ten fold. I feel your pain though, I went buck wild with laser pointers when I was on campus
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:52 AM #4
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Me and a friend went out side to see how it looked at night, He then decided to light up his cigarette with it (I brought out safety goggles as well). The police walked up and said they had seen it air a few nights ago and felt it was too dangerous to keep on campus.

I have family in the near area, I'm going to go pick it up tomorrow and drop it off at their house and leave it over there. Its only like 20 mins from campus So I think I'll stick to lower greens from now one and only show the bigger lasers on private property

Had the police not said they were going check in along with the guns I would have argued with them a lot, but since its not 'gone' it really wasn't worth the effort. Maybe I'll find a secret compartment in my car to keep it in.

They also asked me if I knew anyone else with lasers, I said no of course but I have a few friends who have some overspec '5mw' pointers. I told them all to lay low for a while.



EDIT: So I went to the police station today after my classes (had lab till about 6:00PM) and they told me I would have to come back during normal hours and talk to the police chief. Maybe I'm just paranoid but I really feel like they are going to somehow break this laser while they have it. When they first confiscated it they tried to turn it on with the lens cap on and I had to take it back and turn it off so the lens would be damaged. If I see any damage to the laser whatsoever I'm pressing charges against them.

Last edited by mod101; 02-23-2011 at 10:57 PM. Reason: new info, didn't want to double post
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:04 PM #5
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Former university employee here. If I were you, I'd drop the matter, sign a memo on letterhead agreeing to ship it home, take a shipping box with you when you see the Chief, get the device back, and ship it home immediately if not sooner, or put postage on the box and let them ship it. Then never bring it back.

I'm not a lawyer, but I had plenty of dealings with campus police as part of my former duties. I have a idea of how their mindset works. Remember the university is subject to ANSI Z136 and bucketloads of liability for anything they let you do.

University justice is very different in most states then the legal system. You do not want to get involved with whatever your campus version of a PROVOSTs office is. Usually 2-3 faculty members set on a discipline board, and can make your life very miserable, and the ones who volunteer for the duty tend to relish the idea of flexing some muscle. Check out your rights, or lack thereof, in the dorm agreement and campus website, you'll find your choices are limited.

Just a FYI, your not on a city street, your in a different world on campus. I've seen students lives made miserable.

Steve

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:52 PM #6
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Thanks for the advice LSRFAQ, I couldn't drop by today because of classes again but tomorrow assuming everything works out I'll be dropping by and delivering the laser to family in the area and keep it away from campus.

I was under the assumption that legal matters would work much different in a university setting so I tried to be as respectful as possible to the police as they were confiscating the laser. Just gotta hope they didn't screw it up while it was in their hands
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:04 AM #7
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

bah, I dunno. How did this even come to happen in the first place? I don't play with my lasers in public so I've never been in a situation like this. Nor would I willfully hand over my property when there is no law against possessing it. Plus it would just look silly for a cop to confiscate my laser and let me keep the handgun hidden under my coat.

Either way, this is a good example why you don't go running around in public shining your >1W laser.

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Old 02-25-2011, 12:06 AM #8
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Where'd this happen, just out of curiosity?

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Old 02-25-2011, 12:27 AM #9
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Yeah I'd like to know what state this is in as well. That stinks, I want to take some night pictures from the mountain and I gotta find a place to do it where I can take some pictures and move on fast.

I hope your lasers cool bud. It should be unless they drop it or something, like try other batteries like a 9V to make it work. That wont happen tho, but they might drop it i could see that. Ah the worst would be if when they open the gun safe in front of you and it falls to the ground right in front of you. Crash, ah that would kill me to see it happen.

Let us know what happens. I seriously hope and think it should be all OK bud.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:54 AM #10
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Current Location, Georgia (US)

I usually stick to shining my lasers around 12:30-1:00 just because no one is around to get hurt and I usually stick to the intramural fields (nice secluded spot) away from people/dorms/parking lots just in case something happened

About a week and half ago though, while i was shining my laser about 11:30, a helicopter came flying around my area. Being the paranoid type I immediately shut of my laser and moved out of site. Dunno if this had anything to do with it but the helicopter did get a view of the beam while it was flying in (never got anywhere close to it though)
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:58 AM #11
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

You mentioned in the OP that you were annoyed at how they told you that you know nothing.
Stating that you BUILT the laser yourself would have probably held some respect for your hard earned laser knowledge ^_^
If they destroy it, they are responsible for it.
They legally have to have a professional fix it, pay to have it professionally fixed, or pay YOU (the professional) for the parts and whatever you want to charge/hour for labor
Still would be a PITA to get it back broken
Hope all goes well, good job dealing with them too. Too many people get argumentative and emotional.... That never helps.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:01 AM #12
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

It is very difficult to judge from outside the us jurisdiction.

If it were to happen to me here in holland i'd file charges for theft or robbery against the person that took it off me. I'd probably not hand it over willingly to anyone but a police officer, so you could probably add assault to the charges as well.

But i do not know if your 'university police' as any authority that goes beyond that what any citizen has. If they do not, just treat them as if they were the average hobo robbing you, and press charges accordingly.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:03 AM #13
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

I did try to explain to them that I built it and have knowledge of the power of the laser but they really didn't listen.

But oh well, I'll update tomorrow after I go talk to the police, Hopefully I have it in my possession and off campus by tomorrow night.

University has a policy about weapons on campus


EDIT: University has a really strict policy on weapons, even things like airsoft guns, paintball guns cant be in a vehicle or in dorms. They could easily pin this on me as a weapon especially if I refused to hand it over. They can easily stick judicial offences and fines (If fines aren't paid students cant register for classes/graduate) on me. Basically they cant get me very much legal trouble but they can very easily screw up my undergrad if they wanted as LSRFAQ was saying.

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:41 AM #14
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

Wow. Im still in high school but if someone, anyone for that matter tried to confiscate my laser I would argue it. I know the laws against it and as long as I don't intentionally point it at a plane I am legally allowed to own it, and use it at my free will.

Funny story, my friends dad is a Sargent for my town and he bought a 1.5w laser from me to show off to his fellow cop friends. He thought it was super cool!

I also would have been quite unhappy if someone tried to tell me that I didn't know what I was talking about. When I built the laser myself! I had someone do this once with a program I built for a computer. The didn't know I was the programmer and tried to tell me how the program worked. It was a funny day.

Anyway enough rambling on, I hope you get your laser back in 1 working piece.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:45 PM #15
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

quote:
But i do not know if your 'university police' as any authority that goes beyond that what any citizen has. If they do not, just treat them as if they were the average hobo robbing you, and press charges accordingly.[/QUOTE]

Its simple, in the US there are "Sworn" officers and everything else. If he/she has a state-county-city badge and took a oath before God or to the Constitution, they have the full power of the law, and university cops are almost always Sworn officers. After 9/11 a lot of the rules about crossing city-county-state jurisdictions and other legal rules, quietly went away, while others came into play, allowing Sworn officers to carry weapons when off duty/across state lines etc.

Private security companies are a grey area, and those rules differ from state to state, but a armed private security force without a state charter is a rare thing, because of liability. A private security company will have no jurisdiction off the property they were hired to supervise, nor the right to chase, and in most states, limited rights to detain. It does not happen often, but a rentacop who unlawfully detains you can face kidnapping charges if wrong.

Oh, and those American TV shows with "Private Detectives" who carry concealed weapons and use them, that never happens.

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:44 PM #16
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Default Re: University Police Laser Confiscation

And yet another law to take away your rights comes into play...
It's just as bad here in Canada.
Laws protecting you from yourself.
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