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Actual Laser Laws by Country

Bearded_Galaxy

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My understanding of US laser laws are that for personal use (i.e. NOT for sale), the laser laws do not change from Class IIIA to Class VI. However, to be *sold* in the US, Class IIIB or Class VI lasers must have additional safety features, like a key lock, remote interlock, etc.
 



Bluefan

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...Looking at the Dutch situation, there is no limitation on what lasers you can own and operate at all - if you want to shoot holes in your own walls using a kilowatt CO2 laser, that is your own business...
Very good to know, I now only have to find a kilowatt laser :D
 

GabeS14

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Awesome thread, I have been looking for the us rules on handheld lasers!
 

mewrox99

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Anyone know of any laws regarding the importation of >5mW lasers in New Zealand

I haven't heard of any rules, but I did read a news story a while ago that the cops want green lasers banned because some assholes are shining them at police helicopters and plances
 

reverno

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With regards to the UK laws when it says "remove lasers above class II from the general market" (or similar was too lazy to quote properly) Does that mean anything above class II will be confiscated by customs?
 

LSRFAQ

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With regards to the UK laws when it says "remove lasers above class II from the general market" (or similar was too lazy to quote properly) Does that mean anything above class II will be confiscated by customs?
No, it means anything above class II and handheld is subject to confiscation.

Engineers and scientific users will still be able to buy lasers.

Buy parts and build it, that will always be legal just about anywhere in the world.

Steve
 

davidgdg

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No, it means anything above class II and handheld is subject to confiscation.

Engineers and scientific users will still be able to buy lasers.

Buy parts and build it, that will always be legal just about anywhere in the world.

Steve
Currently there are no laws against the importation or sale of lasers into or in the UK, though over zealous customs officials have occasionally detained imports of large consignments under more general laws. For personal importation there is no problem.
David
 

Hyrule571

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"According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, more powerful lasers may not be sold or promoted as laser pointers. Also, any laser with class higher than IIIa (more than 5 milliwatts) requires a key-switch interlock and other safety features.

All laser products offered in commerce in the US must be registered with the FDA, regardless of output power."

What does all that mean? Especially the bold part? I cant go buy a 1W laser and thats that? I have to register it?
 
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Benm

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With regards to the UK laws when it says "remove lasers above class II from the general market" (or similar was too lazy to quote properly) Does that mean anything above class II will be confiscated by customs?
No, since the UK is also bound by EU legislation regarding unhindered import and exports of goods and services, there is no basis for confiscations from items shipped or relayed anywhere within the EU. Practically, this will most likely mean there is no control of similar items coming in from outside the EU.

There is legislation to pull dangerous products off the consumer market, particularly if they pose a health risk in their intended application. By that logic, it would be feasible to take a class-3B laser off the market if its intended purpose is a presentation pointer. If the intended use is something like 'professional use' or 'replacement component for ..', there would not be much of a problem at all.

There is a key difference between US and EU legislation here: The EU safety regulations are in place to protect the unaware audience at large. In simple terms, this would mean that selling a 100 mW laser as a kids toy is prohibited, but selling it as a cutting tool is perfectly alright.

The basis is that people know what they are buying, and how dangerous it is. You would not buy a chainsaw as a kids toy either. High powered lasers are very similar: not inherently unsafe in capable hands, but health hazards for the unaware of the dangers.


In addition, i should probably add that european legislation takes common sense into consideration at trial. If you die after ingesting a pillow here its your own darn fault, not the manufacturers that forgot to include that specific warning label.
 
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AUTO XX

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Die after ingesting a pillow? I thought that only happened in the states... :whistle:
Sounds like european law makes more sense than anywhere else.

I gotta stop dreaming about giant marshmallows....
 

Benm

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Well, people commonly respond with "only in america" when hearing about silly civil lawsuits where people mis-use some item, and then sue the manufacturer for millions in damages.

We do get the funny warning labels on items intended for both markets.. like plastic product bags that read 'not a childrens toy, do not put over your head'. Such warnings are absent on local trashbags that are 10 times as large and twice as thick. "use laser to escape" would be nice on those though :D
 

Ezcal

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So, I know it's legal to build and own a laser over 5mW as long as I don't sell said laser, what I'm wondering is if it's legal to point in public (e.g. a public park), to point at stars or anything else.

I live in Oregon, and looking over the ORS (Oregon Revised Statutes) for 2009, it seems that it's only illegal "if the person knowingly directs light from a laser pointer at another person without the consent of the other person and the other person is:
(a) A peace officer as defined in ORS 161.015 who is acting in the course of official duty; or
(b) A uniformed private security professional as defined in ORS 181.870 who is on duty."

Lasers aren't mentioned anywhere else in the ORS.

Knowing this, let's say a cop ignorant of the law came and tried to confiscate my 100mW 532 while I was pointing out stars to friends at this public park. I assume it's my right to keep the laser, since I obtained it and am using it lawfully, and that is protected under the fourth amendment. Am I right? Or am I drawing terribly inaccurate conclusions that will get my lasers confiscated?

If anyone with knowledge of US/Oregon law could chime in, I'd appreciate it.
 

Benm

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I have no clue about how the US would deal with this. It inolvels federal, state and local law to evaluate. The european concept of 'it doenst bother anyone, so lets ignore it' approach doesnt apply in the US.

I guess it will take court examples to define the limit between a bloddy bright flashlight that is legal, and a laser that is not. I suppose it will come to that at some point, and looking forward to the reasoning behind it :)
 

Ezcal

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Actually, it's defined in that same statute: "(3) As used in this section, “laser pointer” means a device that emits light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that is visible to the human eye."

I'm just wondering if a cop has the right to confiscate a laser if it's being used in public. My thinking is no, but I was wondering if anyone had a more definitive answer.
 

Benm

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It depends on what country you are in, and what the circumstances are.

Under european law your laser might very well be confiisquateed if you use it as a tool for a riot or something. You should however get it back after a reasonable period of time, just as you would a flashlight.

Legislation is variable around the world, but as far as europe is concerned, owning a laser is perfectly fine, as long as you dont abuse it.
 




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