Hey sry for the late reply but I chose the pocket laser for the 492 bm and the stanless steel extended heat sync in the guardian for the 445nm. Sweet review! My next laser I want the 1.6w 525nm silver series laser. That thing is a beast!From laserpointersafety.com :
"In the U.S., it is legal under federal law to own a laser of any power. But often people talk about “illegal laser pointers”. This is somewhat confusing shorthand meaning that the manufacturer or seller illegally called a laser above 5 milliwatts a “pointer”, or illegally promoted it for pointing purposes."
"If a laser over 5 mW is called a “pointer” or is sold for pointing purposes, the person doing the illegal action is the manufacturer or seller."
So no the lasers themselves are not illegal to own, but the selling of lasers above 5mw without proper following of regulations is technically illegal. Since most companies US consumers buy high powered lasers from are based internationally/in China, it's up to the company whether they care about this or not. I haven't looked into this but I would assume the worst that could happen is the FDA/US government blocks imports from that company if they are caught since the US can't enforce their laws in another country. Certain companies send lasers/laser parts unlabeled or mislabeled to circumvent these laws; I've gotten packages labeled telescope parts, fountain pen, etc. Other companies like Laserglow and Wickedlasers are more transparent but therefore have to keep the power of lasers shipped to the US below the legal limit of 5mw.
Also using a 1W laser becomes highly illegal if you point it at a plane, for example. Even pointing it in the sky for a prolonged time is a legal gray area. And all it takes is one neighbor to report you for being obnoxious with it and there's definitely some non-laser-specific law that they could get you with. But in general you're good, as long as you use it intelligently there's nothing to worry about.
Sick lasers btw what hosts did you choose? I have a 160mw 492nm Challenger II that I reviewed here and I'm very satisfied