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FDAs Proposed Ban Of Laser Pointers

paul1598419

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Last October the FDA proposed banning laser pointers that are not red or red-orange by designating green, blue, violet, yellow as well as other colors as "defective". These currently account for 95% of the 7000+ reported incidents per year in the U.S. where a laser beam is aimed toward an aircraft.

Remarkably, since 2004 there have been over 55,000 reported laser/aircraft illuminations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Italy, although none have resulted in any accidents, nor in any reported pilot eye injuries.


www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/pr...=enl_lfw_lfwlasersourcesnewsletter_2017-06-14
 



Radim

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I just repost my comment I left on their FB post related to that article:
"Defective - that's ridiculous. They should define pointers first as to be max 5 mW and visible range only. Those designed for pointing purposes. Further they should define portable lasers as other category. If needed there might be clubs issuing licenses required for portables, where users are educated how to use portable laser responsibly. Blind and restrictive regulation does not reduce misuse much, proper education about safety does. Red lasers might be dangerous if misused as well as other colors."

I think here LPF might do something. If we have large community of hobbyists here, we might rise awareness and try to keep our hobby legal. At least for US members. But still I do not see much chances to succeed as I see how it works in practice... Usually those people deciding do not care about niche (I mean little number of people here). :(
 
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diachi

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I remember seeing that last year, it does make sense from a customs point of view, it'd make finding restricted devices much easier. Doesn't help us hobbyists any but seeing as Trump is now POTUS, less regulations should be expected rather than more.
 

paul1598419

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IDK, as using the word "regulation" for all laws doesn't make a lot of sense to me. There are going to be regulations no matter who is president. It is a matter of what regulations we will have. I know this is not a new topic, but this came up just recently in Laser Focus World and i thought it was worth posting it here.
 

Radim

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I remember seeing that last year, it does make sense from a customs point of view, it'd make finding restricted devices much easier. Doesn't help us hobbyists any but seeing as Trump is now POTUS, less regulations should be expected rather than more.


Hopefully you are right, diachi. I'm worried when some "non-aware individual" decides to inspire in US legislation and start to push for laser regulation in Europe as well. There are too much nonsenses coming from EU (when joking about that we say that EU dictates us how banana has to be bent to be allowed - but it is not far from the truth sadly), laser ban would be definitely pushing me into illegality.
 
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paul1598419

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My fear after reading this article is that just owning one of these pointers may become illegal. And don't think that Trump is going to save us all from this as he has no interest in keeping these lasers legal to own.
 

BobMc

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More regulation, that's all we need. :(

It would be a major buss-kill if this ever went through. Hoping and praying not! :banghead:
 

Lasing Jake Moon

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I just repost my comment I left on their FB post related to that article:
"Defective - that's ridiculous. They should define pointers first as to be max 5 mW and visible range only. Those designed for pointing purposes. Further they should define portable lasers as other category. If needed there might be clubs issuing licenses required for portables, where users are educated how to use portable laser responsibly. Blind and restrictive regulation does not reduce misuse much, proper education about safety does. Red lasers might be dangerous if misused as well as other colors."

I think here LPF might do something. If we have large community of hobbyists here, we might rise awareness and try to keep our hobby legal. At least for US members. But still I do not see much chances to succeed as I see how it works in practice... Usually those people deciding do not care about niche (I mean little number of people here). :(
Agreed.
Here's a little heads up for UK rules for anyone who's interested. The maximum mw to be legally bought and sold in UK is 1mw however most lasers on UK ebay and other places such as outdoor markets are obviously way over that limit. For now they are on ebay being sold as "powerful" or "burning" 1mw lasers :thinking: The figures of lasers being misused or pointed at aircraft have gradually been decreasing by year due to better public education of the law and some imprisonments.(that always gets the message home I think) But now the government is aware that these more powerful lasers are widely available to the public and very recently MSM picked up on the case of a young boy who bought a laser at a market which turned out to be 50mw. 50 TIMES MORE POWERFUL! *cue shock and dismay*. You know whats coming right? Unfortunately the kid shone the beam into his own eye and burned a small hole in his retina creating a blurry spot in his vision. As he is about 10 years old the hole is expected to repair as he grows. But the damage has been done,in both senses. In the same news piece they then showed something akin to the Spyder Arctic,maybe a Chinese copy that boasted a massive 2500! times the power of the legal limit. Highly dangerous.
Well that was the perfect advertisement to me.
As the caveat being that there is no law against the public importing high powered lasers into the UK,only to sell them. So obviously now there surely will be a clamp down on these powerful lasers being sold illegally in the UK and of course the Home Secretary will now be looking at this loop hole of obtaining high powered lasers abroad for importation. My guess is it wont be long before a change in the law banning any import over 1mw.
Hence me buying the Wicked Lasers Arctic 3.5w.
The rebel in me had to beat them to it.
If its a cool gadget,dangerous and looks good with frost on it, take my money. :p
Unfortunately irresponsible people always ruing everyone elses fun.
We live in a nanny state here in the UK way more than the US.
But I know the rules,the do's and dont's and i'm responsible (used to bee a member of a rifle club, yes we have those here :) and am capable of owning one of these without risk to anyone.
Power to the people I say.
After the Dunblane massacre a few years back we laid down and rolled over the allow them to ban owning of hand guns.
I dont hold out much hope for the UK laser community but hope that you in the US who actually fight for your rights will be allowed to continue in your pleasures of owning lasers.

Sorry if ive bored the heck out of everyone. Rant over. :bowdown:
 

BobMc

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Agreed.
Here's a little heads up for UK rules for anyone who's interested. The maximum mw to be legally bought and sold in UK is 1mw however most lasers on UK ebay and other places such as outdoor markets are obviously way over that limit. For now they are on ebay being sold as "powerful" or "burning" 1mw lasers :thinking: The figures of lasers being misused or pointed at aircraft have gradually been decreasing by year due to better public education of the law and some imprisonments.(that always gets the message home I think) But now the government is aware that these more powerful lasers are widely available to the public and very recently MSM picked up on the case of a young boy who bought a laser at a market which turned out to be 50mw. 50 TIMES MORE POWERFUL! *cue shock and dismay*. You know whats coming right? Unfortunately the kid shone the beam into his own eye and burned a small hole in his retina creating a blurry spot in his vision. As he is about 10 years old the hole is expected to repair as he grows. But the damage has been done,in both senses. In the same news piece they then showed something akin to the Spyder Arctic,maybe a Chinese copy that boasted a massive 2500! times the power of the legal limit. Highly dangerous.
Well that was the perfect advertisement to me.
As the caveat being that there is no law against the public importing high powered lasers into the UK,only to sell them. So obviously now there surely will be a clamp down on these powerful lasers being sold illegally in the UK and of course the Home Secretary will now be looking at this loop hole of obtaining high powered lasers abroad for importation. My guess is it wont be long before a change in the law banning any import over 1mw.
Hence me buying the Wicked Lasers Arctic 3.5w.
The rebel in me had to beat them to it.
If its a cool gadget,dangerous and looks good with frost on it, take my money. :p
Unfortunately irresponsible people always ruing everyone elses fun.
We live in a nanny state here in the UK way more than the US.
But I know the rules,the do's and dont's and i'm responsible (used to bee a member of a rifle club, yes we have those here :) and am capable of owning one of these without risk to anyone.
Power to the people I say.
After the Dunblane massacre a few years back we laid down and rolled over the allow them to ban owning of hand guns.
I dont hold out much hope for the UK laser community but hope that you in the US who actually fight for your rights will be allowed to continue in your pleasures of owning lasers.

Sorry if ive bored the heck out of everyone. Rant over. :bowdown:
Rant received and understood. Hoping the best for you U.K. members, hoping somebody over there will lighten up and little, and in the States grow a brain cell. :can:
 
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Lasing Jake Moon

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Rant received and understood. Hoping the best for you U.K. members, hoping somebody over there will lighten up and little, and in the States grow a brain cell. :can:
Naa we'll roll over and give in like we always do. Unchallenged and more rights eroded. Used to it now. See if its too much fun and not either alcohol or prescription drugs cos we are all so depressed then they dont want it.
 

paul1598419

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I've been a laser owner for more than 35 years. I have used He-Ne lasers to make holograms and have built both lab lasers and handheld/pointers that span all wavelengths. I would hate to become an outlaw because of what I have owned for many years, but I have no intention of giving up my lasers after all these years of responsible ownership.
 

BobMc

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Naa we'll roll over and give in like we always do. Unchallenged and more rights eroded. Used to it now. See if its too much fun and not either alcohol or prescription drugs cos we are all so depressed then they dont want it.
Sad, Lazing Jake, it's getting that way over here. Common sense has become a dirty word, and the truth is now called hate speech. Sad so sad, :banghead:
 
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Benm

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Common sense and regulatory bodies are usually not a good combination.

There is a difference in what you can sell, and what you can build though.

They could restrict something sold as a prestentation pointer to only 1 mW, and 635 nm or longer, to be sold as a presentation laser pointer. This could be somewhat reasonable, though a 1 mW 510 nm pointer would not be more dangerous so that makes you question why.

Doing so would not make lasers of higher power or shorter wavelength illegal to own or trade though, as long as the purpose is stated differently.

It's just marketing talk: you could probably not sell a chainsaw as a tool suitable for clipping your fingernails, but it's fine if you market it as a tool for trimming hedges or removing trees.

With lasers this is not essentially different, a 1 watt laser could be sold as a firestarter rather than a presentation pointer. I guess this would be just honest business, who would use a couple of watt handheld laser as a pointer, probably setting the flipover paper on fire?
 

Razako

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Does it really matter that much? Many of our lasers are ALREADY illegal to import. The Chinese would just continue shipping them in as 'flashlights/telescopes or whatever else'. I could see this wiping out many of the ebay laser sellers, but that would probably be a GOOD thing for our hobby. Probably 90% of the incidents are related to somebody buying a cheapo pointer on ebay. As for the proposed law itself, I've never seen anything so stupid. Banning blue and green lasers by calling them 'defective'? That's some serious legislative BS if I've ever seen it.

What WOULD really suck would be if they actually banned ownership of lasers. That would put a serious hurting on the hobby as suddenly you'd be afraid to even use them in public or at your house. Somebody could just call the cops and say you were shining a green/blue laser from your property.
 
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paul1598419

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That is what I'm afraid might happen to handheld/pointer lasers. I have many of these and I built most of them myself. To have owning one become suddenly illegal would put me outside the law, and I really don't want that to happen.
 




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