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I had a run-in with an "FBI agent" yesterday...

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ixfd64

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OK, I had a pretty unnerving experience last night. I was participating in a country event at a state park, and I took out one of my green lasers as usual. A lot of people thought the laser was cool, but I think it also attracted a bit too much attention this time.

A guy approached me and claimed he was an FBI agent. He told me that shining lasers into the sky was illegal, and that my laser was a weapon. The guy also said he would confiscate my laser and arrest me if saw me with the laser again. I told him I was qualified to handle high-powered lasers, and that I always make sure there are no aircraft in the sky before turning on my laser, but he never acknowledged this.

However, I have some doubts whether this guy was legit:

1. When a federal agent announces their presence, they are supposed to display their badge immediately. This guy did not.

2. I asked the guy to show me his badge. He only showed me his wallet, and while it did have "F.B.I." on it, it lacked the agency's signature golden insignia. He also flipped through it very quickly, as if he did not want me to have a closer look.

3. According to my parents, this guy seemed like he was trying to lure me to a place where there were few other people. A real agent would be unlikely to do this.

4. My parents also said that the guy looked nervous when I took his photo. He told me to delete it, which I only pretended to.

5. As soon as Mom and Dad approached, the guy immediately turned around and walked away. A genuine FBI agent would not be deterred by the presence of my parents.

To his credit, he did tell me that shining lasers at aircraft was illegal, but anyone with the slightest bit of common sense knows this. In the end, I think he was just a loser with an easily-obtainable fake badge (which are often sold as "novelties") who tried to use it to get a free laser.

If the guy was just impersonating an FBI agent (which I think he was), then I hope he gets busted sooner or later, since inpersonating a federal agent is a serious crime. If he was legit, though, then I'd say I was very lucky. In any case, I was afraid to take out the laser again, even after I was sure that the guy had left.

I thought I'd use this experience to remind my fellow LPF members to be careful when using lasers in public places. It may attract unwanted attention - and not just from law enforcement.
 
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Sounds like he was just trying to rip you for your laser, anyone that watches TV knows about the laser/aircraft issue, they beat at it for years now. I rarely use lasers in public at all anyway, for this reason. I do like to bring it to fireworks events though, its neat if you can hit the rockets and falling debris with the beam:eg:
 

mhakali

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I told him I was qualified to handle high-powered lasers, and that I always make sure there are no aircraft in the sky before turning on my laser
I would never ever dare to claim this to anyone, unless I had a certificate proving it. I could proclaim the dangers of using one. But if a police officer or whatnot approached me I would definitely tell him that I wouldn't do it again.

The reason for this is; as soon as you claim to know the prerequisites of using a high power laser in public around people, you are in the eyes of the authorities (correctly) a danger. :)

I btw got a laser confiscated by the police when (by 100% accident!) forgetting I had a ~30mW pointer in my jack pocket. We went through the security control of Arlanda airport. And they of course saw it on the xray. Making a long story short they took the laser in return for not making any legal case of it. The reason for it was that they thought it was stronger than 5mW (legal limit), but they couldn't prove it.

However, I never claimed to be authoritative and acknowledged to use the device. This would probably just make them upset and take it in for testing == big fine for me. :)

Lase on!
 

ixfd64

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I would never ever dare to claim this to anyone, unless I had a certificate proving it. I could proclaim the dangers of using one. But if a police officer or whatnot approached me I would definitely tell him that I wouldn't do it again.

The reason for this is; as soon as you claim to know the prerequisites of using a high power laser in public around people, you are in the eyes of the authorities (correctly) a danger. :)

I btw got a laser confiscated by the police when (by 100% accident!) forgetting I had a ~30mW pointer in my jack pocket. We went through the security control of Arlanda airport. And they of course saw it on the xray. Making a long story short they took the laser in return for not making any legal case of it. The reason for it was that they thought it was stronger than 5mW (legal limit), but they couldn't prove it.

However, I never claimed to be authoritative and acknowledged to use the device. This would probably just make them upset and take it in for testing == big fine for me. :)

Lase on!
That's why I was deliberately vague. Being "qualified" can mean "I have a license," but it could also be interpreted as, "I know how to use lasers safely." :)

For those asking, here's the picture. Feel free to mock him. :D

** photo removed for now - please see post #50 **
 
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Morgan

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Send the pic to the FBI explaining what happened, (well maybe not explaining everything ;) )! If he's legit, then no harm. If he's not then best to have HIM on the radar!

M
:)
 
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Sounds like a wanna-be that gets off on the 'power' that he doesnt even have, lol. Besides real agent would most likely have just confiscated it the first time he saw it, and threatened to arrest you if you refused. No FBI agent would say, 'dont do it again or ill get you' they just do it. Besides the guy looks like a crack pot anyways, lol....

And why would the FBI be attending an event in the country?

Also, if he was legit, by law he has to let you examine his ID badge in hand if you ask...
 
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