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

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Pontiacg5

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I missed the picture :(

I would assume he was a fake.
first off, the act of shining a laser pointer into the sky is not a crime (yet)

The fact that he got nervous and left upon your parent's arrival is a big red flag. I would assume any real federal agent would welcome your parent's arrival so they could spank your ass for being bad.....
I think he just wanted to have that pleasure..and the arrival of your parents ruined it.

EDIT: found the picture..
I love putting faces with the the word "douche"
Since this is already revived...

I strongly remember that it is required to fill out a form to get clearance to shine a laser into the sky, especially if you are close to airport airspace.

I would try to find this form, but its late and I'm being lazy...
 



jib77

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I would imagine if you live within the confines of controlled airspace that extends to the surface around airports with control towers. If an aircraft or the tower losses radio comm they use extremely high power light guns [red, green and white] to control air traffic into the airport. A steady green beam can be mistaken for clearance to land!

Wiki has a pic of a military controller handling a light gun (and a table of the different light codes):

Aviation light signals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(btw I have a private pilot cert. although I'm not current)
 
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cistercian

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Since this is already revived...

I strongly remember that it is required to fill out a form to get clearance to shine a laser into the sky, especially if you are close to airport airspace.

I would try to find this form, but its late and I'm being lazy...
I thought that applied only over a certain power level,(laser shows) but I have no idea what applies near an airport.The airport here closes at 11pm....which helps loads.But I imagine being anywhere near something like Kennedy, LAX, or Dallas Ft Worth would end in tears for certain!
 

Coherent Light

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the FAA has a map showing the Laser exclusion zone around airports, but it's late and I'm to lazy to find it but it's out there.

I have the file in a PDF, but it is just over the size limit for pdf attachments.
 
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Tech_Junkie

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You need a FDA variance to point a laser in the sky. Unless you are doing shows, and have a variance from the FDA, you can only display your lasers in the house.

Man you guys should know this.
 

Mohrenberg

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Hrm.....

I live 15 miles from Whiteman air force base. Where all of the Stealth Bombers are stationed.
 

ixfd64

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Come to think of it, there's a possibility that the guy wasn't actually trying to steal my laser.

As someone else said, many people don't know the difference between someone using a laser safely and a teenager using it to annoy others. He may have thought that I was the latter (I do look young for my age, mind you), and was afraid that I would get it in his eye. However, he knew I probably wouldn't listen to him (because he was a stranger), so he decided to pretend to be an FBI agent.

This would explain why he only gave me a "warning" instead of trying to take away my laser (I would not have given it to him in any case, though).
 

qumefox

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You need a FDA variance to point a laser in the sky. Unless you are doing shows, and have a variance from the FDA, you can only display your lasers in the house.

Man you guys should know this.
You're also supposed to provide notice to the FAA of the event in advance. I think this is probably the form pontiacg5 is thinking of.
 

Tech_Junkie

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Right.

Bottom line, you cant point your hand held laser in the sky legally. But I wont tell anyone if you dont. :shhh:
 

Vaporizer

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All of these places are selling Astronomy Pointers and I've never seen any that stated a permit was needed or paperwork approved for use.
The pics in the ads even show Ozzie & Harriet waving them around a dark sky stating 1000m to 1 mile visibility.
This seems like a disaster in the making.

Ignorance is never an excuse when it comes to the law though.
 

qumefox

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Do you think they would sell as many if they advertised what regulations there are concerning the use of lasers in public? Besides, what buyers do with them isn't generally the seller's problem. All the seller has to worry about is the fact they're selling non FDA approved lasers.
 

cistercian

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Do you think they would sell as many if they advertised what regulations there are concerning the use of lasers in public? Besides, what buyers do with them isn't generally the seller's problem. All the seller has to worry about is the fact they're selling non FDA approved lasers.
I went to the FAA site and read the form you have to submit.There is a bunch of formulas used to arrive at the various levels of exposure.I plugged some numbers in and was very underwhelmed at how "dangerous" a 100mw 532nm was to high flying planes.It isn't, and lasers with non stellar divergence are really non news as a threat.A 5mw green laser for pointing out constellations is a non event unless you are in the airports exclusion zone.This assumes you have your wits about you enough not to track aircraft with the laser.There is a reason most of the horror stories involve helicopters....they fly very low.
I would really not worry about sky pointing at low powers.
Now a 40 watt argon would be another story altogether.

here it is

http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov/wildlife/downloads/Lasers_AC.pdf
 
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Vaporizer

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Do you think they would sell as many if they advertised what regulations there are concerning the use of lasers in public? Besides, what buyers do with them isn't generally the seller's problem. All the seller has to worry about is the fact they're selling non FDA approved lasers.
No, sales would probably drop 90%.
I was actually thinking the other way. With all the regulations stated and the 5mw limit for the US, I'm surprised we don't have to send a copy of something to show we've read, understand, been tested, had a training class just to buy them.

I did go to ebay and look. Many of the US sellers state that their units meet the 5mw limit as allowed by law and "other regulations may apply".

Edit: I wonder how this fell on the FDA? They deal with public safety, but normally Food & Drugs...am I not getting the most from my laser? I would have thought the ATF or some other entity would have been a better choice. After seeing new commercials every week for lawsuits on FDA approved things....my faith in them has wained considerably. Chantix is a perfect example.
 
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