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Is simply shining a Class 3+ laser into the sky illegal?

Rivem

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I seem to remember reading the law about the 10 mile restriction somewhere about 6 months ago. I've looked for it again but can't seem to find it? :thinking:
Read post #38 Bob. It's not law, just an advisory. :)
 

Alaskan

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The F.A.A. owns the sky, they believe it, it's theirs and you need permission to use it! Just ask any licensed pilot.
 

Encap

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"The Federal Aviation Administration has established guidelines for outdoor laser use, in FAA Form 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, Part 6, Chapter 29, “Outdoor Laser Operations”.

These are guidelines. FAA does not have any jurisdiction over laser users. This means they cannot directly regulate laser use in airspace. The most they can do is ask laser users to notify them of their outdoor operations. (The Food and Drug Administration does give FAA indirect control over the three laser uses described below.)

The Food and Drug Administration regulates all laser products (hardware). In addition, under 21 CFR 1040.10, FDA regulates three uses/applications of lasers:
1. Demonstrations including laser light shows and artistic displays
2. Surveying, leveling and alignment (SLA)
3. Medical

Demonstration lasers such as light shows, and SLA lasers are often used outdoors. For these two applications, anyone using Class 3B or 4 lasers (above 5 mW for visible wavelengths) must fill out FDA Form 3147 to obtain a “variance.” The user describes the intended use and safety features in order to get permission from FDA to vary from the regulations.

If the use is outdoors, FDA will not grant the variance unless the user submits a description of their laser operations to FAA using FAA Form 7400.2 and receives a letter of non-objection from FAA. In this indirect way, demonstration/lightshow lasers and SLA lasers are the only outdoor uses of lasers that are required under Federal law to get permission in advance from FAA."

From: U.S. rules and regulations for those using lasers outdoors
 
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Alaskan

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Technically, it probably isn't a stretch to consider showing someone your laser pointer beaming into the sky is a light show, they don't specify how many individuals are watching to be considered one, or whether free or not.
 

Encap

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Technically, it probably isn't a stretch to consider showing someone your laser pointer beaming into the sky is a light show, they don't specify how many individuals are watching to be considered one, or whether free or not.
Good points.

I would guess any handheld laser > 5mW is covered given current definitions--FDA has closed up the technical loopholes pretty much as follows:

"Laser pointers are hand-held lasers that are promoted for pointing out objects or locations. Such laser products can meet one of two definitions for laser products. The first is for “surveying, leveling, and alignment laser products” as defined by Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1040.10(b)(39):

“Surveying, leveling, or alignment laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended or promoted for one or more of the following uses:
(i) Determining and delineating the form, extent, or position of a point, body, or area by taking angular measurement.
(ii) Positioning or adjusting parts in proper relation to one another.
(iii) Defining a plane, level, elevation, or straight line.”

Hand-held lasers promoted for entertainment purposes or amusement also meet the second definition, that of “demonstration laser products” as defined by 21 CFR 1040.10(b)(13):

“Demonstration laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended, or promoted for purposes of demonstration, entertainment, advertising display, or artistic composition.”

Laser products promoted for pointing and demonstration purposes are limited to hazard Class IIIa by FDA regulation.

21 CFR 1040.11(b) and 1040.11(c), limit surveying, leveling, and alignment, and demonstration laser products to Class IIIa. This means that pointers are limited to 5 milliwatts output power in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 710 nanometers."
From: https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emittingproducts/radiationemittingproductsandprocedures/homebusinessandentertainment/laserproductsandinstruments/ucm116373.htm

I could be wrong but my take on current regulations is if the laser is above 5mW and you want to use it outdoors---technically you need a variance from FDA to be in compliance with FDA laws, rules, and regulations and to get a variance for outdoor use requires a letter of non-objection from FAA.

Additionally --On July 15 2016, President Obama signed the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 in which the Civil Fine was raised to $25,000 from $11,000 for each instance pointing at aircraft or in flight path
 
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lasersbee

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Good points.

I would guess any handheld laser > 5mW is covered given current definitions--FDA has closed up the technical loopholes pretty much as follows:

"Laser pointers are hand-held lasers that are promoted for pointing out objects or locations. Such laser products can meet one of two definitions for laser products. The first is for “surveying, leveling, and alignment laser products” as defined by Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1040.10(b)(39):

“Surveying, leveling, or alignment laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended or promoted for one or more of the following uses:
(i) Determining and delineating the form, extent, or position of a point, body, or area by taking angular measurement.
(ii) Positioning or adjusting parts in proper relation to one another.
(iii) Defining a plane, level, elevation, or straight line.”

Hand-held lasers promoted for entertainment purposes or amusement also meet the second definition, that of “demonstration laser products” as defined by 21 CFR 1040.10(b)(13):

“Demonstration laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended, or promoted for purposes of demonstration, entertainment, advertising display, or artistic composition.”

Laser products promoted for pointing and demonstration purposes are limited to hazard Class IIIa by FDA regulation.

21 CFR 1040.11(b) and 1040.11(c), limit surveying, leveling, and alignment, and demonstration laser products to Class IIIa. This means that pointers are limited to 5 milliwatts output power in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 710 nanometers."
From: https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitt...ent/laserproductsandinstruments/ucm116373.htm

I could be wrong but my take on current regulations is if the laser is above 5mW and you want to use it outdoors---technically you need a variance from FDA to be in compliance with FDA laws, rules, and regulations and to get a variance for outdoor use requires a letter of non-objection from FAA.

Additionally --On July 15 2016, President Obama signed the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 in which the Civil Fine was raised to $25,000 from $11,000 for each instance pointing at aircraft or in flight path
When I don't know the age of the person asking
the question as in this case.... I'll give the quick
and easy to understand common sense response
of Not a Good Idea.
If the OP is a kid he will not read any government
documents or advisories... (TLDR)... IMO

Jerry
 
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steve001

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Anytime this question comes up there is a mountain of confusion and misinformation. Why is that when all answers can be found be reading the US rules and regulations available online. As laser enthusiasts it is in our best interest to know the rules regulations and laws governing lasers and their use.
 

BobDiaz

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I know this is an older thread, but I wanted to share a story from a while back. I was visiting my son in Tacoma, Washington. I brought my 100mW green laser to show him. We went outside at night and I did ask where any airport was before powering up, thus making sure we wouldn't point in the direction of any air traffic. My son was impressed with how bright the beam was and how well it stood out at night.

The neighbor's son came out and wanted to try it. Since he was High School age, I assumed that he was old enough to understand my instructions of not pointing at people, animals, any airplane, or at the Tacoma Airport. The second I handed him the laser, he turned around and pointed it in the direction of the Tacoma Airport. Luckily this is a bench top laser with an external power supply. So as soon as I realized what he was doing, I killed the power.

He was very upset at me, but I made it clear that I had told him NOT to do that and what he was trying to do was commit a felony. I packed up the laser and we went inside as quickly as possible. Thankfully that was the end of it.
 

paul1598419

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This is an old thread. I also live in Tacoma. I'm on the north end right on the west side of Puget Sound. Great neighborhood. I use the very tall trees across the street from me as a beam stop. I have only allowed my neighbor to handle one of my lasers outside. It was my 1100 mW 520nm build and he was very careful about pointing it where I asked him to.
 

hakzaw1

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Due to its importance,,,, NOT a Necro.
Its not always the 'kids' a lot of adults no nothing.
I was at a party(wake) and had a 1W PL-E445..
it was getting dark. a guest there was a LEO & in his uni.
I saw him heading my way and removed the batteries.
AND sure enough he was interested//
I stayed friendly and handed it over with a smile.
He asked where the power button was & I pointed it out..
then "why is it not working for me?''
me: THis is powerful laser and needs to be treated JUST LIKE a gun.
So i remove the 'bullets' before handing it over to anyone-- even you..
& he was Okay with that..I did not let him walk off.

I had lots of questions for him..
I was thinking that he had never met a Laserist nor would he, except in the worst way. I told him that those just annoyed with someones laser
would likely embellish and to not take the word of just one person.
He only knew general laws like 'Reckless behavior'-- Attemp. assult ,
and my personal FAVE 'Terroristic threat'

Road 'raggers' are well known to report the 'brandishing of hand gun' fully knowing it was a cellfone in someones hand... NOT a gun..and knowing 'that' the police ALWAYS respond to 'gun' calls.. people have gotten killed when the police arrive with their guns ready and expecting a fight.
ADRENALIN -- IT's fight or flight..


but they say:
If you happen to fall into a vat of chocolate you yell 'FIRE' 'FIRE'
coz nobody comes if you yell 'CHOCOLATE.'
 




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