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Legality in NSW Australia

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Legality

Hi guys.

There doesn't seem to be any real information on the legality of lasers in NSW (at least I couldn't find anything official). I called up my local cop shop and the guy basically had no idea. I still don't know if I need a weapons license to own one or not.

Here's the best information I could find:
__ALL__ Class III __and__ __ALL__ Class IV HAND-HELD lasers will be classed as "Prohibited Weapons" by being placed in Schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 and the regulations thereto.

Class III and Class IV includes virtually __ALL__ the ones we are accustomed to using as night star-ponters -- yes even the least powerful 5mW ones. Wattage does not come into it per-se -- if it is Class III or IV, it will be prohibited under the Act. Check the sticker on your laser. Almost without exception, all the ones we are accustomed to using are either Class IIIa or IIIb.

After the legislation is amended/proclaimed you will only be able to lawfully buy/possess/use one if you hold a permit under the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 and the regulations thereto and comply with the provisions of the Act and regulations as to storage and use. The permit costs $127- (NSW) and is valid for 5 years. You _must_ demonstrate a genuine need to possess in order to get a permit. Being an amateur astronomer will _likely_ get you over the line (no promises).

If you don't have a permit, lawful/reasonable excuse doesn't come into it. Being an astronomer doesn't come into it unless you have a permit. Ignorance of the law is not a defence. The Act punishes offenders with a maximum fine of $5,500 and or 2yrs imprisonment upon summary conviction, or a maximum of 14 years imprisonment if the prosecution proceed on indictment to the District Court.

As for _any_ other HAND-HELD lasers (ie not Class III or IV) (yes even the tiny 0.1mW red-dot ones), if it is found on you in a public place and you do not have a lawful excuse for possession of the laser, you will have commiitted an offence under the Summary Offences Act of having it in possession without a lawful excuse. There are tons of legitimate explainations which could amount to lawful excuses like being a school teacher giving a presentation, a laser telescope collimator (assuming you have the 'scope with you), giving a presentation at a public lecture and using it as a pointer etc etc. There are no restrictions on sale, just on possession wiithout a lawful excuse.

But, for example, if you are found walking out of the cinema down in George St in the City at 1.00am in the morning and it is in your pocket and you don't have a bona-fide legitimate and lawful reason to explain your possession at that time of that tiny red-dot laser, the police can sieze it and you will get an infingement notice or a Court Attendance Notice.
It's from an astronomy forum: NSW Govt has banned laser pointers TODAY. - IceInSpace

Now according to this I need a weapons license. But I am not sure.

I have no idea what the deal is. I can't find anything official and the police aren't any help. I'm at a dead end. Can anyone suggest where I might get the official word? How does one apply for a prohibited weapons license? If anyone has any info please post it.

Thanks,
laze_doctor
 
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Murudai

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Huh, I was hoping this was a 'this is how it is' thread, not a 'how is it?' thread.

I honestly have no idea. Every where I go to actually look, I don't see anywhere official. Just news articles or forums talking about it. Surely there must be some government webpage that covers this stuff.

I was going to call up the police, but I've decided to wait until I get some more information, since I don't think the permit system is even set up yet.


This is a mess. These laws are just being thrown together without proper consideration. Both on a 'what's reasonable' type level and even an administration level. I hope the government gets their act together.
 

Razako

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You guys are worrying too much about this permit stuff. Just buy the laser and keep it in your house for a couple of years until this all blows over. If you want to use it outside you can always drive to a less populated area. It's pretty obvious that the only people who will be able to get a permit are those with a real scientific use for a portable high powered laser. Unless you're an astronomer or something you most likely won't have any luck applying for a permit.
 

Razako

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laze_doctor said:
I like that idea, actually. Registering seems like it could be quite risky.

Incidentally, I've been reading about how DPSS lasers loose output power with age. There was a thread on these forums, in which someone was saying a Herc lost 50mW in 3 years. Does anyone know how much a RPL would typically loose?
They only lose power with use. It's called burning in and unless you use it for hours a day in a lab it won't be much of a concern. Interestingly some lasers actually go up in power as they get older. It all depends on the crystals in the individual laser. An RPL 400 might lose anywhere from 0-30ish mw after a few years of use. If you are simply hiding it in the basement for a few years it shouldn't lose any power. You can ask Jack if you want a more detailed and correct answer.

Btw what happens if you bring in your laser to apply for a permit and you are denied? Then they might confiscate the laser or worse. Just don't get caught with it and keep it well hidden in your home when not in use and you should be fine ;) The deadline is coming 2weeks so if you want one it's now or never.
 
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If you do go for a permit say that you do not own it yet and will buy it after you get the permit. If you are accepted then no probs. If you are rejected say you won't order it. Simple.
 

caleb

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i was gonna buy some safety glasses, i gues il have to put it off for a permit. nah screw that.
also, how do customs know that i have a permit, do they ring you or your address is on a registry or something. if so, the permit owning guys will be raking it in.
 

caleb

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laze_doctor said:
and I'm sure as hell not registering it either. Take that government  :p
good stuff.
and the glasses thing, i meant that if i get a permit (when hell freezes over, so never), i wouldnt be able to afford glasses.
 

Razako

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laze_doctor said:
Not sure what you mean caleb, you don't need a permit for safety glasses -- just for the lasers themselves.

I found the thread I was referring to before:
Everything else is perfect except for the output which decreases steadily over time for most DPSS lasers, the hercules being one of the slowest to do so because of cooling.
from: http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1213151227/9#9

If you look at the context, this guy was claiming that he only had 1 hour on the diode and that most DPSS lasers suffer from a loss of power with age. That contradicts what Razako said (they only lose power with use). So now I'm not sure who to believe. I'm going to email Jack about this, but in the mean time can anyone else comment on it?

I've decided that if I'm going to be losing 50mW every 3 years while my RPL is sitting around the house then I'm not going to get it. Otherwise I definitely will get it, and I'm sure as hell not registering it either. Take that government :p
Can you post what he says here? I'm interested in this too.
 

Ace82

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Not sure if my opinion is relevant, but this is copy-paste from another thread:

Ace82 said:
[quote author=VillageIdiot link=1213311241/0#5 date=1213430343]In lots of cases the media makes the problem worse. When everyone was freaking out about terrorism I remember newspapers and such were talking about the low security of trains and stuff, and releasing schematics of trains and shit... I was just like "WTF? Stop helping the terrorists already!!" ;D
You mean, In most, or ALL cases media makes the problems worse. The media is the absolute #1 tool of subconscious control to deviate us from the relevant truths by suggestion. I wouldn't doubt that that article was intentional to actually entice people to get lasers right before the ban so the government actually has something to ban. It would be especially stupid if the government makes such a huge deal about something miniscule. The media produces crap, literally, SHIT, and we are the flys who eat it all up. If there was no shit, then we would have to find something else to eat, like whats REALLY going on in the world. I'd bet that they will still allow a certain amount of lasers to pass through customs in AU just for that purpose. I can't wait to see a Australian order a DX 5 or some other cheapy just to see if it passes once the "ban" is in effect. Drugs are illegal in the US, and I'm sure they could really flush them out if they wanted, it just produces a vast amount crops for our necessary judicial system and more money then harm comes to our government, so I'm sure it's partially regulated/allowed to "leak" through the cracks.

A Law is made for a purpose, to regulate some sort of conflict that doesn't just occur once or twice, but is anticipated to re-occur again and again. There is an expected amount of resistance to all USEFULL laws which is why enforcement is necessary. A law that is never contested is useless, like a empty container never to be filled, a jail with no inmates, a judge with no defendants. Without "criminals", this society will fall. [/quote]

In other words, as long as you’re smart and cautious, I believe you will be just fine. They just want to keep you afraid, thou shall not fear! :D
 
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laze_doctor said:
Okay well I can't quote him, but Jack explained why DPSS lasers do not lose output over time, and also said that he's serviced 3 year old lasers that were was powerful as the day they were sold.

I looked at that thread again, and the OP was talking about a freak unit. Those are known to have high output power but have short lives.
Sorry, but I disagree. First off about the freak unit. Sometimes a freak unit may be the result of an improperly made laser which is overpowering and overstressing the components in which case you'd be right. However, more often than not though, a freak unit is mad the same as all its counterparts, but as well all know no two crystal sets are equal. The freak unit actually has the above average, better crystal set in it, and its extra power is just from the extra conversion efficiency. Therefore, I see no reason a freak unit shouldn't last at least as long as a regular unit, if not more (of course, practice and theory like to disagree, but the notion that freaks will die early is a misconception IMO)

As for power dropping, there's no reason a properly stored DPSS laser would lose power just with age. However, any amount of use of a DPSS laser contributes to power loss - not just burn-in procedures. The loss may not be anything major - definitely not as pronounced as with a gas laser, but whenever you run a laser diode, you're ultimately lowering both its life and output.
 

Razako

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pseudonomen137 said:
[quote author=laze_doctor link=1213537963/12#14 date=1213833640]Okay well I can't quote him, but Jack explained why DPSS lasers do not lose output over time, and also said that he's serviced 3 year old lasers that were was powerful as the day they were sold.

I looked at that thread again, and the OP was talking about a freak unit. Those are known to have high output power but have short lives.
Sorry, but I disagree. First off about the freak unit. Sometimes a freak unit may be the result of an improperly made laser which is overpowering and overstressing the components in which case you'd be right. However, more often than not though, a freak unit is mad the same as all its counterparts, but as well all know no two crystal sets are equal. The freak unit actually has the above average, better crystal set in it, and its extra power is just from the extra conversion efficiency. Therefore, I see no reason a freak unit shouldn't last at least as long as a regular unit, if not more (of course, practice and theory like to disagree, but the notion that freaks will die early is a misconception IMO)

As for power dropping, there's no reason a properly stored DPSS laser would lose power just with age. However, any amount of use of a DPSS laser contributes to power loss - not just burn-in procedures. The loss may not be anything major - definitely not as pronounced as with a gas laser, but whenever you run a laser diode, you're ultimately lowering both its life and output.[/quote]
So basically they won't "decay" if you leave them unused for a long period of time.
 




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