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New law? New enforcement?

shep666

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HighTechDealZ is no longer offering high power lasers on the website.
DX has added a statement that they won't ship to the U.S.
My guess is that DX's language is pro forma and inconsequential.
But the deletion of high power lasers from the HighTechDealZ webpage is clearly consequential.
So it made me wonder -- what's going on? First Ebay and now this. Is this a trend? Are the Feds cracking down? Anyone know?
 

Razako

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The DX warning is a useless scare tactic.
The owner of hightechdealz got caught importing 10 green lasers with EMS shipping and now he thinks he might be on some kind of watch list so he removed all of the illegal items from his site.
 
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Razako! That's quite an irresponsible thing to say if you ask me  :-/. You wanna front of the bill on any lasers that get confiscated?

For the US its not a new law, its the same law that's been around for a long time. Enforcement may have gone up a bit - I'm not sure, but I know my (legal) orders have been inspected on many occasions, and I have had an order confiscated that was accidentally shipped to the US. Check around, this isn't a story unique to me!

Long story short, if you're importing illegal lasers to the US, watch out! (A majority of the >5mW lasers discussed on LPF are illegal to import to the US) Chances are probably still FAR better than 50/50 that you'll get away with it, but confiscations ARE happening, and there IS a reason to be worried.
 

Kenom

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Your niave if you think that "the man" doesn't know who each and every one of us in the states are. We all know the risks and consequences of our actions and it would be no suprise if we do get "busted" As long as we are responsible and aren't stupid, I don't think we have much to worry about but you still risk a lot when you own high powered lasers.
 

Razako

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Well I wouldn't call it that irresponsible because I bought some lasers from dx after the warning just to check and they all arrived at my door without a problem. I'm not guaranteeing that your lasers won't be confiscated. I'm just saying that it probably isn't any more likely than before the warning.

Also the US government really does have better things to do than track everyone on this forum. They would probably only be interested in those who own some kind of online store and sell lasers. Again I'm not guaranteeing that the above is 100% factual. It would be rather pathetic if they did waste the resources tracking hundreds of people on this forum.
 
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I normally am not the paranoid guy afraid of the gov't at every move, but I must admit I've had some people who have told me some interesting things about being asked questions about me by gov't agencies - and I've been damn lucky those people were on my side. I have a lot of other random hobbies so I have no reason to believe its laser related, but I've had to watch my back a little more carefully (not on the forums of course, I too think that would be downright silly but then again I never know)

In any case, Razako, I still feel your comment was very irresponsible. Whether or not there is stronger enforcement now is irrelevant. When you're importing illegal lasers to the US there is always a risk, and there are too many documented cases of people (myself for instance) being burned for taking that gamble to ignore.

You said "go ahead and order" though - a very clear implication that there is nothing to worry about. That is what I take objection to. Its not fair to give someone the idea they'll be safe illegally importing lasers when we all know there is a very real chance they'll lose their $ to customs. Feel free to take the risk on your own time and dime, but never subject other people to a gamble without letting them know the stakes!
 

Razako

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pseudonomen137 said:
I normally am not the paranoid guy afraid of the gov't at every move, but I must admit I've had some people who have told me some interesting things about being asked questions about me by gov't agencies - and I've been damn lucky those people were on my side. I have a lot of other random hobbies so I have no reason to believe its laser related, but I've had to watch my back a little more carefully (not on the forums of course, I too think that would be downright silly but then again I never know)

In any case, Razako, I still feel your comment was very irresponsible. Whether or not there is stronger enforcement now is irrelevant. When you're importing illegal lasers to the US there is always a risk, and there are too many documented cases of people (myself for instance) being burned for taking that gamble to ignore.

You said "go ahead and order" though - a very clear implication that there is nothing to worry about. That is what I take objection to. Its not fair to give someone the idea they'll be safe illegally importing lasers when we all know there is a very real chance they'll lose their $ to customs. Feel free to take the risk on your own time and dime, but never subject other people to a gamble without letting them know the stakes!
Alright I removed the go ahead and order part. Still the odds of anything actually happening to your dx order are slim to none unless you live in Hawaii or use EMS.
 

mikeeey

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Just going to throw in my 2 cents..


Since the beginning that I've been on the forum, I've heard people say "go ahead and order" multiple times, usually followed by "and you should be safe if you just go with air mail, not EMS"

I guess it really depends how you look at it, but saying "go ahead and order" sounds fine to me, it's what me and other people have been saying since as long as I can remember.

have the laws got more strict? is that why it is now not ok to say it? I just dont see the difference between now and 1 year ago if you were to make this statement.
 
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mikeeey, I don't know what the context was for the other cases, but in this case a person was asking if it was safe to order illegal lasers from DX despite customs and FDA issues, to which we of LPF responded "go ahead and order" (aka yes). That just ain't right.

Don't try saying the chance of confiscation is none either razako. Perhaps slim, but just search LPF itself and you'll see the chance isn't none. Sure, chances are you'll get away with it, but try spending your hard earned money on a laser only to get a slip saying you aren't getting it and there may be other potential legal troubles. Even knowing it may happen, its still a horrible experience. I don't even want to imagine how it would feel if it happened to me all whilst I was thinking everything would be okay because LPF said so. How would you feel, huh?
 
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wow... you know i didn't realize it was illegal to order these lol...

i mean not that it would have stopped me but i didn't see the warning on dx and i read the forum for like a month and never saw anyone say anything about it being illegal in the US until a week or so after i got mine ... lol

anyway just a quick question ... it is still ok to get the diodes? is there any differences when ordering lab type?

EDIT: oh, if it is ok to get the diodes, is it breaking the law to build it into a laser ?
 

Razako

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Maven said:
wow... you know i didn't realize it was illegal to order these lol...

i mean not that it would have stopped me but i didn't see the warning on dx and i read the forum for like a month and never saw anyone say anything about it being illegal in the US until a week or so after i got mine ... lol

anyway just a quick question ... it is still ok to get the diodes? is there any differences when ordering lab type?

EDIT: oh, if it is ok to get the diodes, is it breaking the law to build it into a laser ?
It's only illegal if you use the diodes to build a portable laser pointer without the necessary safety features required by the FDA.

pseudonomen137 said:
mikeeey, I don't know what the context was for the other cases, but in this case a person was asking if it was safe to order illegal lasers from DX despite customs and FDA issues, to which we of LPF responded "go ahead and order" (aka yes). That just ain't right.

Don't try saying the chance of confiscation is none either razako. Perhaps slim, but just search LPF itself and you'll see the chance isn't none. Sure, chances are you'll get away with it, but try spending your hard earned money on a laser only to get a slip saying you aren't getting it and there may be other potential legal troubles. Even knowing it may happen, its still a horrible experience. I don't even want to imagine how it would feel if it happened to me all whilst I was thinking everything would be okay because LPF said so. How would you feel, huh?
Well If you live in the continental US and don't use EMS or some other advanced shipping the chance of your laser getting confiscated is so small that it really isn't worth worrying about it unless you are either importing a lot of lasers or a really expensive laser. "Order and hope for the best" is basically the only thing people can do. If they absolutely don't want to break the FDA rules then they can order a laser from laserglow with all of the necessary safety features. Sadly that isn't always an option for people with a limited budget.
 

mikeeey

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pseudonomen137 said:
mikeeey, I don't know what the context was for the other cases, but in this case a person was asking if it was safe to order illegal lasers from DX despite customs and FDA issues, to which we of LPF responded "go ahead and order" (aka yes). That just ain't right.

Don't try saying the chance of confiscation is none either razako. Perhaps slim, but just search LPF itself and you'll see the chance isn't none. Sure, chances are you'll get away with it, but try spending your hard earned money on a laser only to get a slip saying you aren't getting it and there may be other potential legal troubles. Even knowing it may happen, its still a horrible experience. I don't even want to imagine how it would feel if it happened to me all whilst I was thinking everything would be okay because LPF said so. How would you feel, huh?
ah ok. I was just trying to say it could have just been by habit (it is in my case atleast), I probably would have said the same thing, as it would have slipped. Maybe I have before without even realizing, I'm so used to explaining that everyone orders from DX by airmail with no problem.

I dont think i can recall anyone ever talking about the customs taking their laser if it was air mail, but im curious, has this happened to anyone?
when i hear illegal, first thing that comes to my mind is a rebel, a law breaker, someone who knows they commit crime and doesn't care. what comes to my mind is more violent and harmful acts. When i put laser and illegal in the same sentence I can only imagine shining at things you shouldn't be shining at.
to be honest I actually have not read anywhere else besides LPF that the importing of lasers are illegal, I have searched but was not able to find an official or government website talking about the importing of lasers. It's new for me to see DX saying this, rather than hearing it from a fellow Laser Hobby Member.
 

Kenom

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Oh yeah. it's most certainly illegal to own and operate a laser without the safety features over 5mw. The only place your going to see any information about it really is on the FDA website. Since it's illegal to own them, it's pretty safe to assume that it's "illegal" to import them as well. Importing an illegal substance is illegal. Kinda redundant but that's spellin it out for those that don't see the connection.
 

artix

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There is no law enforcement for laser importing here in Canada! And even if I decide to get a green laser, I can just go to Nova! They are about a 20 minute drive from where I live :)
 
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mikeeey, I'm sorry the word 'illegal' has other meanings to you, and I can see where you're coming from. Still though, is a major company defrauding consumers of billions of dollars violent? Not really, but it is still illegal.

You probably only saw mention of it around LPF because its one of the few major laser forums around, and afterall its not like the sellers want to advertise it. One of the key documents you'll want to check out is 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11 (from the FDA/CDRH). Its not like the gov't is going around with posters saying that lasers are illegal, but the laws are there that clearly explain the illegality of importing non-accessioned class IIIB and IV lasers to the US.

Also, Razako, I don't quite remember where this whole "don't use EMS" thing came from, but I know it didn't come from anyone qualified to make the statement. When nearly all our orders are shipped with EMS shipping, its no big surprise (to me at least?) that all the reports of confiscated packages used EMS shipping. Just because you ship it slower, doesn't mean customs ain't gunna come snooping around if they feel like it.

Also, simply having a laser with the "safety features" does not necessarily mean customs won't snag it. Unless the laser in question is < classIIIB, or it has an accession number, you're taking a risk importing it - key switches or not.
 




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