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US Laws regarding personal sales for class IV lasers

coaster

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Hi, Hypothetically, if somebody had built 2 lasers with a power output well over 500mW a few years back and was potentially looking to get rid of them, could they legally sell them on a craigslist / facebook marketplace type of classifieds, even without a key switch on said laser? Buyers would be vetted to ensure safety, and goggles would be included in said sale.

Asking for a friend ;)
 



Wheatfie1d

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I feel like that's something mostly up to the platform to decide if they want to allow or not, I mean people buy and sell them on here. International distributers like ebay stay away from high power lasers, but people basically sell sex on craigslist so I think a few lasers would be alright.

But I'm not a lawyer so don't take legal advise from me.
 

coaster

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Yeah that is kind of my thought process on it, though you can never predict some concerned mom with nothing better to do seeing your post and reporting to local authorities that also have nothing better to do.
 

brendon7358

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My understanding is the sale of any handheld laser in the US over 5mW is not allowed. However, unless it's a large operation like wicked lasers, no one really cares.
 

RedCowboy

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Lab style lasers over 5mw are not illegal to sell, only " pointers " and I believe there's an exemption if the pointer has an interlock, shutter, indicator, delay, and key............but very few here ever have " pointers " for sale if at all.........I don't recall ever having seen a pointer < 5mw for sale here...........most I expect are portable lab lasers in a convenient torch like form factor but technically portable lab lasers..........at least that's my take on it.
 
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coaster

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Lab style lasers over 5mw are not illegal to sell, only " pointers " and I believe there's an exemption if the pointer has an interlock, shutter, indicator, delay, and key............but very few here ever have " pointers " for sale if at all.........I don't recall ever having seen a pointer < 5mw for sale here...........most I expect are portable lab lasers in a convenient torch like form factor but technically portable lab lasers..........at least that's my take on it.
That would make sense. I certainly wouldn't consider a nubm44 in an s4x host a "pointer" haha
 

RedCowboy

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That would make sense. I certainly wouldn't consider a nubm44 in an s4x host a "pointer" haha
You wouldn't but people outside of the hobby might not know any better.

If you start making shovels and decide to sell off a couple of your creations to the public and someone hurts someone else with a shovel you sold then you likely won't get sued or if you did you wouldn't lose in court because everyone understands what a shovel is, so it's your duty to inform any buyer of the dangers of anything you sell them that could be seen as less dangerous than it really is........an example would be a shovel with an unusual spring loaded weed clipper that you attached, if you fail to warn the buyer and someone gets hurt down the line then you could be seen as liable in court.

So if a person sold a laser, especially one over 5mw in a housing that looked like an everyday safe to use object ( a flashlight ) for example without warning the buyer of all the hazards of operating it then you could be sued when someone gets hurt and you could lose, you could even be found criminally liable if you sold a dangerous item that's easily mistaken as being safe........furthermore if someone was manufacturing devices intended for sale to the public then a product liability lawyer should be consulted.........all that said I expect you would be better off trading with people in the hobby who understand the safe use of lasers rather than the general public.
 
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coaster

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You wouldn't but people outside of the hobby might not know any better.

If you start making shovels and decide to sell off a couple of your creations to the public and someone hurts someone else with a shovel you sold then you likely won't get sued or if you did you wouldn't lose in court because everyone understands what a shovel is, so it's your duty to inform any buyer of the dangers of anything you sell them that could be seen as less dangerous than it really is........an example would be a shovel with an unusual spring loaded weed clipper that you attached, if you fail to warn the buyer and someone gets hurt down the line then you could be seen as liable in court.

So if a person sold a laser, especially one over 5mw in a housing that looked like an everyday safe to use object ( a flashlight ) for example without warning the buyer of all the hazards of operating it then you could be sued when someone gets hurt and you could lose, you could even be found criminally liable if you sold a dangerous item that's easily mistaken as being safe........furthermore if someone was manufacturing devices intended for sale to the public then a product liability lawyer should be consulted.........all that said I expect you would be better off trading with people in the hobby who understand the safe use of lasers rather than the general public.
Oh for sure, thats what I'm worried about. I've been very explicit in cautioning people including a screenshot of proper class IV safety precautions, but I don't know if that is legally binding given the grey area of selling this in the first place. I would much prefer nobody gets hurt but I can't control what somebody does with it after its in their hands and I'd love to cover my butt in case they don't follow safety.
 

steve001

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Hi, Hypothetically, if somebody had built 2 lasers with a power output well over 500mW a few years back and was potentially looking to get rid of them, could they legally sell them on a craigslist / facebook marketplace type of classifieds, even without a key switch on said laser? Buyers would be vetted to ensure safety, and goggles would be included in said sale.

Asking for a friend ;)
Sales of this type within the US are not allowed. The answer is absolutely No. I suggest you take time to do a web quiry on the subject.
 
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RedCowboy

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Oh for sure, thats what I'm worried about. I've been very explicit in cautioning people including a screenshot of proper class IV safety precautions, but I don't know if that is legally binding given the grey area of selling this in the first place. I would much prefer nobody gets hurt but I can't control what somebody does with it after its in their hands and I'd love to cover my butt in case they don't follow safety.

Yep if they want you they will get you with any law or alphabet agency regulation that carries the weight of law so if the FDA wants to call your portable a pointer they will and it's on your back to pay in time and money to fight it where the likely outcome would fall back on your intent, if a manufacture or distributor looking to circumvent US safety regs. you likely lose, a hobbyist would likely get a warning 1st before being charged but with the Orwellian nightmare at hand this very conversation could be used against your ignorance plea, so if the seller was unloading a one piece that sorta falls between the cracks it could well be overlooked but try to sell again and again and you will have trouble unless your portable has the 5 required safeties of aperture shutter, safety dongle, delayed on, indicator light, and keyed switch which could have changed for all I know and probably will as everything becomes more difficult with a blue zillion new laws every day.........but I digress, truth is we know that proper laser safety can be absent from the mind of a novice so it's really your duty to NOT sell anything over 5mw on cragislist, besides you don't want some kid to get disabled for life so just tell your friend not to sell anything over the limit because he could and probably would .....maybe even should have trouble.


p.s. Don't fall into the trap of believing that just because you have gotten away with something that you always will, in time disaster will fall, maybe even after you have been warned and stopped trouble can still come, reduce your risks by stopping now.
 
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coaster

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Yep if they want you they will get you with any law or alphabet agency regulation that carries the weight of law so if the FDA wants to call your portable a pointer they will and it's on your back to pay in time and money to fight it where the likely outcome would fall back on your intent, if a manufacture or distributor looking to circumvent US safety regs. you likely lose, a hobbyist would likely get a warning 1st before being charged but with the Orwellian nightmare at hand this very conversation could be used against your ignorance plea, so if the seller was unloading a one piece that sorta falls between the cracks it could well be overlooked but try to sell again and again and you will have trouble unless your portable has the 5 required safeties of aperture shutter, safety dongle, delayed on, indicator light, and keyed switch which could have changed for all I know and probably will as everything becomes more difficult with a blue zillion new laws every day.........but I digress, truth is we know that proper laser safety can be absent from the mind of a novice so it's really your duty to NOT sell anything over 5mw on cragislist, besides you don't want some kid to get disabled for life so just tell your friend not to sell anything over the limit because he could and probably would .....maybe even should have trouble.


p.s. Don't fall into the trap of believing that just because you have gotten away with something that you always will, in time disaster will fall, maybe even after you have been warned and stopped trouble can still come, reduce your risks by stopping now.
That is solid advice, I'll definitely explain that to my friend ;) I mean there is the statute of limitations and I highly doubt its more than a few years, but definitely not worth the risk, I don't want to see him in jail or anybody getting hurt, its not worth the couple hundred he would get. Besides, after doing more research and using the lasers again, my friend ;) definitely remembers why he got into this hobby in the first place and doesn't want to let go of his precious babies XD
 

coaster

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Sales of this type within the US are not allowed. The answer is absolutely No. I suggest you take time to do a web quiry on the subject.
I would suggest the possibility that said web queries* were already done on this subject, and the post may have been made to clear up any confusion after said web queries ;) I am just going to assume that you made this response based on seeing "new member" under my name not recognizing that I was a new member 5 years ago, certainly not now
 

steve001

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I would suggest the possibility that said web queries* were already done on this subject, and the post may have been made to clear up any confusion after said web queries ;) I am just going to assume that you made this response based on seeing "new member" under my name not recognizing that I was a new member 5 years ago, certainly not now
My reply was based on the question alone.
 
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hakzaw1

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Did you finish school?? 5 years since your last posting--good to see you again.
How is your eye doing??
PM coming--len
 




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