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Ironchef
07-31-2008, 1:30 PM
I am finding green lasers seem like pretty cool toys and I'm interested in getting one. I'm under the (likely FUD) impression that there are lawful limits to intensity and that anything over 5mw is unlawful to buy/own/use? I"m aware of how it's not to be used. I'm just curious about which ones are lawful if there are in fact restrictions? My googling isn't turning up much info so if anyone knows, please feel free to enlighten me.

Ironchef
07-31-2008, 1:37 PM
They sell green lasers strong enough to start fires, that's legal so why would one over 5mw be illegal?

That's what I'm asking. What is legal and what isn't? ALso, just because they're sold, doesn't make them legal. I'm aware of plenty of chinese based businesses where people go to get 100mw green lasers just so they can demo starting fires remotely. What i'm looking for is any laws or such legal reference surrounding their acquisition, legal use, restrictions, etc..if any.

CHS
07-31-2008, 1:46 PM
The legality is an FDA thing relating strictly to "laser pointers".

Anything that is sold as, marketed as, or designed as a "laser pointer" has to be less than 5mw in radiated power.

If it's not a laser pointer, it can be as powerful as you want :)

Now if you're asking for firearms use, a <5mw green beam is MORE than powerful enough for any target designation/acquisition use. More is certainly cooler, but you definitely don't need it (especially at the prices for anything more).

I believe that most firearms lasers are technically considered "laser pointers" and/or are less than 5mw anyways.

Ironchef
07-31-2008, 1:52 PM
So there's FDA derived restrictions? And there's wording describing what is a "laser pointer?" Be interesting to see any such citations. I also wonder if there's separate CA-based PC?

Also, i'm not necessarily interested in using it as a gun mounted device. I'd like it for fun in the house, outside for astronomy..to show kids and wife what to look at, and probably some other lawful use. No airliner cockpits, no cops, no people, vehicles, etc.

CHS
07-31-2008, 1:58 PM
So there's FDA derived restrictions? And there's wording describing what is a "laser pointer?" Be interesting to see any such citations. I also wonder if there's separate CA-based PC?

Dunno about CA, but FDA:
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/radhealth/products/LPM.html


Also, i'm not necessarily interested in using it as a gun mounted device. I'd like it for fun in the house, outside for astronomy..to show kids and wife what to look at, and probably some other lawful use. No airliner cockpits, no cops, no people, vehicles, etc.

You can have as powerful or weak a laser bean as you like. Just remember, the <5mw rules are in place for safety, since these types of devices are typically used in totally unrestricted fashion. Even a <5mw device can damage eyes, but more than that will certainly be unsafe depending on how you use it.

Just be safe, use common sense, don't shine it in anyones eyes, and be careful when shining it at reflective surfaces.

Get a big one and send pics!

69Mach1
07-31-2008, 2:04 PM
Just don't try and bring down 747's flying overhead with them. : )

Glock22Fan
07-31-2008, 2:05 PM
Many years ago I was a contractor at a site that developed military rangefinders. There had just been a big internal upset, people nearly losing their jobs, and the result that their lasers were deliberately lowered in power and/or defocussed somehow (I wasn't really involved).

The reason for this fuss and bother? Employees had been focussing lasers out of the windows, burning out the eyes of crows on nearby rooftops. Neighbors were complaining about blind crows falling off their roof and staggering around on the ground.

Ironchef
07-31-2008, 2:07 PM
lol, blind birds! that's funny. funnier yet since a bird hit our living room window the other day and smacked it so hard he died and fell into the neighbor's yard below. must of been some punk kid frying the birds eyes with a laser.

Librarian
07-31-2008, 3:06 PM
CA laws on lasers:
Penal Code
247.5. Any person who willfully and maliciously discharges a laser
at an aircraft, whether in motion or in flight, while occupied, is
guilty of a violation of this section, which shall be punishable as
either a misdemeanor by imprisonment in the county jail for not more
than one year or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or a
felony by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, two years,
or three years, or by a fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000). This
section does not apply to the conduct of laser development activity
by or on behalf of the United States Armed Forces.
As used in this section, "aircraft" means any contrivance intended
for and capable of transporting persons through the airspace.
As used in this section, "laser" means a device that utilizes the
natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between energy levels for
generating coherent electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet,
visible, or infrared region of the spectrum, and when discharged
exceeds one milliwatt continuous wave.
417.25. (a) Every person who, except in self-defense, aims or
points a laser scope, as defined in subdivision (b), or a laser
pointer, as defined in subdivision (c), at another person in a
threatening manner with the specific intent to cause a reasonable
person fear of bodily harm is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail for up to 30 days. For purposes of
this section, the laser scope need not be attached to a firearm.
(b) As used in this section, "laser scope" means a portable
battery-powered device capable of being attached to a firearm and
capable of projecting a laser light on objects at a distance.
(c) As used in this section, "laser pointer" means any hand held
laser beam device or demonstration laser product that emits a single
point of light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that
is visible to the human eye.

bohoki
07-31-2008, 3:43 PM
i want one of those laser dazers that look like a flashlight

DrjonesUSA
07-31-2008, 4:09 PM
They sell green lasers strong enough to start fires,



Seriously??????

Where the heck can I buy one????????

Nuuze
07-31-2008, 4:16 PM
I sold one a while back here on CG. Just becareful while playing with them. DO NOT look at the spot of the beam or you can burn your eyes.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=73842

Ironchef
07-31-2008, 4:32 PM
Thanks for the citations librarian. Good to know that it's only been restricted with regards to brandishing and painting an aircraft (if over 1mw). I was concerened there might be intenisity related laws like nothing over 5mw anywhere.

Think I'll go shopping now! Dealextreme, here i come!

Nuuze,
Yeah, i think I remember talking with you about your laser and how it can start fire. Didn't you have the 100mw one? I'm just interested in a basic entry level 5mw-30mw one. I don't want anything real hot as i don't want to be responsible for a yosemite type fire..nor do i want my kids to burn their eyes out (even though they'd never get it, and they already know they can't play with other lasers we have in the house). And it has to be cheap enough so that if it breaks, big woop. I also need it to be hydrodynamic so it won't fall off the head of my pet shark...you know, warm meals and all...

Thanks guys, for all the info and citations!

Nuuze
07-31-2008, 4:36 PM
I had the 75mw model.

DrjonesUSA
07-31-2008, 4:39 PM
Wwwwwooooooowwwwwweeeeeee.......


One of those guys would be SO much fun for pesky squirrels, birds & other critters!!!!!!

The occasional commie/PETA type too!!!! :43:

TheDM
07-31-2008, 4:51 PM
lol, blind birds! that's funny. funnier yet since a bird hit our living room window the other day and smacked it so hard he died and fell into the neighbor's yard below. must of been some punk kid frying the birds eyes with a laser.

Hey, it works on glass:)

Vectrexer
07-31-2008, 6:02 PM
Don't forget that local ordinances will add to state and federal laws and regulations you are required to obey.

Pretty much anywhere outside your house requires a permit and an operating variance in order to blast about the brighter lasers in a public area.

Your rig may also require a fixed block to cut the beam off from going into areas expected to be occupied by people.

You may also need to file paperwork with the FAA if you intend to blast skyward with a beam.

Having said this,,, you will mostly be ignored unless you are blasting some really bright laser, or just being an a**hole with your powerful toy.

Telperion
07-31-2008, 6:19 PM
So the first law doesn't apply to pulsed mode lasers of any power? And it is not a violation of the second law to aim an IR laser at someone (more dangerous than visible lasers cause you can't see it or its reflections -- I won't tinker with them)?

Some real geniuses writing these laws...

Nookieaki
07-31-2008, 9:01 PM
I actually LOL'ed at work reading the post about burning the eyes out of crows on rooftops, now THAT's hilarious.

zok
08-01-2008, 1:57 PM
Does anyone know if it is legal to have a laser system on your CCW? One that was manufactured not an add on and bought in another state before all the bans in California?

Crazed_SS
08-01-2008, 2:03 PM
Does anyone know if it is legal to have a laser system on your CCW?

Might depend on the county. I know one member on here with an Orange County permit has told me they do not allow lasers your carry gun up there.

WolfMansDad
08-01-2008, 2:16 PM
You think the reflection from a cat's eyes is bright in a car's headlights, try lighting him up with a green laser pointer. 5mW doesn't seem to affect the cat at all, but the effect when he looks back at you is impressive.

IGOTDIRT4U
08-01-2008, 2:49 PM
Does anyone know if it is legal to have a laser system on your CCW? One that was manufactured not an add on and bought in another state before all the bans in California?

It goes by County, and in most Counties, lasers are not legal for CCW. Also, per the PC, it is illegal to point a gun mounted laser device at any person unless you are in the act of shooting them. (loose translation)

Army
08-01-2008, 9:18 PM
I've an Aries 250w. Yes it will start fires, blind critters, seemingly explode stop signs....and light my cigars. It is rated for 60 miles and is easily seen out to 500yds in daylight.

Blazing the night sky is almost frightening.

Sadly, the cat totally ignores it.

N6ATF
08-02-2008, 12:12 AM
250 watts? Crikey, I'd hate to have to use a car battery to power my laser pointer.

gunsmith
08-02-2008, 4:42 PM
I'm not a PETA member, I'm not vegetarian and I had a hunting license back in the 1970's.
I not only do not find it amusing that some cretin is blinding Crows,(with a laser) I find the cruelty disturbing.
Hunting birds for sport, to protect crops or food is one thing.
Torture of any kind is pretty sick.
Use enough gun!
How can you derive pleasure from blinding a bird?
A cruel and bizzare trait shared by serial killers was joy at the mutilation (and death) of animals, when they were to young to inflict their unusaul taste on people.

Fjold
08-02-2008, 5:32 PM
I've an Aries 250w. Yes it will start fires, blind critters, seemingly explode stop signs....and light my cigars. It is rated for 60 miles and is easily seen out to 500yds in daylight.

Blazing the night sky is almost frightening.

Sadly, the cat totally ignores it.


I googled "Aries Lasers and the most powerful one I saw listed was 400mw

http://www.laserglow.com/index.php?aries

Army
08-02-2008, 10:31 PM
I googled "Aries Lasers and the most powerful one I saw listed was 400mw

http://www.laserglow.com/index.php?aries
It was hard enough to justify the bucks I put out for the 250w'er. No way the wife would have forgiven me had I gone for the biggie :D

One thing it was perfect for...it totally scared the livin' crap out of hajji.

Saigon1965
08-02-2008, 11:13 PM
Think I've found me a new toy -

motorhead
08-03-2008, 9:59 AM
crows are evil and need to die.

MindBuilder
08-03-2008, 2:16 PM
I've heard that the idea of lasers under 5mw is that if it gets in your eyes you can usually (not always) blink before permanent damage is done. I don't think it is any fun playing with bigger lasers because you might hit a piece of chrome or glass and have the laser come back at you or a friend and blind you or partially blind you or your friend. If you need a powerful laser for a tool then maybe wear laser blocking goggles and be careful, but I wouldn't play with one.

Fjold
08-03-2008, 4:41 PM
It was hard enough to justify the bucks I put out for the 250w'er. No way the wife would have forgiven me had I gone for the biggie :D

One thing it was perfect for...it totally scared the livin' crap out of hajji.

I think that you mean 250mw (milliwatts) not 250w (watts).

gunsmith
08-03-2008, 5:56 PM
crows are evil and need to die.

You are certainly entitled to your wrong opinion, however most people find torture of animals to be far more evil. (then Crows)

your "crows are evil and need to die" statement suggest immaturity and a desire to instigate acrimony.

The statement itself is a complete fallacy, oh and no real Motorhead fan would torture such a cool animal as a Crow.

I think you like Miley Cyrus and are trying to appear macho.

NiteQwill
08-03-2008, 7:41 PM
Wicked Lasers has good stuff ;)

Army
08-03-2008, 9:54 PM
I think that you mean 250mw (milliwatts) not 250w (watts).
Well, yes, of course. But us laser-heads just say watts.

This thread reminded me to buy an enhancer, focuses the beam for up to 10x the available intensity. My 250w just became a 2500w at the focal point. Just like a magnifying glass on ants :detective:

N6ATF
08-04-2008, 12:09 AM
Us ham radio-heads say that the difference between watts and milliwatts can be deadly, in any electrical application.

Ironchef
08-04-2008, 9:43 AM
Yep, imagine the burn on your chest after a few 500watt transmissions from your belt worn HT! lol Shucks, even 50 watts would fry your manhood.


As for the green laser itself, if there really is serious harm in simply getting briefly lit in the eye with the smallest 5mw beam, then yes, that'd be a pretty bad toy to have in the house with 4 little ones. Can anyone else here back that up? That a 5mw green laser can blind you if it gets in your eyes for a brief 1 or 2 count? I know you need at least 30mw to burn paper.

ARMY,
What kind of power source does your 250mw green laser use?

Army
08-04-2008, 9:36 PM
Two normal "C" cells, good for about 1.5 hours of continuous light. The power is all in the circuitry.

crunchy
08-04-2008, 10:30 PM
Looks like green LASER pointers of standard power are borderline dangerous or harmful with "stupid" type non-accidental exposure... I'd be concerned about anything more powerful. With kids around, I dunno if I'd feel safe having one within their reach. I guess the moral of the story is if it's potentially harmful, treat it like a firearm: Always loaded, don't point at anything you're not willing to lase, finger off the button, lock it up out of the reach of kids.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2005-rst/2800.html

Back in college I recall walking by a LASER lab where a powerful research instrument was housed. There were warning signs everywhere, and an article tacked up on the door about an academic/research type who had an accident...

Something happened in the lab and the author had his goggles off while a powerful LASER was energized. The beam was reflected/scintillated and he caught a short, partial pulse in the eye.

He heard an audible "pop" in his head (apparently the beam generating a tiny steam explosion inside his eyeball) and immediately had a blind spot, complete with blood in the vitreous humor (the gel inside the eye) and floaters (in this case, little pieces of cauterized retina and blood).

He did eventually recover most of his sight in that eye, save for a permanent blind spot where the retina was toasted, but still had floaters.

Reading that article freaked me out to the point where I don't like to F around with LASERs.

N6ATF
08-05-2008, 12:10 AM
Holy...

gunsmith
08-05-2008, 1:19 AM
that don't make a lick of sense.

As far as blinding animals for fun, I think its pretty cruel, petty, immature, stupid and really gross.

I can just imagine a fence sitter thinking "those gun guys just love hurting animals for no reason at all, I'll just vote for Obama to spite them"

Ironchef
08-05-2008, 9:37 AM
Interesting read. I knew red lasers were nothing. I see now that green lasers, at least the <5mw ones CAN cause serious damage, at least in 60 second exposures or longer. And like the article said, people's reaction to getting flashed in the eye with a laser will cause them to close their eye or flinch ending the risk.

SO if I ever get one, it'd be a simple 5mw one in a pen or something small...and of course it'll be with me always so it doesn't fall in the hands of my little ones.

I think reading this thread has left me less inclined to get one anyways as the fun is now gone! lol

rkt88edmo
08-06-2008, 1:46 PM
Back in college I recall walking by a LASER lab where a powerful research instrument was housed. There were warning signs everywhere, and an article tacked up on the door about an academic/research type who had an accident...

Something happened in the lab and the author had his goggles off while a powerful LASER was energized. The beam was reflected/scintillated and he caught a short, partial pulse in the eye.

He heard an audible "pop" in his head (apparently the beam generating a tiny steam explosion inside his eyeball) and immediately had a blind spot, complete with blood in the vitreous humor (the gel inside the eye) and floaters (in this case, little pieces of cauterized retina and blood).

He did eventually recover most of his sight in that eye, save for a permanent blind spot where the retina was toasted, but still had floaters.

Reading that article freaked me out to the point where I don't like to F around with LASERs.

Yup, even a small refraction/reflection of a powerful laser can cause permanent damage.

Moderator Note -> Illegal or not, encouraging the torture or blinding of animals is not ok