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U.S. national, state and local laws

The following are some laws and regulations relating to laser pointers. This is not a comprehensive list, and it does not cover all laser-related laws (such as laws in Arizona, Texas, New York and elsewhere for the registration of laser equipment and/or laser show operators).

This list is intended to provide a starting point for additional research, and to illustrate how legislators attempt to define various terms and regulate various actions.

Please feel free to email us with any additional laws for this list. A similar list has been compiled at lasers.homeschooljournal.net. Also, this 1999 paper and this 1999 story may have some useful, if dated, information.
  • U.S. NATIONAL LAWS
  • U.S. FDA/CDRH: 21 CFR 1040.10/11
    The most important law covering U.S. lasers is 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11. These cover laser products, and three uses of lasers (demonstrations, medical and surveying/alignment). The Food and Drug Administration's "Center for Devices and Radiological Health" issues regulations and reviews variances based on these laws. For more information, see the page at this website on U.S. regulatory agencies.

  • U.S.: Illegal to aim laser pointer beams at aircraft or their flight path
    [The language below was signed into law by the President on February 14 2012. We are presenting it as it appears in the United States Code, which lists U.S. laws.]

    U.S.C. TITLE 18, CHAPTER 2

    Sec. 39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft
            (a) OFFENSE -- Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
            (b) LASER POINTER DEFINED -- As used in this section, the term `laser pointer' means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object.
            (c) EXCEPTIONS -- This section does not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or the flight path of such an aircraft, by--
                (1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations;
                (2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing or training; or
                (3) by an individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.
            (d) The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, may provide by regulation, after public notice and comment, such additional exceptions to this section, as may be necessary and appropriate. The Attorney General shall provide written notification of any proposed regulations under this section to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House and Senate, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the House, and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in the Senate not less than 90 days before such regulations become final.



    LEGISLATIVE STATUS AND HISTORY
    112th Congress, 2011-2012 HR 386. Introduced January 20 2011. See
    this page for updates. Passed as Section 311 of H.R. 658, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed into law by the President on February 14 2012.
    111th Congress, 2009-2010 HR 5810. Passed by the House of Representatives July 27 2010. Sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Died in committee.
    110th Congress, 2007-2008 HR 1615. Passed by the House May 22 2007. Was not voted on by the Senate
    109th Congress, 2005-2006 HR 1400. Passed by the House Dec. 8 2005. Passed by the Senate Dec. 22 2005. No House-Senate conference, expired before it could be sent to the President


  • U.S. FDA/CDRH recommends aircraft/vehicle caution label
    In December 2012, the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health began recommending labeling with the following, or similar, language: “CAUTION - LASER LIGHT IS BRIGHT AND BLINDING - DO NOT SHINE AT AIRCRAFT OR VEHICLES AT ANY DISTANCE.” This label is a recommendation only, and is not a requirement, because FDA does not have statutory authority over non-health hazards such as distraction or temporary flash blindness. The recommendation is being provided to manufacturers of Surveying, Leveling and Alignment lasers, which in FDA's opinion includes laser pointers and handheld lasers.
  • US: FDA proposes changes to Federal Laser Performance Standard
    The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to amend the Federal Performance Standard for Laser Products (21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11). FDA says the changes are intended to 1) put U.S. standards closer to international IEC 60825 standards, 2) to help manufacturers lower costs, 3) to improve FDA’s effectiveness in regulating laser products and 4) to better protect and promote the public health.

    The proposal was issued in the Federal Register on June 24 2013. The public may send comments to FDA until September 23 2013. FDA will then evaluate the comments, make any changes as a result, and at a future date will put the amendments into effect.
  • US: (For reference) Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968
    The Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968 and the Medical Device Regulation Act (Amendments) of 1976 give the Food and Drug Administration its authority over laser products. For most persons involved with lasers and FDA, they would only need to deal with the current regulations (21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11 being the most prominent). The link to the RCHSA is provided for historical and background purposes.
  • STATE AND LOCAL LAWS
  • ARIZONA: Aiming a laser pointer at a peace officer
    Arizona Revised Statutes
    Title 13 Criminal Code
    Section 13-1213 Aiming a laser pointer at a peace officer; classification; definition

    A. A person commits aiming a laser pointer at a peace officer if the person intentionally or knowingly directs the beam of light from an operating laser pointer at another person and the person knows or reasonably should know that the other person is a peace officer.

    B. Aiming a laser pointer at a peace officer is a class 1 misdemeanor.

    C. For the purposes of this section, "laser pointer" means any device that consists of a high or low powered visible light beam used for aiming, targeting or pointing out features.

  • ARKANSAS: Law enforcement; minors
    The following appear to be enacted laws in Arkansas. This is a summary; the exact language will be in the Act.

    Law Enforcement Officers
    Act 1271 (HB1314) - The act makes it unlawful to shine a laser light beam on a law enforcement officer and makes it a Class A misdemeanor.

    Possession by Minors
    Act 1408 (HB2192) - The act prohibits persons under the age of 18 years from possessing a hand-held laser pointer without the supervision of a parent, guardian or teacher and allows for the confiscation of the hand-held laser pointer by law enforcement officers.

    Sale to Minors
    Act 382 (HB1343) - The act prohibits the sale of hand-held laser pointers to minors and makes the offense punishable by a fine of $100.

  • CALIFORNIA: Laser regulations
    California Penal Code Sections 247.5, 248, 417.25, 417.26 and 417.27.

    Section 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.

    Section 248
    Any person who, with the intent to interfere with the operation of an aircraft, willfully shines a light or other bright device, of an intensity capable of impairing the operation of an aircraft, at an aircraft, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

    Section 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.

    Section 417.26
        (a) Any person who aims or points a laser scope as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 417.25, or a laser pointer, as defined in subdivision (c) of that section, at a peace officer with the specific intent to cause the officer apprehension or fear of bodily harm and who knows or reasonably should know that the person at whom he or she is aiming or pointing is a peace officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not exceeding six months.

        (b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation of subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year.

    Section 417.27
        (a) No person, corporation, firm, or business entity of any kind shall knowingly sell a laser pointer to a person 17 years of age or younger, unless he or she is accompanied and supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or any other adult 18 years of age or older.

        (b) No student shall possess a laser pointer on any elementary or secondary school premises unless possession of a laser pointer on the elementary or secondary school premises is for a valid instructional or other school-related purpose, including employment.

        (c) No person shall direct the beam from a laser pointer directly or indirectly into the eye or eyes of another person or into a moving vehicle with the intent to harass or annoy the other person or the occupants of the moving vehicle.

        (d) No person shall direct the beam from a laser pointer directly or indirectly into the eye or eyes of a guide dog, signal dog, service dog, or dog being used by a peace officer with the intent to harass or annoy the animal.

        (e) A violation of subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be an infraction that is punished by either a fine of fifty dollars ($50) or four hours of community service, and a second or subsequent violation of any of these subdivisions shall be an infraction that is punished by either a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) or eight hours of community service.

        (f) As used in this section, "laser pointer" has the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 417.25.

        (g) As used in this section, "guide dog," "signal dog," and "service dog," respectively, have the same meaning as set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f) of Section 365.5.

  • FLORIDA: Law enforcement and illuminating vehicles
    CHAPTER 784
    ASSAULT; BATTERY; CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE
    784.062 Misuse of laser lighting devices.

    (1) As used in subsection (2), the term "laser lighting device" means a hand-held device, not affixed to a firearm, which emits a laser beam that is designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. As used in subsection (3), the term "laser lighting device" means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission.

    (2) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device at a law enforcement officer, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, in such a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a firearm is pointed at him or her commits a noncriminal violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.

    (3)    (a) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

           (b) Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft and such act results in bodily injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    History.--s. 1, ch. 2002-80; s. 1, ch. 2005-159.

  • FLORIDA: City of Leesburg bans laser harassment in 1999
    On May 10 1999, the city commission of Leesburg (Lake County) Florida passed a law making it a misdemeanor to directly or indirectly shine a laser on another person to harass them.

    Police had numerous incidents of lasers being shined on them. Doing so simulates a laser-guided firearm.

    The May 13 1999 Orlando Sentinel story noted that "[w]hile cities and counties in Florida and other states have adopted similar laws in the past two years [1997-1999], Leesburg is thought to be the first in Lake County."

    From the Orlando Sentinel
  • GEORGIA: Illegal to aim at police, aircraft (proposed)
    Georgia Senate Bill 441 passed the Senate Feb. 27 2012 by a vote of 43 to 4 (with 5 Senators not voting and 4 Senators excused). As of March 21 2012, SB 411 is under consideration by the House.

    The proposed bill would 1) amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated to establish the offense of unlawful pointing of a laser device at a law enforcement officer, and 2) amend Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated to prohibit aiming a laser pointer or projecting a laser on or at an aircraft or the flight path of an aircraft. The legislative history of the bill is at the Georgia General Assembly website.

    Below is the text of the House version.

    BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA

    SECTION 1.


    Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to obstruction of public administration and related offenses, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

    "16-10-34.

    (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term 'laser device' means a device designed to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. Such term also means a device that projects a beam or point of light by means of light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation or other means or that emits light which simulates the appearance of a beam of light.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally project upon a law enforcement officer any laser device without such officer's permission if:
    (1) The law enforcement officer is lawfully acting within the course and scope of employment; and
    (2) The person has knowledge or reason to know that the law enforcement officer is employed as:
    (A) A peace officer as defined in paragraph (8) of Code Section 35-8-2;
    (B) A probation officer, or other employee with the power of arrest, by the Department of Corrections;
    (C) A parole supervisor, or other employee with the power of arrest, by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles;
    (D) A jail officer or guard by a county or municipality and has the responsibility of supervising inmates who are confined in a county or municipal jail or other detention facility; or
    (E) A juvenile correctional officer by the Department of Juvenile Justice and has the primary responsibility for the supervision and control of youth confined in such department's programs and facilities.

    (c) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor.

    
    (d) It shall not be a defense to a prosecution for a violation of this Code section that the laser device was pointed at such officer through a glass, window, or other transparent or translucent object.

    (e) Each violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense. A sentence imposed under this Code section may be imposed separately from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any other offense related to the act or acts establishing the offense under this Code section."

    SECTION 2.

    Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to offenses against public order and safety, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

    "16-11-45.

    (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
    (1) 'Laser' means any device that projects a beam or point of light by means of light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation or a device that emits light which simulates the appearance of a laser.
    (2) 'Laser pointer' means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object.

    (b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, whoever knowingly and intentionally aims the beam of a laser pointer, or projects a laser, at an aircraft or at the flight path of an aircraft shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (c) Laser or laser pointer airspace uses that have been reviewed and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration are exempt from the provisions of this Code section."

    SECTION 3.

    This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2012, and shall apply to offenses committed on or after such date.

    SECTION 4.

    All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
  • ILLINOIS: All Class 3B and 4 lasers must be registered
    Title 32
    Chapter II: Illinois Emergency Management Agency
    Subchapter B: Radiation Protection
    Part 315: Standards for Protection Against Laser Radiation


    The laser regulations are available as a PDF here.

    Under section 315:60, Class 3B and 4 lasers must be registered with the State of Illinois. This includes lasers brought from out-of-state into Illinois (registration must be done 10 days in advance of the laser's use in Illinois).

    The registration form is available online here.

    Although Section 315.190 states that "Each laser installation required to be registered pursuant to this Act and this Part shall pay an annual registration fee of $50", other sources state that the registration form does not require payment. Check with IEMA to find out their current policy.

    Also, the Agency must be notified at least 10 working days in advance of any laser light show.
  • ILLINOIS: Criminalize discharge into cockpits
    In January 2011, Illinois state representative Dave Winters (Rep. - Shirland) introduced HB0167, which amends the state criminal code to make “discharging a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft” a Class A misdemeanor. Winters is a pilot who wants to give state police jurisdiction over the crime.

    HB0167 is similar to HR 387, a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011. One difference is that the Illinois state bill criminalizes using any “laser” that illuminates a cockpit, while the federal bill only applies to “laser pointers”. Another difference is that HB0167 contains two of the three exceptions in HR 387. While it provides an exemption for R&D and flight tests, and for the Defense and Homeland Security Departments, it does not provide any exemption for lasers used to signal in emergency rescue situations.

    The bill was signed by the Governor on July 21 2011. It became effective January 1 2012.

    The bill's legislative history and other information is available from the Illinois General Assembly. Here is the full text:



    HB0167 Enrolled LRB097 02893 RLC 42917 b

    N ACT concerning criminal law.

    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

    Section 5. The Criminal Code of 1961 is amended by changing the heading of Article 24.6 and Section 24.6-5 and by adding Section 24.6-25 as follows:

    (720 ILCS 5/Art. 24.6 heading)

    ARTICLE 24.6. LASER AND LASER POINTERS

    (720 ILCS 5/24.6-5)
    Sec. 24.6-5. Definitions. In this Article:
    "Aircraft" means any contrivance now known or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air, but excluding parachutes.
    "Laser" means both of the following:
    (1) any 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;
    (2) any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by simulated emission that is visible to the human eye.
    "Laser pointer" means a hand-held device that emits light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that is visible to the human eye.
    "Laser sight" means a laser pointer that can be attached to a firearm and can be used to improve the accuracy of the firearm.
    (Source: P.A. 91-252, eff. 1-1-00.)

    (720 ILCS 5/24.6-25 new)
    Sec. 24.6-25. Discharging a laser at an aircraft.
    (a) A person commits discharging a laser at an aircraft when he or she intentionally or knowingly aims and discharges a laser or other device that creates visible light into the cockpit of an aircraft that is in the process of taking off, landing, or is in flight.
    (b) Exceptions. This Section does not apply to the following individuals who aim and discharge a laser or other device at an aircraft:
    (1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations; or
    (2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing, or training.
    (c) Sentence. Discharging a laser at an aircraft is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • ILLINOIS, statewide: General requirements
    See this link for Illinois law about lasers in general. In this section, there does not appear to be anything specifically addressing laser pointer misuse or aircraft illumination.

  • ILLINOIS, county of Champaign: Possession and use
    This 1999 ordinance is interesting because it starts with a series of reasons for controlling laser pointers.

    Ordinance No. 587

    WHEREAS, laser pointers were developed for use in the educational and business community, and outside these contexts, serve no useful purpose in the hands of a minor;
    WHEREAS, laser beams emitted by laser pointers if directed on an eye for several seconds can cause retinal damage;
    WHEREAS, laser pointers are being used by individuals in such a manner as to harass, annoy and potentially cause bodily harm to those at whom they are directed; .
    WHEREAS, aiming laser pointers at motorists may affect their ability to drive safely;
    WHEREAS, the resemblance of the red dot emitted by laser pointers to that emitted by the laser sights of firearms creates a safety issue for law enforcement otfficers and others; and
    WHEREAS, the Champaign County Sheriff s Office has received complaints regarding the use of laser pointers, and at least one officer has needed medical treatment because the laser beam from a laser pointer was directed at his eye;
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Champaign County Board as follows:

    Article 1: GeneralProvisions
    Section 1: Title and Period of Effectiveness
        This ordinance shall be known as the "Ordinance Governing the Possession and Use of Laser Pointers." This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage, unless repealed.
    Section 2: Interpretation
        Unless otherwise stated, for the purposes of this ordinance, present tense includes future tense, singular includes the plural, and vice versa, and the following words shall have the meaning herein indicated.
    Section 3: Definitions
        LASER POINTER is defined as any hand-held device, which emits light, amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation, which is visible to the human eye.
        SCHOOL PROPERTY is defined as the buildings or grounds of any public elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school.
    Section 4: Validity
        If any court of competent jurisdiction shall declare any part of this ordinance to be invalid, such ruling shall not affect any other provision of this ordinance.

    Article 2: Possessionof Laser Pointers by Minors
        No person under the age of eighteen(18) years shall possess a laser pointer while on public property. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prohibit possession of a laser pointer on school property by a student when such possession is pursuant to a legitimate educational purpose.

    Article 3: Unlawful Use of Laser Pointer
        Section 1. Use of laser pointer to alarm or disturb prohibited.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to focus, point or shine a laser pointer on another person or in the immediate vicinity of such person, in such a manner as to alarm or disturb such person.
        Section 2. Use of laser pointer to simulate the laser sight of a firearm prohibited.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to focus, point or shinea laser pointer on another person or in the immediate vicinity of such person, in such a manner as to simulate the laser sight of a firearm.

    Article 4: Penalty
        Any violation of this ordinance shall be deemed a petty offense and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.

  • ILLINOIS, village of Westchester: City bans possession by minors
    The village of Westchester, Illinois is a western suburb of Chicago, population 16,824 as of 2000. The village of Chicago Ridge has a similar ordinance, which can be found here.

    Title 7 PUBLIC PEACE, SAFETY AND MORALS

    Chapter 7.100 LASER POINTERS

    7.100.010 Prohibited acts.
    It is unlawful for any person less than eighteen years of age to have in his or her possession at any private or public place, except as provided herein, a laser pointer of the following type:
        (1) A helium neon (HeNe) laser which typically operates at a wavelength of 6.32.8 nMe with the mandated power limit of 5mW of power. Said lasers are considered Class 2 lasers with the potential for eye injury; and
        (2) A diode laser which typically operates at a wavelength of 670 nMe (although others are possible) with a power source providing 5mW. Said lasers are considered Class 3a lasers, with the potential for eye injury. (Ord. 99-1499 Art. I (part), 1999)

    7.100.020 Transfer or sale to minor.
    No person, firm or corporation shall sell to or provide a minor with a Class 2 or Class 3A laser pointer as described in this chapter unless the minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at the time of purchase and transfer. No minor shall, at the time of purchase of such laser pointer, furnish fraudulent evidence of majority. No minor shall, except while accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, possess a Class 2 or Class 3a laser pointer as described in this chapter on any public property or any private property and with the express permission of the lawful owner or manager of the private property. Also provided, however, that the possession by a person under the age of eighteen years, under the direct supervision of the parent or guardian of such person in the privacy of the parent’s or guardian’s home, shall not be prohibited. (Ord. 99-1499 Art. I (part), 1999)

    7.100.030 Violation--Penalty.
    Any person found guilty of an offense of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or more than seven hundred fifty dollars including, but not limited to, confiscation and destruction of said laser pointer and/or any other penalties set forth by state law. (Ord. 03-1606 § 2 (part), 2003; Ord. 99-1499 Art. I (part), 1999)

    7.100.040 Liability of parent or legal guardian.
    The parent or legal guardian of an unemancipated minor defendant who resides with such parent or legal guardian shall be subject to those liabilities as enumerated in Section 7.100.030. (Ord. 99-1499 Art. I (part), 1999)

  • INDIANA: Laser pointer laws
    Indiana Code
    Criminal Law and Procedure
    Title 35, Section 35-47-4.5

    IC 35-47-4.5
        Chapter 4.5. Regulation of Laser Pointers

    IC 35-47-4.5-1
    Exceptions
        Sec. 1. This chapter does not apply to the use of a laser pointer:
            (1) for educational purposes by individuals engaged in an organized meeting or training class; or
            (2) during the normal course of work or trade activities.
    As added by P.L.70-2000, SEC.1.

    IC 35-47-4.5-2
    "Laser pointer" defined
        Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "laser pointer" means a device that emits light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that is visible to the human eye.
    As added by P.L.70-2000, SEC.1.

    IC 35-47-4.5-3
    "Public safety officer" defined
        Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "public safety officer" means:
            (1) a state police officer;
            (2) a county sheriff;
            (3) a county police officer;
            (4) a correctional officer;
            (5) an excise police officer;
            (6) a county police reserve officer;
            (7) a city police officer;
            (8) a city police reserve officer;
            (9) a conservation enforcement officer;
            (10) a gaming agent;
            (11) a town marshal;
            (12) a deputy town marshal;
            (13) a state educational institution police officer appointed under IC 21-39-4;
            (14) a probation officer;
            (15) a firefighter (as defined in IC 9-18-34-1);
            (16) an emergency medical technician;
            (17) a paramedic;
            (18) a member of a consolidated law enforcement department established under IC 36-3-1-5.1; or
            (19) a gaming control officer.
    As added by P.L.70-2000, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.227-2005, SEC.11; P.L.170-2005, SEC.18; P.L.1-2006, SEC.536; P.L.2-2007, SEC.379; P.L.227-2007, SEC.69; P.L.3-2008, SEC.255.

    IC 35-47-4.5-4
    Directing laser pointer at public safety officer or state police motor carrier inspector
        Sec. 4. A person who knowingly or intentionally directs light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that is visible to the human eye or any other electromagnetic radiation from a laser pointer at a public safety officer or a state police motor carrier inspector without the consent of the public safety officer or state police motor carrier inspector commits a Class B misdemeanor.
    As added by P.L.70-2000, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.232-2003, SEC.2.

  • LOUISIANA, illegal to intentionally aim laser light at aircraft
    See this article about a bill introduced in March 2014, making it a crime to intentionally aim at an aircraft in Louisiana. Below is the text of the bill as of May 14 2014. The legislative history of the bill is here; this will also indicate if the bill passed both houses and was signed by the governor.




    Regular Session, 2014
    HOUSE BILL NO. 1029
    BY REPRESENTATIVES TERRY LANDRY, BADON, BROWN, GUILLORY, HODGES, HONORE, HOWARD, AND NORTON

    CRIME: Creates the crime of unlawful aiming of a laser at an aircraft

    AN ACT
    To enact R.S. 14:336, relative to offenses against the public; to create the crime of unlawful
    aiming of a laser at an aircraft; to provide for definitions; to provide for criminal
    penalties; to provide for exceptions; and to provide for related matters. Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
    Section 1. R.S. 14:336 is hereby enacted to read as follows: §336. Unlawful aiming of a laser at an aircraft

    A. "Unlawful aiming of a laser at an aircraft" is the intentional projection of a laser on or at an aircraft or at the flight path of an aircraft in the aircraft jurisdiction of the state of Louisiana.

    B. For purposes of this Section, the following terms have the following meanings:
    1. "Laser" means any device that projects a beam or point of light by means of light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation or any device that emits light which simulates the appearance of a laser.
      2 "Police officer" shall include commissioned police officers, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, marshals, deputy marshals, correctional officers, constables, wildlife enforcement agents, and probation and parole officers.

    C. The provisions of this Section shall not prohibit aiming of a laser at an aircraft by any of the following:
    1. An authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct research and development or flight test operations.
      2 Members or employees of the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or police officers acting in the course and scope of their official duties for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing, or training.
      3 A person using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.

    D.
    1. Whoever commits the crime of unlawful aiming of a laser at an aircraft shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than five years and shall be fined two thousand dollars.
      2 On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than two years nor more than ten years and shall be fined four thousand dollars.
  • LOUISIANA, city of Baton Rouge
    This one seems rather broad; up to six months for aiming a laser at another person without their consent.

    Ordinances City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

    Sec. 13:502. Use of laser pointers.
    (a) It shall be unlawful to aim a laser pointer beam or light at another person without that person's consent.
    (b) All laser pointers which are used in violation of this ordinance shall be confiscated. Upon conviction, the violator shall be fined up to five hundred ($500.00) dollars, or be imprisoned for up to six (6) months, or both.

  • MARYLAND, statewide: Misdemeanor to knowingly aim at aircraft
    The bill described below passed the House 139-0 on February 14 2013, and the Senate on April 5 2013. It was signed into law by Maryland’s governor on May 2 2013 and takes effect October 1 2013. A LaserPointerSafety.com story about the bill's passage is here. The bill's legislative history, including the full text, is here.

    ------------------

    Proposed Maryland House Bill 130, the “Laser Safety Act”, would make it a misdemeanor to “knowingly and willfully cause or attempt to cause bodily injury by shining, pointing, or focusing the beam of a laser pointer on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft.” The penalty is a maximum 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

    Co-sponsor Sam Arora said “We need this law … we’re talking about potential death.” The Maryland State Police testified in support of the bill at a February 7 2012 hearing that “the results [of a laser incident] could be deadly.” A WJZ TV news report said “Blinding a pilot at night is a good way to kill people.”

    The bill only applies to laser pointers, defined under Maryland law (Title 3, Subtitle 8, Section 3-806) as any device that emits visible laser light. There are exemptions for lasers used for flight testing for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The bill was introduced January 23 2012, and had its first reading on February 7. A companion Maryland Senate bill is expected to be introduced soon.

    From Essex-Middle River Patch, CBS Baltimore WJZ, and the Maryland legislative information website. The full text of the bill is here; the Maryland definition of laser pointer is here.

    UPDATE March 27 2012: During committee markup, the language about "bodily injury", and the prohibitions against aiming at motor vehicles and vessels were removed. The new language says that it is a misdemeanor to "knowingly and willfully shine, point or focus the beam of a laser pointer on an individual operating an aircraft." (Changed text is underlined.) The revised bill passed the Maryland House March 22 by a vote of 136-0 and was sent to the Maryland Senate for their approval.
  • MARYLAND, town of Ocean City (2014): Ban on sales and possession; restriction on use
    On May 19 2014, the town of Ocean City, MD passed emergency legislation, just days before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, banning laser pointers. Below in blue is the text of the legislation that passed. The gray text is part of the previous city code that remains unchanged by the May 19 action.



    AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 58, ENTITLED OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS, OF THE CODE OF THE TOWN OF OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED AND ORDAINED BY THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF OCEAN CITY THAT CHAPTER 58, ENTITLED OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS BE, AND IT IS HEREBY AMENDED BY REPEALING AND REENACTING SUBSECTION 58-31 (b)(3), (4), (5), BY REPEALING SUBSECTION 58-31 (b)(6) AND RECODIFYING SUBSECTION 58-31 (b)(7) AS SUBSECTION 58-31 (b)(6), AS FOLLOWS:

    Sec. 58-31. Harassment by laser pointers.
    ....
    (a) As used herein a laser pointer is a battery-powered portable handheld device that emits a narrow beam of ultraviolet, visible or infrared light due to stimulated emission.

    (b) Offenses

    (1) It is unlawful for any person to focus, or shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly onto another person or animal in any manner.

    (2) It is unlawful for any person to shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly onto or from a balcony, porch, patio, deck or any other structure where a person or persons may gather or into any window or door, or into any vehicle on land, air or water, which includes but is not limited to cars, bicycles, scooters, buses, trams, planes, helicopters, boats, jet skis, motorcycles, Segways or wheelchairs, in any manner.


    (3) It is unlawful for any person to shine a laser pointer onto the beach, boardwalk, public streets, sidewalks, public waters, or other public property; or from private property onto the beach, boardwalk, public streets, sidewalks, public waters or other public property; or from public property onto private property; or from private property onto another private property.

    (4) It is unlawful to possess a laser pointer on the beach, boardwalk, public streets, sidewalks, public waters, or other public property, except that a laser point
    [sic] may be used as part of a power point presentation and/or within a meeting of any kind for educational or instructional purposes and said use shall not be a violation of this Section.

    (5) It is unlawful to sell or otherwise transfer to another, a laser pointer.

    (6) It is unlawful for a minor to possess a laser pointer.

    (c) Exceptions.

    Sworn police officers, fire marshals and firemen in the performance of their duties.

    (d) Violations and penalties

    Any person found guilty of a violation of this division shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or imprisonment for up to ninety days.

    ....
    INTRODUCED at a meeting of the City Council of Ocean City, Maryland held on May 19, 2014.
    ADOPTED AND PASSED, as an emergency, by the required vote of the elected membership of the City Council and approved by the Mayor at its meeting held on May 19, 2014.

  • MARYLAND, town of Ocean City (2010): Ban and restriction on some uses, sales
    See this LaserPointerSafety.com news item for more information about Ocean City MD's emergency laser pointer legislation.
  • MARYLAND, town of Ocean City (1998): Harassment prohibited
    The ordinance can be found here.

    An ordinance to amend Chapter 71, entitled Peace and Good Order, of the code of the town of Ocean City, Maryland.

    Article IX
    Laser Beams
    §71-14 Harassment by laser beams prohibited.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to focus, point or shine a laser beam directly or indirectly on another person or animal in such a manner as to harass or annoy said person or animal, and any such person convicted thereof shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500) or imprisonment for up to thirty (30) days or both.
    Adopted and passed as an emergency ordinance July 20, 1998.

    In 2011, this item, which has additional details, was published in The Dispatch:

    Due to an increase in the use of laser pointers, the Ocean City [MD] Police Department this week is reminding residents and visitors of the town’s “harassment by laser pointer law.”

    The ordinance, which has been in effect since last summer, makes it unlawful for anyone to focus or shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly on another person or animal in any manner. It is also unlawful for any person to shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly on a balcony, porch, patio, deck or any other structure where a person or persons may gather, or in any window or door, or any vehicle on land, air or water, which includes, but is not limited to cars, bicycles, scooters, buses, trams, planes, helicopters, boats, personal watercraft, motorcycles, Segways or wheelchairs in any manner.

    It is also illegal for minors to purchase or possess laser pointers within the corporate limits of Ocean City. It is also a crime for any person to shine a laser pointer on the beach, Boardwalk public streets or sidewalks, or from public property onto private property, or from private property onto any other private property.

    Additionally, it is unlawful to sell a laser pointer without having a sign conspicuously posted at the point of sale or exchange advising potential purchasers of the Ocean City laser pointer law. It is unlawful to sell a laser pointer without providing the purchaser with written notice in boldface type, a copy setting forth verbatim the laws spelled out in the Ocean City code.

    In 2012 the situation appeared to worsen. The Police Department issued another press release, which can be found here.
  • MICHIGAN, city of Dearborn: Unlawful to harass
    This 1998 ordinance gained national attention, as described here in a speech by the then-mayor. The speech also describes the incidents that led to this ordinance.

    Ordinance No. 98-749
    An ordinance to amend the Offenses Chapter (Chapter 14) of the code of the city of Dearborn by adding a new section 14-272, entitled, "Possession/Use of Laser Pointing Device"

    M-272 Possession/Use of laser pointing device
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to focus, point or shine a laser beam directly or indirectly on another person or animal in such a manner as to harass, annoy, or injure said person or animal.
    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen years to possess a laser pointing device. A person shall not be in violation of this section if his possession of a laser emitting device is necessary for his employment, trade or occupation and it is necessary for the pointer to be carried on his person.

  • MINNESOTA: Crime to aim laser into cockpit
    Beginning August 1, 2009, a new Minnesota law (SF1408) makes it a gross misdemeanor when a person "knowingly aims and discharges a laser or other device that creates visible light into the cockpit of an aircraft that is in the process of taking off or landing or is in flight."

    Rick Hansen, the South St. Paul state legislator who introduced the bill, said in a press release: “Before August 1 you could point an over-the-counter laser right into the cockpit of a moving plane, put people’s lives at risk, and never be prosecuted. It’s happened before in Minnesota, and it will happen again; unless we do something about it.”

    The release also noted that "Currently federal law prohibits this dangerous behavior for larger airplanes, but the crime has been rarely prosecuted at the federal level. In an effort to prevent laser-induced aircraft accidents, the new statute gives Minnesota law enforcement officials the right to arrest and prosecute any person knowingly discharging a laser at an airplane."

    An additional link, with a news story video on the new law, is from KSTP, Channel 5.

    Incidentally, just three days after the law took effect a 17-year-old was facing possible charges after targeting a Minnesota state patrol helicopter. A news story from KARE, Channel 11 in Minneapolis-St. Paul reported that "state patrol pilots have logged at least four such incidents [in] the past two years.

  • NEW JERSEY, town of Ocean City (2011): Ban on laser pointer sales and possession
    See this LaserPointerSafety.com news item for more information about Ocean City NJ's laser pointer ordinance. Below is the full text:



    ORDINANCE NO. 11-18

    AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE POSSESSION AND SALE OF LASER POINTERS IN OCEAN CITY

    BE IT ORDAINED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Ocean City, County of Cape May, State of New Jersey, as follows:

    Section 1.
    Chapter IV, "Police Regulations," is hereby amended to include the following:

    Purpose: Ocean City is a shore community surrounded by waters traversed by vessels of all types. Additionally, Ocean City has an airport frequented by planes and helicopters. Each year, Ocean City experiences incidents in which a vessel, plane or helicopter is illegally targeted with a laser pointer operated in Ocean City, and often purchased in Ocean City. The illegal use of laser pointers creates risks and dangers for those targeted by the beam of the laser, as well as for the citizens of Ocean City. Ocean City has a strong interest in banning the sale of these devices as a means of eliminating their illegal use.

    4-40 Possession and Sale of Laser Pointers Prohibited
    a. No person shall possess or offer to sell a laser pointer that exceeds one milliwatt in output power.
    b. For the purposes of this section, "laser pointer" means any device that emits laser light to project a beam that may be used for aiming, targeting or pointing out features.
    c. A person who violates this act shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $500 for the first offense and not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment not to exceed thirty (30) days, in the [sic -- missing word?] for each subsequent offense.

    Section 2.
    All ordinances or portions thereof inconsistent with this Ordinance are repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

    Section 3.
    If any portion of this Ordinance is declared to be invalid by a Court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect the remaining portions of the Ordinance which shall remain in full force and effect.

    Section 4.
    This Ordinance shall take effect in the time and manner presecribed by law.

    (signed by the Mayor and Council President)

    The above Ordinance was passed by the Council of Ocean City, New Jersey, at a meeting of said Council held on 23rd day ofJune, 2011 and was taken up for a second reading and final Passage at a meeting of said Council held on the 14th day of July, 201l in Council Chambers, City Hall, Ocean City, New Jersey at 7:00 o'clock in the evening.

    (signed by the City Clerk)

  • NEW JERSEY: Oct. 2013 - Governor vetos bill to ban laser pointer sales over 1 mW
    On October 17 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed proposed bill A3169/S418, passed by the legislature 106-8, that would have banned the sale of laser pointers over 1 milliwatt. Below is the text of Governor Christie's letter to the Senate describing why he vetoed the bill.

    The bill’s legislative history and text is available on the New Jersey Legislature website; use the “Bill Search” feature to search the 2012-2013 legislative session for the keyword “laser”. A LaserPointerSafety.com article about the veto, which also lists significant New Jersey-related laser events, is here.


    October 17, 2013

    SENATE BILL NO. 418
    (Second Reprint)

    To the Senate:

    Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, I am returning Senate Bill No. 418 (Second Reprint) without my approval.

    This bill prohibits the sale of laser pointers that exceed one milliwatt in output power. Current federal regulations allow for the sale to consumers of laser pointers with outputs up to five milliwatts.

    Presumably, the purpose of this bill is to deter the dangerous misuse of laser pointers. State and federal lawmakers, however, have already acted to prevent that misconduct. For example, New Jersey has enacted stringent penalties that criminalize aiming laser pointers at any vehicle, including an airplane. These state criminal penalties impose strict punishment of up to five to ten years in prison for a second-degree offense where the act causes serious bodily injury. In addition, federal law imposes criminal penalties for the dangerous misuse of a laser pointer, including fines, and up to five years in prison. Together, these existing state and federal criminal penalties are an important deterrent to the dangerous misuse of laser pointers.

    This bill, however, goes well beyond the federal standards and would ban a whole class of one- to five-milliwatt laser pointers currently for sale at office supply stores as well as by the largest online retailers in the United States. Indeed, this legislation would ban the sale of one of the most common classes of consumer laser pointers, which are not typically used by criminals, but by business professionals to deliver presentations. Tellingly, the Legislature points to no instance of this class of laser pointer being used by even a single criminal in New Jersey.

    For these reasons, placing the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs in charge of enforcing sales restrictions that exceed federal standards is not likely to deter dangerous conduct, but instead will interfere with otherwise lawful commerce within New Jersey. The criminal laws already protecting New Jersey residents from the dangerous misuse of laser pointers would not be bolstered by an arbitrary one-milliwatt sales restriction that is inconsistent with federal standards.

    Accordingly, I herewith return Senate Bill No. 418 (Second Reprint) without my approval.

    Respectfully,
    /s/ Chris Christie
    Governor

    [seal]
    Attest:
    /s/ Charles B. McKenna
    Chief Counsel to the Governor

  • NEW YORK CITY: Laser pointer regulations
    New York City Administrative Code Section 10-134.2 Regulation of laser pointers

    a. Definitions. For purposes of this section:
        (1) "Laser pointer" means any device that emits light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that is visible to the human eye.
        (2) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, partnership, firm, organization or other legal entity.
        (3) "Public place" means a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access, and includes, but is not limited to, any street, highway, parking lot, plaza, transportation facility, place of amusement, park, playground, and any hallway, lobby and other portion of an apartment house or hotel not constituting a room or apartment designed for actual residence.
        (4) "School premises" means the buildings, grounds or facilities, or any portion thereof, owned, occupied by, or under the custody or control
    of public or private institutions for the primary purpose of providing educational or recreational instruction to students, and any vehicles
    owned, operated or leased by or on behalf of such institutions that are used to transport such students or the personnel of such institutions.

    b. It shall be unlawful for any person to give, sell or offer to sell or cause any person to give, sell or offer to sell a laser pointer to any individual eighteen years of age or younger.

    c. No person who sells or offers for sale laser pointers shall place such laser pointers on open display so that such laser pointers are accessible to the public without the assistance of such seller, or his or her employee or other agent, offering such laser pointers for sale, unless:
        (1) such laser pointers on open display are clearly and fully visible from a place of payment for goods or services or customer information at which such seller or an employee or other agent of such seller is usually present during hours when the public is invited or
        (2) such laser pointers are in a package, box or other container provided by the manufacturer, importer or packager that is larger than forty-one square inches. Further, it shall be unlawful to display laser pointers in any manner or to post a sign advertising the availability of laser pointers unless a notice has been posted, in a form and manner prescribed by rule of the department of consumer affairs, indicating that the sale or giving of laser pointers to persons eighteen years of age or younger is a misdemeanor.

    d. It shall be unlawful for any person twenty years of age or younger to possess a laser pointer on school premises, unlawful for any person eighteen years of age or younger to possess a laser pointer while in a public place and unlawful for any person to direct light emitted from a laser pointer into or through a public place; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall preclude:
        (1) the temporary transfer on school premises of a laser pointer to, or possession on school premises of a laser pointer by, a person twenty years of age or younger for a valid instructional, school-related or employment purpose, where such laser pointer is used under the supervision of a school staff person, other authorized instructor, employer or employer's agent; or
        (2) the temporary transfer in a public place of a laser pointer to, or possession in a public place of a laser pointer by, a person eighteen years of age or younger, during such person's hours of employment, for a valid employment purpose, where such laser pointer is used under the supervision of the employer or employer's agent; or
        (3) the direction of light from a laser pointer into or through a public place by a person nineteen years of age or older, during such person's hours of employment, for a valid employment purpose.

    e. It shall be unlawful for any person to direct light from a laser pointer at a uniformed police officer, uniformed security guard, uniformed school safety officer, uniformed traffic enforcement agent, uniformed member of a paid or volunteer fire department, uniformed emergency medical service worker or uniformed ambulance worker, or other uniformed city, state or federal peace officer, investigator or emergency service worker, or the marked service vehicle of any such individual.

    f. When a person is found to possess a laser pointer while in a public place or on school premises in violation of subdivision d of this section, it is an affirmative defense that:
        (1) such person was traveling to or from school premises, where the laser pointer would have been or was used for a valid instructional, school-related or employment purpose under the supervision of a school staff person, other authorized instructor, employer or employer's agent, and such person had not turned on the laser pointer or displayed it in a menacing or threatening manner; or
        (2) such person was traveling to or from his or her place of employment, where the laser pointer would have been or was used during such person's hours of employment, for a valid employment purpose, under the supervision of the employer of employer's agent, and such person had not turned on the laser pointer or displayed it in a menacing or threatening manner.

    g. Authorized agents and employees of the department of consumer affairs, and of any other agency designated by the mayor, shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of subdivisions b and c of this section. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be commenced by the service of a notice of hearing that shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department of consumer affairs. The administrative tribunal of the department shall have the power to impose civil penalties for a violation of subdivision b or c of this section as follows: not more than three hundred dollars for the first violation; not more than five hundred dollars for the section violation by the same person within a two-year period; and not more than one thousand dollars for the third and all subsequent violations by the same person within a two-year period. For purposes of determining whether a violation of subdivision b or subdivision c of this section should be adjudicated as a second, third or subsequent violation, violations of subdivision b and violations of subdivision c of this section by the same person within a two-year period shall be aggregated.

    h. Any person who violates subdivision b, c or e of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who violates subdivision d of this section shall be guilty of a violation for a first offense and a misdemeanor for all subsequent offenses.

  • OREGON: "Unlawful directing" of a laser pointer
    Oregon Statutes
    Chapter 163 - Offenses Against Persons
    Section 163.709 - Unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer.

    (1) A person commits the offense of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer if the person knowingly directs light from a laser pointer at another person without the consent of the other person and the other person is:
         (a) A peace officer as defined in ORS 161.015 who is acting in the course of official duty; or
         (b) A uniformed private security professional as defined in ORS 181.870 who is on duty.

    (2) The offense described in this section, unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer, is a Class A misdemeanor.

    (3) As used in this section, “laser pointer” means a device that emits light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation that is visible to the human eye. [1999 c.757 §1; 2005 c.447 §9]

    Note: 163.709 was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 163 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

  • SOUTH CAROLINA: No sales to, or possession by, minors
    H. 3609 was introduced February 26 2013 in the South Carolina House of Representatives. An amended version passed the House 81 to 8 on April 18 2013. Note that as of April 18 2013 this is NOT law in South Carolina. However, if it passes the Senate and is signed by the Governor, then it would become law. LaserPointerSafety has ongoing coverage of South Carolina laws.

    AMENDED

    April 18, 2013

    H. 3609

    Introduced by Reps. Barfield, Clemmons and Sandifer
    S. Printed 4/18/13--H.

    Read the first time February 26, 2013.

    A BILL

    TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 77 TO TITLE 39 SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE SALE, POSSESSION, AND USE OF CERTAIN LASER POINTING DEVICES UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS, EXEMPTIONS, AND REMEDIES.

    Amend Title To Conform

    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

    Whereas, laser pointers are small, handheld devices, usually battery operated, equipped with a laser diode emitting a very narrow laser beam of visible light, intended to be used to highlight something of interest by illuminating it with a small bright spot of colored light; and

    Whereas, laser pointers are often used in educational and business presentations for visual demonstrations as a pointing device, are useful in the construction setting, and for certain gun sights; however, if they are aimed at a person's eyes, they can cause temporary disturbances to vision, and in some cases permanent retinal damage; and

    Whereas, when pointed at aircraft at night, laser pointers may dazzle and distract pilots at critical times, and have been used maliciously to distract or annoy individuals on the ground as well as in the air; and

    Whereas, due to their appeal as a recreational device and low cost to manufacture, there has been a recent proliferation of lasers in the marketplace, particularly higher powered lasers of greater than one milliwatt output which feature brighter colors; and

    Whereas, especially because of these higher powered lasers, with the resulting increase in their intensity and range, and extra potential hazard when pointed at objects and people, there also has been a dramatic escalation in the number of incidents in which damaging laser beams are being directed at people and aircraft; and

    Whereas, the United States Coast Guard, Charleston Sector, has reported several recent cases where pilots were forced to land their aircraft and abort missions during search and rescue operations after being hit with laser beams that are particularly debilitating when the pilot is wearing night vision equipment; and

    Whereas, during the summer of 2012, there were more than seventy reported incidents of aircraft being hit by lasers in and around the Myrtle Beach International Airport alone; and

    Whereas, it is the will of the General Assembly to provide for the public's health, safety, and welfare through the regulation of the sale, possession, and use of laser pointing devices. Now, therefore,

    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

    SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 39 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

    "Section 39-1-100.


    (A) It is unlawful for an individual to sell a laser device to a minor under the age of eighteen years.

    (B) It is unlawful to sell a laser device to an individual who does not present upon demand proper proof of age. Failure to demand identification to verify an individual's age is not a defense to an action initiated pursuant to this subsection. Proof that is demanded, presented, and reasonably relied upon for the individual's proof of age is a defense to an action initiated pursuant to this subsection.

    (C) An individual who knowingly violates the provisions of subsection (A) or (B) in person, by agent, or in any other way is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be:

    -- (1) for a first offense, fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred dollars;

    -- (2) for a second offense, which occurs within three years of the first offense, fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than three hundred dollars; and

    -- (3) for a third or subsequent offense, which occurs within three years of the first offense, fined not less than three hundred dollars nor more than four hundred dollars.

    (D )(1) A minor under the age of eighteen years may not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess a laser device, or present or offer proof of age that is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing a laser device. A minor under the age of eighteen may possess a laser device if it is:

    ----- (a) used by an individual as an emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal;

    ----- (b) used for legitimate educational purposes so long as it is used solely for that purpose;

    ----- (c) used for legitimate business purposes and during the normal course of that business;

    ----- (d) necessary for the individual's employment, education, trade or occupation, so long as it is used solely for that purpose; or

    ----- (e) used as part of a gun sight, so long as it is used in a lawful manner.

    -- (2) A minor who knowingly violates a provision of this subsection in person, by agent, or in any other way commits a noncriminal offense and is subject to a civil fine of twenty-five dollars. The civil fine is subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges.

    -- (3) A violation of this subsection is not a criminal or delinquent offense and no criminal or delinquent record may be maintained. A minor may not be detained, taken into custody, arrested, placed in jail or in any other secure facility, committed to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, or found to be in contempt of court for a violation of this subsection.

    -- (4) A violation of this subsection is not grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking an individual's participation in a state college or university financial assistance program including, but not limited to, a Life Scholarship, a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, or a need-based grant.

    -- (5) Any laser device possessed by a minor in violation of this subsection must be confiscated.

    (E) 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.

    (F) This section does not apply to an individual selling, purchasing, or possessing a laser device that is used in connection with any firearm or implement of archery."

    SECTION 2. The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded on the repealed or amended act or law, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.

    SECTION 3. If a section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, that holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

    SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Myrtle Beach restricts minors and misuse
    The following is the text of the Myrtle Beach City Council's ordinance to prohibit possession of laser pointers by minors. This was passed September 22 2011.

    2011-52 (2ND READING): AN ORDINANCE TO ENACT CHAPTER 14, ARTICLE IV, SECTION 14-69 LASER POINTERS, PROHIBITING POSSESSION BY MINORS, PROHIBITED USE ON A PERSON, ANIMAL, PROHIBITING USE ON PUBLIC WAYS, BEACHES, PARKS AND LANDS; AND PENALTIES.

    Applicant/Purpose:
    City Attorney/to address misuse of laser pointers.

    Brief:
    Proposed ordinance makes unlawful:
    -- Possession of laser pointers by minors outside minor’s residence (unless used for supervised lawful purposes or if required for employment).
    -- Provision of laser pointers to minors (subject to same exceptions).
    -- Directing laser pointers:
    ---- Into eyes of another person.
    ---- On people, vehicles or animals in unreasonably harassing way.
    ---- At any person/object on beach or on public ways.
    ---- At airplanes & helicopters.
    Ordinance violation would be a misdemeanor. Pointers used in prohibited ways subject to confiscation. Return would have to be ordered by courts.
    No changes since 1st reading.

    Issues:
    Real laser pointers are used as targeting devices for firearms.
    City received numerous complaints this summer from individuals who were targeted by laser pointers.
    FDA has determined that pointers can cause retinal damage & flash blindness.

    CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH
    COUNTY OF HORRY
    STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

    AN ORDINANCE TO ENACT CHAPTER 14, ARTICLE IV, SECTION 14-69 LASER POINTERS, PROHIBITING POSSESSION BY MINORS, PROHIBITED USE ON A PERSON, ANIMAL PROHIBITING USE ON PUBLIC WAYS, BEACHES PARKS AND LANDS; AND PENALTIES.

    NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDAINED that Section 14-69 is enacted as follows:

    Sec. 14-69 Laser Pointers Prohibited.

    Sec. 14-69.1 Definitions.
    In the ordinance codified in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have these defined meanings:
    "Laser pointer" means any hand-held device containing a small diode laser that is capable of emitting an intense beam of light.

    Sec. 14-69.2 Possession by minors unlawful; exception.
    a. It shall be unlawful for any minor to possess a laser pointer except within the permanent residence of that minor
    b. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, offer to sell, lease, give or otherwise provide a laser pointer to a minor, except as otherwise permitted by this section.
    c. The provisions of subsections a and b do not apply if:
    -- c1. The laser pointer is temporarily transferred to the minor for an educational or other lawful purpose and the minor is under the direct supervision of a parent, legal guardian, teacher, employer or other responsible person eighteen years of age or older; or
    -- c2. The minor's possession of the laser pointer is necessary for his or her employment, trade or occupation and it is necessary for the laser pointer to be carried on his or her person.

    39 Sec. 14-69.3 Prohibited uses; exceptions.
    a. It shall be unlawful for any person to direct the light from a laser pointer into the eye or eyes of another person from or to public or private property at any time. b. It shall be unlawful for any person to direct the light from a laser pointer upon another person, a person's vehicle, or upon an animal, in such a manner as to unreasonably cause harassment to that person, a motorist, or animal.
    c. It shall be unlawful for any person to direct the light from a laser pointer at any person or object on public or private beaches, public lands, parks, street, alley or public ways. d. It shall be unlawful for any person to direct the light from a laser pointer at any airplane or helicopter.

    Sec. 14-69.5 Penalty; immediate confiscation. a. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as the law allows for a misdemeanor crime. b. Any laser pointer found upon the person of a minor, or used by any person in a prohibited manner may be immediately seized by law enforcement, and a Court of competent jurisdiction shall determine the temporary or permanent nature of the confiscation.

    This ordinance shall become effective upon adoption.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Old North Myrtle Beach ordinance as of September 17 2012
    Below is the laser pointer law for the city of North Myrtle Beach as of September 17 2012. The ordinance was significantly revised in February 2013 and therefore the text below is NOT the current (as of April 2013) North Myrtle Beach ordinance. It is listed below for historical reference purposes.

    Sec. 16-52. - Definitions.

    The following words or phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the following respective meanings as set out in this section, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

    Handheld means any light emitting device whose longest dimension is 15 inches or less.

    High divergence refers to the rapid spreading out of laser light in such a manner as to avoid concentration of such light into a beam.

    Laser means is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons.

    Laser pointer means a battery-powered portable handheld device that emits visible laser light in a narrow beam. Laser pico projectors and other high-divergence laser light sources are not included in this definition.

    Pico projector means a small-format projector that can be used as a standalone projector or as an integrated component in mobile devices, and uses the same technology that powers standard projectors for purposes of projecting images or videos or other similar displays onto a surface.

    Portable laser means any laser light emitting device that is not affixed to an immovable base, or any component of a fixed device that can be separated from its base and activated.

    Structure means anything constructed, erected or established, including but not limited to swimming pools, buildings, trailers, screened enclosures, patio walls, decks, or similar man-made features.

    (Ord. No. 11-34, 11-21-11)


    Sec. 16-53. - Regulating the sale and possession of laser pointers to persons under the age of 17.

    (a) Sale to minors prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, lease, give or otherwise provide a laser pointer to anyone under the age of 17, except as otherwise permitted by this section.
    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 17 to possess a laser pointer except within the permanent residence of that minor.
    (c) The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) do not apply if:
    -- (1) The laser pointer is temporarily transferred to the minor for an educational or other lawful purpose and the minor is under the direct supervision of a parent, legal guardian, teacher, employer or other responsible person seventeen (17) years of age or older; or
    -- (2) The minor's possession of the laser pointer is necessary for his or her employment, trade or occupation and it is necessary for the laser pointer to be carried on his or her person.

    (Ord. No. 11-34, 11-21-11)


    Sec. 16-54. - Regulating the use of laser pointers.

    (a) Prohibited activities. It shall be unlawful to utilize a laser pointer in any of the following manners:
    -- (1) Aiming the beam at or into a structure or any portion thereof in such a manner as to be visible from the inside of the structure.
    -- (2) Aiming the beam at or toward any person without their consent and/or knowledge, or into or near the eyes of any person regardless of consent or knowledge.
    -- (3) Aiming the beam at any animal or the nest or habitat of any animal, including but not limited to turtles, dogs, cats, birds, livestock, pets, or other wild or domesticated animals.
    -- (4) Aiming the beam at any car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, bus, golf cart, boat or other watercraft, airplane, helicopter or other aircraft, or any other type of motorized or non-motorized vehicle while it is occupied or being operated by a person.
    -- (5) Aiming the beam at any reflecting device such as mirrors, lenses, polished surfaces and similar items in such a manner as to cause the beam to be redirected or amplified in a manner which may violate any of the above provisions.
    (b) Law enforcement exemption. Nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to preclude the legitimate use of laser pointing devices by law enforcement personnel in the discharge of their duties.

    (Ord. No. 11-34, 11-21-11)

  • SOUTH CAROLINA: New North Myrtle Beach ordinance of February 2013
    Note: The ordinance below is also available as a PDF document prepared by the city of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

    ORDINANCE

    AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF NORTH MYRTLE BEACH PROVIDING THAT THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CITY OF NORTH MYRTLE BEACH BE AMENDED BY REVISING CHAPTER 16 "OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS" ARTICLE I, "IN GENERAL," SECTION 16 TO REGULATE THE USE OF LASER DEVICES.

    BE IT ORDAINED BY THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA, IN COUNCIL DULY ASSEMBLED, THAT:


    WHEREAS, laser pointers are small handheld devices, usually battery operated, equipped with a laser diode emitting a very narrow laser beam of visible light, intended to be used to highlight something of interest by illuminating it with a small bright spot of colored light; and

    WHEREAS, laser pointers are often used in educational and business presentations for visual demonstrations as a pointing device, are useful in the construction setting, and for certain gun sights; however, if they are aimed at a person's eyes, they can cause temporary disturbances to vision, and in some cases permanent retinal damage; and

    WHEREAS, when pointed at aircraft at night, laser pointers may cause spatial disorientation, and otherwise dazzle and distract pilots at critical times, and have been used maliciously to distract or annoy individuals on the ground as well as in the air; and

    WHEREAS, recently there has been a proliferation of lasers in the marketplace, particularly higher powered lasers of greater than 1 milliwatt output and brighter color (e.g. green), due to their appeal as a recreational device, coupled with the low cost of manufacture; and

    WHEREAS, especially because of these higher powered lasers, with the resulting increase in their intensity and range, and extra potential hazard when pointed at objects and people, there also has been a dramatic escalation recently in the number of incidents in which damaging laser beams are being directed at people and aircraft in Horry County; and

    WHEREAS, the U.S. Coast Guard, Charleston Sector, has reported several recent cases where pilots were forced to land their aircraft and abort missions during search and rescue operations after being hit with laser beams, particularly debilitating when the pilot is wearing night vision equipment; and

    WHEREAS, during the summer of 2012 alone, there have been over 70 reported incidents of aircraft being hit by lasers in and around the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

    WHEREAS, therefore, it is the will of City Council to provide for regulation of the sale, possession, and use of laser pointed devices in the City, and to provide for the enforcement thereof, in the interest of the public's health, safety, and welfare.

    NOW, THEREFORE, the following law with respect to the regulation of laser pointed devices is hereby ordained and enacted:

    ARTICLE I: IN GENERAL.

    Sec. 16-52. Definitions


    Laser pointer or device means a device that is designed to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. Such term also means a device that projects a beam or point of light by means of light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation or other means or that emits light which simulates the appearance of a beam of light.

    Contraband means
    a) any laser pointer or device that is used unlawfully, or
    b) any laser pointer or device that is greater than 1 milliwatt, as shown by the manufacturer's or distributor's technical specifications as shown on the pointer or device or otherwise, or
    c) any laser pointer or device for which the merchant who offers the device for distribution, sale or barter has no technical specifications showing the manufacturer's or distributor's confirmation that the laser pointer or device is 1 milliwatt or less in output.
    Excluded from this definition are:
    1) lasers used by an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations;
    2) lasers used by members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing or training;
    3) lasers used by an individual as an emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal;
    4) lasers used by public safety officials in the regular conduct of their duties;
    4) [sic - should be 5] laser uses specifically permissible by federal or State law;
    5) lasers used for legitimate educational purposes;
    6) lasers used for testing in the course of product manufacturing;
    6) [sic - should be 8] lasers used for legitimate business purposes and during the normal course of such business;
    7) lasers in the possession of individuals if such possession is necessary for the individual's employment, education, trade or occupation, and when not in use;
    8) lasers possessed and/or used as part of a gun sight, so long as such are possessed and/or used in a lawful manner.

    Minor means any person who has not attained 17 years of age.

    Sec. 16-53. Possession by minors unlawful; exception.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any minor to possess a laser pointer or device, while not under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian or teacher, which parent, guardian or teacher takes full responsibility for its possession and use under this Article, and bears the full consequences of its misuse.

    (b) Laser pointers or devices in the unlawful possession of minors are subject to immediate confiscation as contraband.

    (c) It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a parent, guardian or teacher, to knowingly provide a laser pointer or device to a minor.

    (d) Business license holders that distribute, sell or barter laser pointers or devices to minors are subject to the suspension and ultimate revocation of their business licenses.

    Sec. 16-54. Prohibited uses; exceptions.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to direct the light from a laser pointer or device from public or private property upon another person, a person's means of conveyance, or an animal, on public or private property, or upon a watercraft, airplane, helicopter or other aircraft, in public airspace or waterways at any time. Excluded are the possession and use of laser gun sights when possessed and used for lawful hunting purposes, or for self-defense as defined by law.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any parent, guardian, person acting in loco parentis, or responsible adult to purchase and give to any minor, or permit any minor in their custody to possess or use, a laser pointer or device while not under the direct supervision of such parent, guardian, person acting in loco parentis, responsible adult, or teacher.

    Sec. 16-55. Regulated sales.


    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, sale or barter, any laser pointer or device to any adult except under the following conditions:

    ----- (1) Any distribution of any laser pointer or device shall be verified by the manufacturer's or distributor's technical specifications confirming that the pointer or device is not more than 1 milliwatt, and the proof of wattage as shown by the technical specifications which must be maintained by the merchant, to be available upon demand of law enforcement. It is the merchant's responsibility to obtain proof from the seller/vendor wholesaler. Laser pointers or devices offered for distribution, sale or barter that do not have the proper proof of wattage limitations are subject to immediate confiscation as contraband. Laser pointers and devices offered for sale in their original unopened packaging which confirms that the devices are 1 milliwatt or less in output are sufficient proof of compliance. If greater than 1 milliwatt, the distribution, sale or barter must be accompanied by a statement concerning their use limitations, as set forth in this Article, with a written acknowledgment on the part of the buyer as to which exception(s) apply to the possession and use of such laser pointer or device.

    ----- (2) Any distribution, sale or barter of each individual laser pointer or device must be accompanied by the written warnings of use as required herein, and a signed customer receipt that the warnings of use have been provided in conjunction with the distribution, sale or barter. After verifying the adult status of the customer, the merchant shall require the customer to affix his signature under the legible printed name affirming that the warning has been provided and read.

    (b) REQUIRED WARNINGS OF USE.



    I, the undersigned, have read and understand the warnings of use that are required to accompany the receipt of this laser pointer or device.

    WARNING ON POSSESION [sic] AND USE OF A LASER POINTER OR DEVICE
    PARENTS! DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT FOR MINORS!
    THIS PRODUCT CAN BE CONSIDERED A WEAPON!


    • Laser beams can temporarily blind or disorient an operator of an airplane, helicopter or vehicle when the beam is directed toward them. The beam is much larger at long distances than you might think. Even though the laser projects a small, millimeter-sized dot close up, at longer distances the beam can be many inches across. When the beam hits the windscreen of a cockpit, or the bubble of a helicopter, imperfections in and on the glass spread the light out even more, making it impossible for the pilot to safely navigate. Pilot exposure to the beam can result in flash blindness, glare and distraction in the immediate task of piloting the aircraft. Pointing a laser at an aircraft places all the persons aboard in mortal jeopardy.
    • It is a federal felony crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft, or at the flight path of an aircraft. The federal penalty is up to 5 years in a federal prison and/or a fine of several thousand dollars. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration "will pursue the toughest penalties" against persons who deliberately aim lasers at aircraft, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on May 16 2012. Since June 2011, FAA has taken action against 28 persons, with an average fine of $11,000 per laser strike. The highest penalty sought so far is $30,800. FAA has directed its staff not to seek warning notices or counseling, but to use "moderately high civil penalties" for inadvertent laser illuminations, and maximum penalties for deliberate violations. Horny County will inform the federal authorities of any arrests relating to this crime so that appropriate prosecution to the fullest extent of the law can be achieved at the federal level.
    • Section 55-3-130 of the South Carolina Code of laws also makes it criminal offense to point, aim, or discharge a laser device at an occupied aircraft, in the air or on the ground, providing a potential sentence for a first offense of one year in prison, a fine of $2,000, or both. A second or subsequent violation triggers the possibility of even greater sentencing.
    • A laser's light is concentrated into a narrow beam. If aimed at a person's eye from close up, most or all of the light goes through the pupil. The already-concentrated light is further focused by the lens onto a sharp ("diffraction-limited") dot on the retina. Even at the lower power outputs, the power density from a 1 milliwatt laser, focused to a point, is brighter than the equivalent area of the sun's surface. This can cause a detectable injury to the retina, if the laser stays in one spot for a few seconds. Laser beams can permanently blind a person or animal when the beam is directed into their eyes.
    • Any person of 17 years or older who possesses a laser pointer or device unlawfully, or who points a laser beam toward any vehicle, person or animal is subject to a conviction for violation of City ordinance, for assault and battery, and/or for mistreatment of animals, with a $500.00 fine and up to 30 days imprisonment, or both, as well as being civilly liable for any personal injury to a person or animal, or damage to property, that might result from this illegal act.
    • PARENTS, GUARDIANS, RESPONSIBLE ADULTS: YOU WILL BE HELD PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MISUSE OF THIS DEVICE BY ANY MINOR TO WHOM YOU PROVIDE THIS DEVICE, OR BY ANY OTHER PERSON TO WHOM THAT MINOR PROVIDES THIS DEVICE.
    • Any parent, guardian, person acting in loco parentis, or responsible adult person, who purchases a laser pointer or device for a minor, or who allows a minor in their custody to access, possess or use a laser pointer or device within the unincorporated area of Horry County, and that laser pointer or device is possessed or used unlawfully, is subject to arrest and prosecution, and upon conviction, is further subject to a fine of $500.00 and up to 30 days imprisonment, or both. The parent is chargeable as a principal to the crime along with the minor in possession, or who illegally uses the device as a weapon, and is also subject to prosecution for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    • Any minor 16 years or younger, who is in possession of, or who uses, a laser pointer or device unlawfully, is subject to service of a juvenile summons and will be prosecuted in Family Court by the Solicitors Office.
    • Lasers in the unlawful possession of minors are subject to immediate confiscation as contraband, in addition to any other law enforcement action.
    • Laser pointers or devices that are used illegally are contraband, and subject to immediate confiscation, in addition to any other law enforcement action.

    Date: _____________

    __________________
    Print merchant name and signature that adult status has been verified, and that manufactures technical specifications are available to prove that the device is 1 milliwatt or less, or if greater than 1 milliwatt, set forth specific exception(s) applicable to possession and use.

    __________________
    Print customer's name and signature that affirms the warning have been received and read.



    Sec. 16-56.Laser pointers are considered weapons; assault and battery on person; mistreatment or abuse of animal.

    (a) A laser pointer, or any other similar article, which consists of a hand-held, battery-operated device of any output, designed or adapted to emit a laser beam and that may be used for the purposes of aiming, targeting or pointing, is considered a weapon when used unlawfully.

    (b) When a laser pointer is directed to a person, or upon a conveyance piloted, operated or occupied by a person, such conduct is deemed an assault and battery.

    (c) When a laser pointer is directed to an animal (other than for lawful hunting purposes), such conduct is considered abuse or mistreatment of animals.

    Sec. 16-57. Penalty; immediate confiscation.

    (a) Any person violating any of the provisions of this Article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as the law allows for a misdemeanor crime, with a fine not greater than $500.00 or 30 days imprisonment, or both, per incident.

    (b) Any laser pointer or device found upon the person of a minor, or used by any person in a prohibited manner, or found in a business as an item for sale without manufacturer's technical specification showing that the output is 1 milliwatt or less, may be immediately seized as contraband by law enforcement, a Court of competent jurisdiction to determine the temporary or permanent nature of the confiscation.

    Sec. 16-58. SEVERABILITY.

    If any Section, Subsection, or part of this Ordinance shall be deemed or found to conflict with a provision of South Carolina law, or other pre-emptive legal principle, then that Section, Sub-section or part of this Ordinance shall be deemed ineffective, but the remaining parts of this Ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.


    DONE, RATIFIED AND PASSED, THIS 18th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2013.
    (signature of Marilyn Hatley)
    Mayor Marilyn Hatley

    ATTEST:
    (signature of Meridith Smith)
    City Clerk

    APPROVED AS TO FORM:
    (signature unreadable)
    City Attorney

    REVIEWED
    (signature unreadable)
    City Manager

    FIRST READING: 2-4-13
    SECOND READING: 2-18-13

  • TENNESSEE: Aiming a laser pointer at a law enforcement officer or similar
    This law was apparently signed by Tennessee's governor on June 9, 2009.

    STATE OF TENNESSEE PUBLIC CHAPTER NO. 387
    HOUSE BILL NO. 815 By Representatives Campfield, Evans, Hardaway, Rich
    Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 1243 By Senator Bunch

    AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-16-515, relative to emergency service personnel.
    BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

    SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-16-515, is amended by deleting subsection (a) in its entirety and by substituting instead the following:
    (a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly activate and point a laser pointer or other device utilizing a laser beam at an individual known to be a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or other emergency service personnel, while the individual is in the performance of the individual’s official duties, with the intent to place such individual in fear of serious bodily injury or death.
    SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-16-515(b)(1), is amended by deleting the language “The law enforcement officer”, and by substituting instead the language “The law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or other emergency service personnel”.
    SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009, the public welfare requiring it.
    PASSED: May 28, 2009

  • TEXAS: Law enforcement and aircraft illumination
    TEXAS PENAL CODE
    TITLE 9. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY
    CHAPTER 42. DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES

    Sec. 42.13. Use of Laser Pointers
    (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly directs a light from a laser pointer at a uniformed safety officer, including a peace officer, security guard, firefighter, emergency medical service worker, or other uniformed municipal, state, or federal officer.
    (b) In this section, "laser pointer" means a device that emits a visible light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation.
    (c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
    Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 467, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

    Sec. 42.14. Illumination of Aircraft by Intense Light
    (a) A person commits an offense if:
        (1) the person intentionally directs a light from a laser pointer or other light source at an aircraft; and
        (2) the light has an intensity sufficient to impair the operator's ability to control the aircraft.
    (b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor was using the light to send an emergency distress signal.
    (c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless the intensity of the light impairs the operator's ability to control the aircraft, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (d) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section or the other law.
    (e) In this section, "laser pointer" has the meaning assigned by Section 42.13.
    Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 680, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

  • UTAH: Unlawful use of a laser pointer
    Utah Code
    Title 76 Utah Criminal Code
    Chapter 10 Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, Welfare, and Morals
    Section 2501 Unlawful use of a laser pointer -- Definitions -- Penalties.

    76-10-2501. Unlawful use of a laser pointer -- Definitions -- Penalties.

        (1) As used in this section:
            (a) "Laser light" means light that is amplified by stimulated emission of radiation.
            (b) "Laser pointer" means any portable device that emits a visible beam of laser light that may be directed at a person.
            (c) "Law enforcement officer" means an officer under Section 53-13-103.

        (2) A person is guilty of unlawful use of a laser pointer if the person directs a beam of laser light from a laser pointer at:
            (a) a moving motor vehicle or its occupants; or
            (b) one whom the person knows or has reason to know is a law enforcement officer.

        (3) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under Subsection (2)(b) that:
            (a) the law enforcement officer was:
                (i) not in uniform;
                (ii) not traveling in a vehicle identified as a law enforcement vehicle; and
                (iii) not otherwise engaged in an activity that would give the person reason to know him to be a law enforcement officer; and
            (b) the law enforcement officer was not otherwise known by the person to be a law enforcement officer.

        (4) Violation of Subsection (2)(a) is an infraction. Violation of Subsection (2)(b) is a class C misdemeanor.

        (5) If the violation of this section constitutes an offense subject to a greater penalty under another provision of Title 76, Utah Criminal Code, than is provided under this section, this section does not prohibit the prosecution and sentencing for the offense subject to a greater penalty.

    Enacted by Chapter 67, 2001 General Session

  • VIRGINIA: Interference with operation of aircraft
    Virginia code 5.1-22 was used in a case where a police helicopter was illuminated by a man with a "million candlelight spotlight". A a 2002 Virginia Court of Appeals case upheld the conviction of Mark B. Johnson, who unsuccessfully argued that he had no intent to interfere with the helicopter; he wanted to view its registration number for a noise complaint. He also unsuccessfully argued that the spotlight did not interfere with the operation of the aircraft.

    Note: The blue text below was added in 2012. 5.1-22 was amended by Virginia House Bill 87, which was introduced December 21 2011 by Delegate Barry Knight of House District 81 (Virginia Beach). HB 87 passed March 7 2012 and was signed into law March 30. The blue text amendments go into effect July 1 2012.


    § 5.1-22. Interference with operation of aircraft; penalties; venue.

    Any person who interferes with or threatens to interfere with the operation of any aircraft, unless he is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration or the armed forces of the United States, on or over the territory of the Commonwealth shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Where the act or acts of interference or threatened interference are of such a nature as to endanger the life of the aircraft's operator or the life of any other person, the person interfering or threatening to interfere shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. Any person who knowingly and intentionally projects a point of light from a laser, laser gun sight, or any other device that simulates a laser at an aircraft is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Venue for the issuance of a warrant for the arrest and trial of any such person is hereby conferred upon any court having criminal jurisdiction in the political subdivision in the Commonwealth where the aircraft either took off prior to such offense, or where it lands or comes to rest subsequent to such offense, or in or over which the offense occurred.

    For Class 6 felonies, the jury or court may choose imprisonment for one to five years or jail for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Punishment for a Class 1 misdemeanor is up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
  • VIRGINIA: Illegal to aim lasers at law enforcement officers
    VA Code § 18.2-57.01

    18.2-57.01. Pointing laser at law-enforcement officer unlawful; penalty.

    If any person, knowing or having reason to know another person is a law-enforcement officer as defined in 18.2-57, a probation or parole officer appointed pursuant to 53.1-143, a correctional officer as defined in 53.1-1, or a person employed by the Department of Corrections directly involved in the care, treatment or supervision of inmates in the custody of the Department engaged in the performance of his public duties as such, intentionally projects at such other person a beam or a point of light from a laser, a laser gun sight, or any device that simulates a laser, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

    From Justia.com. A Virginia Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • VIRGINIA, city of Virginia Beach: Misdemeanor to aim into eyes
    The copy here is not signed, but this does appear to be an ordinance which passed and still applies in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Interestingly, it appears to be one of the few "laser laws" which also applies to a flashlight.

    An ordinance to amend the city code by adding a new section prohibiting any person from directing the beam from a laser pen, flashlight or similar device into the eyes of another person.

    Section 23-11.3 of the City Code
    Directing beam of laser pen, flashlight or similar device into the eyes of another person

    It shall be unlawful and a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to intentionally, and without good cause, direct the beam from a laser pen, flashlight or similar device into the eyes (or eye) of another person.

    Adopted by the City Council of the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia, on this 25th day of August, 1998.

    See also stories about the city of Virginia Beach in 2011 wanting the state to make aiming at aircraft illegal.