New Jersey Looking to Ban Laser Pointers

Of course, in New Jersey, we ban first, and ask questions later. As John Richardson notes:

By this definition, the sale of the laser products sold by Crimson Trace, Viridian, and LaserMax would all be outlawed.  Their peak output is 5 milliwatts.

Guns are not the target of this new law, but I’m sure most of the usual suspects over there won’t complain if that’s an “unintended” consequence. What’s interesting is, you could make a reasonable argument that at least some types of lasers are protected by the Second Amendment. It’s not just guns, folks.

8 thoughts on “New Jersey Looking to Ban Laser Pointers”

  1. I’m trying to think of how many non-medical applications of high-power pointable lasers exist. Survey work, obviously. FLIR’s rangefinder laser has to be charged, so that’s probably much, much higher wattage. Some, although not all, bar-code scanners. Countless more.

    It’s also trivial to work-around. CD laser diodes are everywhere and easily converted into an infrared laser, while DVDs operate in the orangeish red range and BluRay at a low ultraviolet. Slap a battery on, and you’ve got a laser pointer significantly more dangerous than what they’re banning here. Fairly poor spatial coherence, though not much worse than what they’re banning here.

  2. This may also affect othr laser users that the laser is used for targeting. Lasers built into game cameras to aim them. Poilce using LIDAR to enforce speed laws. Etc.

    Look at all the “aiming, targeting and pointing out featured” that LIDAR is used for, the bill only licensed healthcare professionals.

  3. It’s all moot, anyway. It bans the sale in NJ of “high-powered (assault?) lasers”. It does not ban ownership. It does not ban possession. It does not ban use. If you or your company already have the dreaded “high-powered lasers”, you are not affected until you need to purchase more.

    And since NJ is a geographically small state (with an apparent governmental inferiority complex), there’s no law against buying them in PA, DE, or NY (yet; I’m sure Bloomberg will be all over it soon) and bringing them back to NJ. Like I said, moot.

    @gattsuru: A battery-powered DVD-writing drive laser can light a candle from across a room, and cause permanent retinal damage (including total blindness) with less than 1-millisecond exposure. WAAAY more dangerous than a simple red laser pointer. Just sayin’.

  4. With all of the items that can’t legally be shipped or sold in NJ, it might be profitable to set up a “receiving” center here in PA that NJ residents can have these banned items shipped to, where they can pick them up themselves with a short drive. :)

  5. If they would also ban PowerPoint in the same legislation, it might be worth going along with it.

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