High Powered Burner Laser Pointers and the Second Ammendment.

Varnakov222

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Having a high powered burner laser could offer you some protection from a would be assailant, or even a wild animal.

The question is wether or not these lasers can be interpreted legally as a firearm.

I presume that there are people who want to excersize their second ammendment rights, but may want to consider an alternative to guns.

A high powered burner laser would be that alternative, and that would be an alternative that I would consider IF I decided to exercise my second ammendment rights.

The point is if this alternative were to "catch on" and become more popular, there may be some kind of push to ban them altogether.

Do you think that high powered burner laser pointers should be protected by the second ammendment?
 

LRJ88

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As for it being part of the second amendment that leads to a rabbit hole which'll **** over EVERYONE who wants to do anything with lasers afterwards.

As for it being a self-defence tool, what exactly would the use for it be? Blinding a would-be assailant? Good luck trying to explain that to a judge if you cause permanent eye damage if you hit their eyes. That's if it's strong enough to be of any use, in which case you get back to a regular flashlight being better at the whole business and more versatile.
 

Varnakov222

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This idea is strictly for self defense here.

In order for this to pass muster, the would be assailant must also be armed.

If not, other reasonable ways of self defense must be considered that does not involve deadly force, or the infliction of a permanent injury.
 

jtr1962

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Anything small enough to carry likely wouldn't be an effective weapon. Yes, you could blind them, or maybe set their clothes on fire, but a handheld laser isn't going to have much stopping power. You basically need something with enough energy to punch holes through the body and get to vital organs, much like a bullet. If/when they're able to make such a thing small enough to be hand held, it will revolutionize the arms industry. For starters, you would be able to hit targets many hundreds of yards away with perfect accuracy, with no concern for gravity or wind direction/speed. It would also be far quieter than a firearm. It could fire as long as it has power. If it's grid connected, you could fire all day long. No worries about ammo.

For now though, all that is in the realm of science fiction but I think we'll see it in the not too distant future. For what it's worth power sources aren't the showstopper here. It only takes a few hundred joules to kill or seriously injure a human being but that energy has to be delivered to a very small area. Do the math, even one 18650 could offer you over a hundred shots, assuming the laser emitter has decent efficiency. We simply need a small enough emitter which could offer peak outputs probably in the megawatt range for a few microseconds. Basically think of it like a laser hair removal machine on steroids.
 

Varnakov222

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You make alot of good points, but I believe that these lasers could be very effective at short range.

These lasers can burn through a peice of plywood in less than 10 seconds.

Now the functional purpose here with a laser is not to nessessarily blind the would be assailant, but if any part of the assailants body is hit by this laser, it would definitely knock the assailant off balance, which would cause a distraction.

This of course could give the victim a window of time to simply run away, or physically disarm the assailant.
 

SYZYGY

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how many times could i punch someone in the face in 10 seconds? lol

i'm not ready to completely discount this, but i am skeptical.
 

idleprocess

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The question is wether or not these lasers can be interpreted legally as a firearm.
Doubtful. The statutes and regulatory language around firearms are focused on the expulsion of projectiles. This is generally limited to use of deflagrating chemical propellants to generate the kinetic energy, but could also be applied to the likes of Arcflash's coil gun.

Insofar as regulation of lasers, it seems to be a patchwork. The FDA classifies lasers in the I, II, IIam, III, IIIa, IIIb, IV hazard levels. No federal agency seems to regulate them as weapons. My own state broadly criminalizes pointing a laser pointer at a law enforcement officer at all (see §42.13; 42.14 also prohibits directing a light at an aircraft if it could impair safe operations). Other states may have laws on the books that may effectively make their use in self-defense impossible with blanket statutes on criminal negligence for injury or potential injury with a laser pointer.

In general use of a laser pointer in self-defense will be sufficiently weird as to complicate your case. It's something the law has no experience with where the legalisms around escalation are otherwise well-established. The fact that a high-powered laser has the potential to burn and blind but not incapacitate will make it a far tougher argument than more accepted less-lethal means like pepper spray or stun guns.

A high powered burner laser would be that alternative, and that would be an alternative that I would consider IF I decided to exercise my second ammendment rights.
I suspect you're better off with a firearm should you choose to own or carry weapons for self-defense. There's a body of caselaw around their usage, training available, and facilities to practice. Or the likes of pepper spray or a stun gun - provided they're legal where you live.

For what it's worth power sources aren't the showstopper here. It only takes a few hundred joules to kill or seriously injure a human being but that energy has to be delivered to a very small area. Do the math, even one 18650 could offer you over a hundred shots, assuming the laser emitter has decent efficiency.
The issue is that said joules have to be released in a ~millisecond or so - something batteries aren't going to do. The present solution is capacitors, but those are ... bulky ... to put it kindly. Another limitation is the conductors will have to be pretty substantial.
 

Varnakov222

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No, I am not into guns for collecting, hunting, or sport shooting.

And even if I buy a laser pointer, it will be strictly for brightness and visual effect.

I have no intentions to burn anything with a laser.

Nobody is 100% percent safe, no matter where they live, but I don't think I will ever need a gun for protection, but I do support people's right to own them, however.

My facination and interest in lasers was due to the fact that I grew up a Star Wars fan, and was never into westerns.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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Perhaps interesting to discuss but asking for a heap of hot steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili going into an improper orifice.

Where are you getting your information about the capabilities of certain lasers?

Assaulting someone with whatever is assault. Defining assault might end up being decided by a jury of your peers, and the thickness of your wallet.

2nd Amendment has nothing to do with lasers (unless Benjamin Franklin was holding out on us)…
 

DRW

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The question is wether or not these lasers can be interpreted legally as a firearm.
It's not. The law defines a firearm, Google will be happy to help you find that info.

Eating right, being physically fit, and taking martial arts classes, is a better option for self defense. Hoping a light/laser will defend/protect you is not a good plan.
 

Varnakov222

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Perhaps interesting to discuss but asking for a heap of hot steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili going into an improper orifice.

Where are you getting your information about the capabilities of certain lasers?

Assaulting someone with whatever is assault. Defining assault might end up being decided by a jury of your peers, and the thickness of your wallet.

2nd Amendment has nothing to do with lasers (unless Benjamin Franklin was holding out on us)…
There are multiple demonstrations on how burner laser pointers work on YouTube.

They can even damage steel and metal.

You have to get a laser pointer with a focusing feature that maximizes the burning capability.

These things run hot, very hot.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Oh so YouTube can be counted on for a life or death situation? Did you see the distances between laser and the object? Are you able to legally acquire some of those whiz bang pointers? Assault with a object that is illegal to own gets you further up the proverbial creek.

Hey I'm messing with you; sounds like you're serious. Are you going to buy something or just talking. Feel free to map out your plan with us and then demonstrate what you think you can do in terms of repelling deadly force with something you saw on YouTube.
 

Varnakov222

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Another alternative to a laser would be a flashlight, which is the main topic on this Forum.

Of course blinding an attacker with a flashlight will not result in permanent injury.

I saw an ad for SureFire flashlights, and a customer gave a testimonial about how a snake popped up right in front of him.

He quickly shined the light in the snakes eyes, and the snake backed off.

This flashlight may have saved this guy's life.

So, I will end my discussion about laser pointers, and segway back to flashlights.

Could someone link me to a thread about the brightest flashlights on the market, by make, model, and brand.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Consider researching here on CPF regarding the (usually) lack of effectiveness with regards to repelling animals and functioning psychopaths with a beam of light.

Tell us your scenarios of concern. Member DRW might post again on your thread; he has experience in law enforcement and flashlights.

There are others here.
 

idleprocess

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So, I will end my discussion about laser pointers, and segway back to flashlights.
I respect that, however for posterity I feel a statement in a previous post needs to be addressed.

There are multiple demonstrations on how burner laser pointers work on YouTube.
They can even damage steel and metal.
I've got a little more experience than the average bear with lasers in the form of CNC laser cutters, namely the local Makerspace's nominal 130W CO2 laser cutters. These machines' ~90W of net IR power (130W-rated tubes in ours; 70% maximum output) can cut 5mm underlayment at a less than blistering 7mm/s all of ~10mm from the final lens. Any faster or +/-1mm distance from the lens's focal length and the cutting effectiveness plummets.

I recall an ill-advised "experiment" cutting pizzas with one of the cutters and it took multiple passes - eventually at full power - to make the cut. I recall reading about another attempt to brand someone's skin with a similar laser that was also markedly less successful than expected (the resulting burn pattern was not as intended but mercifully superficial).

My point in mentioning this is that these are IR machines optimized for cutting and they require tightly controlled circumstances to work well. A handheld device operating in the visible spectrum at considerably less power under uncontrolled circumstances isn't going to be particularly effective at burning an assailant; eye damage is the most likely outcome and this is a hazard also faced by the operator and bystanders.
 

SYZYGY

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also, like.. are you supposed to use this weapon with your eyes closed?
can you safely use such a device in an uncontrolled manner without protective eye wear?
 
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