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US: Second Ocean City NJ vote against pointers makes laser ban official

Laser pointers over 1 milliwatt are now officially banned from sale and possession in Ocean City, New Jersey. The resort town’s council voted unanimously and without discussion on July 14 2011. The council’s “second reading” confirms a June 23 initial vote against laser pointers and thus the ban now goes into effect. Violators will be fined up to $500 for a first offense, and up to $1000 and 30 days in jail for any subsequent offense.
The action comes in response to widespread laser pointer misuse against aircraft, vehicles and persons. The devices had been inexpensively available in Boardwalk stores. A voluntary ban on sales last summer did not help stem the incidents, due in part to merchants who continued to sell pointers. (Some stores reported that laser pointers were their top sellers.)

Ocean City’s power limit of 1 milliwatt is five times lower than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 5 mW limit on lasers that can be sold for pointing purposes. It is equivalent to England and some other countries that set a 1 mW limit for pointers.

From the Ocean City Patch.

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