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September 2000

Laser Misuse, Legal Problems—Yes

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(9):1306. doi:

Dr Mainster1 states that laser pointers are not toys; I agree. I believe, as well as others in law enforcement, safety, and emergency medical services, that there should be legislation passed yielding a legal consequence when lasers are used in an aggressive assault. Several groups are actively obtaining information on laser assaults to get more states to pass legislation. Not as an ophthalmologist, but as a reserve deputy sheriff and helicopter pilot for the sheriff's department, I have experienced the anxiety of a laser pointer being directed at the helicopter. A primary worry is whether there is a weapon with the laser that can take the aircraft, fire truck, or emergency medical services vehicle out of action. When evasive action leads to a crash with fatalities, eye damage becomes a mute point.

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