Laser Pointer Ban Headed To Ocean City - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Laser Pointer Ban Headed To Ocean City

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - From signs against profanity, to talks of getting rid of smoking, and even sagging pants, Ocean City officials have been trying to make the beach town more family friendly.

Now, they're looking to ban already heavily regulated laser pointers.

Visitors say "they abuse it and they shine it in other people's faces or their eyes," but others, like Kelayenehe Tilaye believe "it's just a laser."

May 13th, the Ocean City Mayor and Town Council voted to ban the sale laser pointers.

"The premise of it harass and assault people with the light beam," says Council Member Brent Ashley, who also says he's also had the lights shown into his eyes.

While they can cause eye damage, some folks say that's just the tip of the iceberg.
"Someone's driving a car and you shine it in their eyes, and it glares and they get into an accident," Sean Lackner, a store owner who is for the ban.

There are also YouTube video of green lasers seemingly pointed directly at a plane flying above Ocean City.

"Ah, I think it's a little messed up," says Tilaye, "they've been selling them for years.  I don't know how many incidents has come up and so on and so forth."

Well, Ocean City Police say they've responded to nearly 1,000 laser pointer related calls over the past three years.

You already have to be at least 18 years old to buy a laser pointer in Ocean City, but some people say some of the businesses aren't even following that rule.   

"I'm 14 and they tried to get it on a discount too," says Kriss Benser, who's visiting the beach town with his family.    

It's already illegal to shine the light directly at other people, some buildings, on the beach, boardwalk, water, streets, and essentially anything that moves, and if the ban passes, anyone who tries to sell one, will be breaking the law.

The ban will go into effect immediately if the emergency ordinance is passed by the Ocean City Town Council, which is expected to happen.

Along with laser pointers, a ban on assisted opening knives will also be included in the ordinance.  Currently, anyone misusing laser pointers can face a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days behind bars.

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