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I was asked an interesting question by a non shooting friend concerning the use of laser / red dot type sights. There are warning labels stating to not look directly into the laser or eye damage may be the result. If you are in a confrontation would it be considered ethical to direct the laser into the eyes of the assailant to temporarily blind them prior to possibly being forced to take the shot? Are you then in legal trouble if you blind them and NOT have to shoot? I didn't have an answer for them. Any comments?

 

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I was asked an interesting question by a non shooting friend concerning the use of laser / red dot type sights. There are warning labels stating to not look directly into the laser or eye damage may be the result. If you are in a confrontation would it be considered ethical to direct the laser into the eyes of the assailant to temporarily blind them prior to possibly being forced to take the shot? Are you then in legal trouble if you blind them and NOT have to shoot? I didn't have an answer for them. Any comments?
 


Civilian legal lasers have a mW limit that prevents most injury to eyes. They may experience temporary blindness with extended direct contact. I highly doubt a laser aiming device would put any legal liability on the user with a justified shoot. And even in the case of not having to shoot, the laser would be considered fair warning that if the actions of the assailant were to continue, deadly force would be applied. If you want to temporarily blind someone in an armed conflict, a laser wouldn’t do a good job. A high output light will


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The civilian laser is not strong enough to do damage during any confrontation because of eye movements and the lack of intensity of the laser. You would have to make the person stare at the light for a period of time to cause damage.  Also keep in mind that there are different wavelengths of light and your eye has different sensitivity to different wavelengths which is why a light you perceive as “bright” might not pose any threat to your vision, yet a “light” you can barely see could result in permanent vision loss.  The moral of the story is that if you want to temporarily blind the bad guy, use a high intensity weapon light, not your laser.

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It's obvious you've never used a laser equipped pistol, or else you would know it's damned near impossible to hold the thing still enough to aim the beam into someone's eye in any way other than by chance.

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5 hours ago, theblacklabel18 said:

 

Civilian legal lasers have a mW limit that prevents most injury to eyes - a laser wouldn’t do a good job. A high output light will
 

 

 

43 minutes ago, B585 said:

if you want to temporarily blind the bad guy, use a high intensity weapon light, not your laser.

 

Great answers    -    I never thought about it.   

 

Guess a "strobe light" might be a useful tool, here.    

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I hope it never happens but if I have to draw down on a bad guy, I will not aim for his/her face.

 

Go for center mass.

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14 hours ago, Flatland Shooter said:

I hope it never happens but if I have to draw down on a bad guy, I will not aim for his/her face.

 

Go for center mass.

 

This.

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I actually do have a laser on my carry gun, a Colt Light Weight Officers' 45. I have no intention of trying to flash it in an eye to try to defer mayhem. The question was whether there are any Implications to possibly blinding an assailant without taking the shot. B585 answered my question. Basically it ain't bright enough to do any damage in a very short application to an eyeball. And I agree, ain't nobody able to hold that sight picture anyway. Thanks to all who took the time to answer.

 

NRA Life & Benefactor

   

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Non shooters have absolutely no concept of the legalities of using deadly force in self defense.  Many assume that one can scare people off, hold them at gunpoint, shoot them in the leg, shoot them to wound (wherever), shoot their weapon out of their hand, and a myriad other stupidities perpetrated by hollyweird and their own biases.

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Laser projects a beam.  A red dot does not.  Always remember that lights and lasers work in both directions just like tracers.

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Legal inquiries should be directed to your attorney. 

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