Off-duty Henderson, Nv., police officer Craig Seibert and his wife were sitting on their couch watching a movie about 10 years ago when they were startled by what sounded like an explosion or a gunshot, the Las Vegas Review-Journal says. As he approached a commotion in the street, he saw a man lying flat on the roof of a shed and pointing what turned out to be a laser gun at a group of Seibert’s neighbors. “I pointed my gun at him and told him to show me his hands. He said, ‘Dude, I’m just screwing around,’ ” said Seibert. “If he would have pointed that laser at me, I think I would have shot him.”
Based on that incident and a handful of others involving police officers, the Henderson City Council voted last week to restrict who is allowed to own a laser pointer and what they can do with it. It is now illegal in Henderson, a Las Vegas suburb, to shine a laser in someone’s eyes or aim one at an emergency responder or his vehicle. If you’re under the age of 18, you are no longer allowed to carry a laser pointer outside of your home, and selling a laser pointer to a minor is now a misdemeanor offense. Lee Rowland of the American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada called the law “a hugely overbroad tactic” that needlessly infringes on the rights of juveniles. City Council member Jack Clark disagreed. “If I have to infringe on the right of a 14-year-old to be an idiot, then so be it,” he said.