Question on the Legality of Flashlights ...

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MoreHiCRILumens
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forsh wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Just today I counted at least 4 douchebags driving with their brights on, and/or with one of those retarded “light-bars” on the front grille (you know the kind, the 2×N array of LEDs about 2’ wide).

One was during the day, about 10ish! Like, seriously??

i find it worse at night when someone doesnt have lights on , mutter under my breath. go crash you bumhole!

in finland it gets quite dark in the winter and there have been people who have forgoten to put there lights on. or have “daylights” on

thats when the 5kw flood lights on the top of a suzuki vitara would come in handy
just need to get myself some 5kw flood lights and ill be good

chris

You have Suzuki Vitara? I have Grand Vitara. Had Jimny before. Smile

bikenber73
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Lightbringer wrote:
Just today I counted at least 4 douchebags driving with their brights on, and/or with one of those retarded “light-bars” on the front grille (you know the kind, the 2×N array of LEDs about 2’ wide).

One was during the day, about 10ish! Like, seriously??

Interesting, I was talking with a friend the other day about the trucks with added illumination and headlight upgrades. Here is a web page that popped up on a feed of mine. Not sure how legit the information is.

https://www.change.org/p/u-s-dot-ban-blinding-headlights-and-save-lives

Lightbringer
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forsh wrote:
i find it worse at night when someone doesnt have lights on , mutter under my breath. go crash you bumhole!

I see that all the time, too. Worse when it’s usually a black minivan/suv.

Once when I was taking the bus home, some idiot in (again) a dark minivan with no lights on, was waiting at a red light, 2nd in line behind another car. Not even DRLs, just dark. He gets impatient when the light turns green and car #1 isn’t getting going quickly enough, so flashes the brights at him!

You’d think the reflected light and then nothing would clue him in that his lights aren’t on, right? Nope.

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Lightbringer
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bikenber73 wrote:
Interesting, I was talking with a friend the other day about the trucks with added illumination and headlight upgrades. Here is a web page that popped up on a feed of mine. Not sure how legit the information is.

Yeah, they just want Brighter! but no matter what the cost. Crappy cheap-looking Angry Blue™ LEDs, horrible beam spread and lots of glare, it actually hurts my eyes, too, when I see some of these cars coming at me.

ANY crap on the front surface causes glare by scattering light that should be directed quite precisely. If spotlessly clean, those LED “bug-eyes” lots of cars have nowadays can potentially give a pretty clean beam, but the slightest crap that catches that extremely small area where light comes out from, will scatter light up and into peoples’ eyes.

And you get that strobe effect when a car goes over even a small rise in the road. You think they’re flashing the brights at you, but you’re just in’n‘out of the hotspot as their aim shifts.

Lights got quite annoying in recent years.

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pennzy
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[quote=Lightbringer]

And you get that strobe effect when a car goes over even a small rise in the road. You think they’re flashing the brights at you, but you’re just in’n‘out of the hotspot as their aim shifts.

Is that what that is? I thought it was some kind of cut off shade.

Lightbringer
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pennzy wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
And you get that strobe effect when a car goes over even a small rise in the road. You think they’re flashing the brights at you, but you’re just in’n‘out of the hotspot as their aim shifts.

Is that what that is? I thought it was some kind of cut off shade.

Depends on how sharp it is. Projector lights do in fact have a shade right around where the beam all comes together to give an extremely sharp cutoff, while other types of lights just have the reflectors, etc., designed that way but it’s still a kind of fuzzy transition.

Eg, from https://www.powerbulbs.com/us/blog/2017/08/projector-reflector-headlights :

"To ensure that the light produced by these types of headlights is angled properly, there is also a cutoff shield. This helps to direct the light down towards the road. Thanks to the shield, projector headlights have a very sharp cutoff."

My old H4s used to have multiple sets of little “devil horns” at the top end of the beam’s hotspot. Probably from the facets on the front glass, as the reflector was absolutely smoothly curved. So the transition would be more gradual, and weren’t as “strobey”.

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pennzy
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Thanks for the explain. First time I saw it I thought there was trouble ahead or radar.

Omega_17
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SerenityNow wrote:
God, both the cop and guy filming were so cringy. Get a life!

Yes both people aren’t bright! Innocent

USLight
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dorpmuller wrote:

In view of the other goings-on in Va. and Commiefornia, flashlights are gonna wind up on some list sooner or later. High lumen counts will be considered weapons as will crenellated bezels. NJ will be first, followed by NY. Just wait and see if I’m not right. 


Agreed, that is usually what happens. Unfortunately some bozo will do something stupid with a high output flashlight and the regulations will start rolling in. Same thing happened with lasers and drones. A very small number of people will exercise poor judgment and the rest of us will be limited with overreaching legislation. Facepalm
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USLight wrote:
dorpmuller wrote:

In view of the other goings-on in Va. and Commiefornia, flashlights are gonna wind up on some list sooner or later. High lumen counts will be considered weapons as will crenellated bezels. NJ will be first, followed by NY. Just wait and see if I'm not right. 

Agreed, that is usually what happens. Unfortunately some bozo will do something stupid with a high output flashlight and the regulations will start rolling in. Same thing happened with lasers and drones. A very small number of people will exercise poor judgment and the rest of us will be limited with overreaching legislation. :FACEPALM:

Glad I'm not a young person... we are rapidly hemorrhaging our rights and I hope I'm outta here before it all hits the fan. 

"I am the flashlight king! I can light anything!"

Quillz
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Blinded by the light
Revved up like a ?
Another runner in the night

Quillz

richbuff
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Quillz wrote:
Blinded by the light Revved up like a ? Another runner in the night
Some silicone sister
With a manager mister
Told me I got what it takes
She said
"I'll turn you on sonny to something strong
Play the song with the funky break"
And go-cart Mozart
Was checkin' out the weather chart
See if it was safe outside
And little early-pearly
Came by in his curly-wurly
And asked me if I needed a ride
The calliope crashed to the ground...
 
@ dorpmuller: Me too being outta here soon. God has not answered my prayer yet, 1Kings 19:4.

Rev 22:15

Quillz
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Lol, and the big question that always came up when that song came on “Did he say douche or deuce?”

Quillz

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Well “attached to a rifle” may be an issue depending on where you are. Other than that, unless you are actually bothering someone with it, I can’t see any problems.

I have thought randomly once or twice while I’m in my own house or visiting someone else’s, and I choose to use a flashlight instead of turning on a light like a normal person, if from the outside it looks like the place is getting robbed?

Has that ever happened to anyone here?

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bikenber73 wrote:
I am more worried about the legality of knives here in MD. I cant seem to find any real written source on whats legal and whats not.
brad wrote:
Finding out the true local knife laws can be tricky and usually everyone, including cops, have a useless opinion on what the laws are.

I am in VA and have had the same concerns. As far as my internet research has gone, the only knife I can tell is completely legal across the state is a non-locking single edged blade less than 3 inches long. So I would assume something like a fixed blade or slip-joint folder would be fine (like in the UK), and anything double edged like a dagger or stiletto is prohibited.

Blazer296
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Didn’t have time to read all, but spotlighting wildlife can be illegal. Not only disturbing wildlife, but also could be considered signs of poaching. Hunting laws can be pretty strict about the use of portable lighting.

texas shooter
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Quote:
in general and lumens in particular . As I was using my brand new Olight Warrior X Pro to help look for a neighbor’s cat in the woods near where I live the other night , I started to wonder what I would say if someone called the police . Not necessarily the ownership of a flashlight , but the lumen threshold . Obviously , I would not shine it into a neighbors window or a motorists or pedestrians face. However , what would I say if a neighbor called to report a prowler ? Could the police in Northern Virginia consider a flashlight with higher lumens to be brandishing a weapon ? Possibly attached to a rifle ? I’m not paranoid ( like some of my neighbors ) , but I’m just wondering if any members have had an encounter with law enforcement because of a very bright light . Thanks in advance .

No need to wonder what to say to the police if they were called? “As I was using my brand new Olight Warrior X Pro to help look for a neighbor’s cat in the woods near where I live” should be your answer.

What would I say if a neighbor called to report a prowler ? “As I was using my brand new Olight Warrior X Pro to help look for a neighbor’s cat in the woods near where I live” should be your answer.

Could the police in Northern Virginia consider a flashlight with higher lumens to be brandishing a weapon ? Yes, if you are brandishing it as a weapon regardless of lumens.

Possibly attached to a rifle ? Yes, but it’s the rifle that would be brandishing. And what would your neighbor think with you looking for her cat with a rifle?

zak.wilson wrote:
There are specific laws about lasers, e.g. pointing them at aircraft is bad. I haven’t heard of any laws specifically restricting the use of portable lighting as long as you’re not tormenting farm animals with it. A flashlight is not a weapon. There’s no legal justification for assuming one is attached to a rifle.

Of course, the police can approach you and ask what’s going on if they find your presence suspicious, and various catch-all crimes like reckless endangerment or harassment could apply to specific antisocial acts involving portable lighting. Don’t be a jerk and you’re probably fine.

BEST ANSWER!!

wle wrote:
There are not going to be specific laws about portable lighting.

But there are nuisance laws, or if you injure someone, and you can be sued for anything.

Nuisance laws in Texas were recently made clear by the Texas Supreme Court “Condition that substantially interferes with the use and enjoyment of land by causing unreasonable discomfort or annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities attempting to use and enjoy it.”

So I checked a few other states. Most agree the a nuisance must substantially interfere with a person on their property as stated above. These are only civil issues and no ticket or arrest would be made. To file that civil suit, a claim for relief from damages caused, or wrongful conduct engaged in, by the defendant is filed. Courts are not required to accept, this weeds out frivolous lawsuits. Yes, I can sue some one for anything. A court accepting is an other matter and I still have to pay the filing fee even if not accepted.

Until I start finding civil or criminal cases being filed and accepted I’m not going to worry.

Now back to the original posted question. I am in law enforcement, someone else’s flashlight are the least of my concerns. I get called to complaints. The deciding factor when dealing with a call is does the complaint have an merit? Example, little old lady complains Johnny has a really bright flashlight, no merit. Next example, little old lady complains Johnny is crawling around her property with a bright flashlight. Complaint has merit, Johnny is crawling around her property. The bright flashlight is just part of his description along with what he is wearing. Now if Johnny is shining his light into peoples faces or being a legitimate nuisance then he has committed a breach of the peace.

What I’m doing is often as important to what I have. I have a baseball bat in my car, that could be considered an illegal weapon. Now same baseball bat but I also have a few balls, a glove and some cleats. That’s a litigate purpose. It’s dark outside, I’m carrying a flashlight. That’s a litigate purpose. I’m carrying a really bright flashlight at night helping to find my neighbor’s cat along with my neighbor. That’s a litigate purpose.

electricjelly wrote:
This discussion made me think about a youtube video of a flashlight battle with a cop. While searching for it I couldn’t find the one I was looking for but I found several others. Apparently its pretty common. I know cops like to use flashlights and spot lights to blind civilians all the time, and sometimes the civilians turn the tables on the cops and blast them in the face with a few thousand lumens. Looks like the cops stand down a lot after that, or maybe we don’t see the videos of the times the cops don’t stand down because there no camera rolling or videos get deleted.
If there was a law against aiming your high powered flashlight in someones face, police would be violating it all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK91p2tD0yc

Yes we do. The blinding is not permanent or damaging and gives me two advantages. One, I can now see as best as I can what he has. Two, he can’t see me or run off very well. If it become violent I want all advantages. We even use handcuffs, pepper spray, Tasers and baton to add to those advantages. Not all or even many encounters have these elements but if they do it’s serious. I left one video still listed. This one was the most serious. It’s a dark alley way behind a public building. I see someone with a backpack in the alley at night and I don’t take a look, I’m negligent, lazy or incompetent.

The officer see activity and lights up the area. The individual shines a bright light back hiding himself in the light. The officer puts his car in reverse, why? For me to get some distance and place the car back into position as a shield. Had the officer drawn his weapon it would have been justified. Why, because the officer can no longer see the suspect hands or if a weapon is now present. We do not do fair fights. We use all advantages, we train, practice and God willing go home alive at the end of the shift. So just as a safety tip if you like to shine lights into officers faces you could get hurt. We don’t know why you want the confrontation or hamper our vision.

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Fair fights are not a real world thing anyway, and anyone that thinks otherwise is naïve. Thanks for the insight, TS.

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So the other issue is big flashlights or flashlights with crenelated bezels.

Like this incident

nauzetobserv
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I have literally never heard anything about flashlight illegality. Is it a thing here in MD?

John-Atwork
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Just don't shine your lights at people or windows and I think you will remain within the law in most places.  

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I have been a “person of interest” when driving through the deep woods of western Oregon. I pulled over for a pit stop, shined a Q8 pro up into the woods at what I thought was a deer…. It was, but not a real one. It was a poacher decoy! Two game wardens descended upon me in seconds from outta no where! Upon inspection, I had no firearms in the vehicle, and was told to move on. The decoy had many bullet holes in it.

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Back to topic:

I had a lengthy discussion with a pair of cops trying to get a good flashlight from me, but obviusly I declined to hand it over to them without a legal receipt. After they made several phone calls, they had to wish me a nice evening and a good way home.

Now imagine.
One overimportant polititchian calls the police because he feels annoyed by a light beam somewhere in the bush on the other side of the valley.
Or a muggle burns out his own retina while studying the manual of his new flashlight.
Or a kid does this to another kid.

Then surely we will all end up very soon with 30 lumens maximum, while highly priced cars can still have powerful LASERs as headlights, or those small xenon points resembling a welding arc, constantly blinding all other traffic in an area of a square mile.

Now bring it on! Let the games begin…

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Just press the switch 27 times in rapid succession, which put the flashlight in the anduril shape shifting mode where it morphs into a transistor radio.

Or use the lockout feature and say – Officer it could not have been me! my flashlight is obviously broken.

Or say your Luke Skywalker and it’s your laser sword thing and you’re looking for Darth

flashburn
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Cut everything in halves. Ooops. An accident. Maybe too much of a pocket rocket.

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Quote:
If there was a law against aiming your high powered flashlight in someones face, police would be violating it all the time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK91p2tD0yc

Looks like an off duty policeman was moonlighting on a security job, many of them have to do that to support their family what with the awesome salary cops are paid.

Property owners want a little extra protection at night and are willing to pay for it. Seems reasonable for him to investigate if someone is standing around on the property—that’s what he is being paid to do.

It’s too bad the values of society, like Alabama that pays the Coaches and the Preachers more than the Cops and the Teachers

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

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kennybobby wrote:

It’s too bad the values of society, like Alabama that pays the Coaches and the Preachers more than the Cops and the Teachers

Bible and Football over basic life!

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flashburn wrote:
I had a lengthy discussion with a pair of cops trying to get a good flashlight from me, but obviusly I declined to hand it over to them without a legal receipt. After they made several phone calls, they had to wish me a nice evening and a good way home.

Hm?? What was that about?

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Power tools cause 200 human deaths in the USA per year. They’re still legal.
Cows cause on average over 20 human deaths per year in the USA. They’re still legal.
Carrying guns: still legal and limits receding, not expanding, in most jurisdictions.
Liquor: still legal.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

JenkinsMatti
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Spotlighting Wildlife, especially Deer; is 100% Illegal in most places… no matter what you use to do it.

If a species is allowed to be hunted at night, this does not apply. You are free to light that species up.

But if the guberment ever gets involved with regulating our flashlights it will just be one big cluster.
“Cluster” is all they know how to do.

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