Due to an substantial increase in citizen complaints regarding the illegal use of laser pointers, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens of the “Harassment by Laser Pointer” law. The ordinance, which has been in effect since 2010, makes it unlawful for anyone to focus, or shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly on another person or animal in any manner. It is also unlawful for any person to shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly on a balcony, porch, patio, deck or any other structure where a person or persons may gather or in any window or door, or any vehicle on land, air or water, which includes but is not limited to cars, bicycles, scooters, buses, trams, planes, helicopters, boats, jet skis, motorcycles, Segway’s or wheelchairs in any manner.
It is also illegal for minors (Age 17 and Under) to purchase or possess laser pointers within the corporate limits of Ocean City.
In addition, it is a crime for any person to shine a laser pointer on the beach, boardwalk, public streets or sidewalks or from private property onto the beach, boardwalk, public streets or sidewalks, or from public property onto private property or from private property onto another private property.
LASER POINTERS FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
Also, it is unlawful to sell a laser pointer without having a sign conspicuously posted at the point of sale or exchange advising potential purchasers of the Ocean City laser pointer law. It is unlawful to sell a laser pointer without providing the purchaser with written notice, in bold face type, a copy setting forth verbatim the laws set forth in the Ocean City Code.
The penalties for violations of this law make it a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail and or a $1,000 fine. The OCPD will be strictly enforcing this ordinance and is asking for the public’s cooperation and compliance.
As a reminder, laser pointers are not toys. These devices should never be shined on or around people or animals. The devices, if used improperly, pose risks to humans and animals and could cause eye damage. Parents of children who have been given laser pointers are reminded that it is no longer legal for minor children to possess laser pointers and they should be restricted from their use.
The ordinance is posted on the Town of Ocean City web page: www.oceancitymd.gov.