In accordance with section 67 of the Weapons Act 1990, hand held laser pointers with an output of greater than 1 milliwatt are restricted items. Subsection (3) of the Weapons Act 1990 provides in part that a person has a ‘reasonable excuse’ if the person is a member of a Recognised Astronomical Organisation (RAO) or being supervised by a member of a RAO.
An application may be made to an authorised officer for a recognised astronomical organisation to possess laser pointers for the purposes of section 67 of the Weapons Act 1990.
Applying for a Recognised Astronomical Organisation Approval
To apply for a Recognised Astronomical Organisation approval, you are required to complete an Application For Recognised Astronomical Organisation form and submit your application to Weapons Licensing with the required documentation. Approval may only be granted if the application meets the requirements as defined in the Weapons Act 1990, section 67.
In support of your application, you must ensure that you provide the following information and/or documentation:
- A copy of the club’s Certificate of Incorporation
- Number of current financial members
- Organisation’s charter
- Activities of the organisation
- Evidence of advise to member’s on laser pointers
- Storage requirements as detailed in section 63A of the Weapons Regulation 1996
- Members personal particulars in order for background checks to be conducted
Re-Approval of your approval
Recognised Astronomical Organisation approvals are issued for 5 years. Prior to expiry, a new application using Application For Recognised Astronomical Organisation form is required if you wish to retain current approval. Applications can be lodged the day before the approval expires however a month in advance is preferable.