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A laser gun was a weapon that fired a destructive beam of light. They were available on the Central Planets but required a license to legally own, normally only distributed to Alliance personnel or influential citizens. While Alliance Federal Marshals and Marines used laser weaponry, due to the high cost of the equipment, they were more often armed with conventional or sonic weaponry. They inflicted highly-damaging burns and were more lethal than kinetic weapons.
Laser pistols were attractive and highly coveted among the criminal elements of the 'Verse. Rance Burgess's Silk trigger active return bolt laser pistol, which was modified with an auto-lock, was presumably bought on the black market. However, their prestige value and effectiveness was offset by the need to use expensive and rare high-density batteries.
Laser weaponry had been in development since before the Exodus, and one of the oldest surviving post-Exodus man-portable laser was the Lassiter. This was owned by Durran Haymer, a biological warfare specialist who acquired it after killing the previous owners in the Unification War. The Lassiter was later stolen by the crew of the Serenity, who found it difficult to fence due to its unique value as a surviving artifact.
Behind the scenesEdit
It is presumed that laser guns suffer the real-life disadvantages of laser weaponry, such as being diffracted when firing through water. Alliance laser technology seems to be powerful enough to overcome the human body's high specific heat capacity. Combined with the fact that they fire in short bursts rather than sustained beams, laser guns possibly suffer from overheating problems as well as limited battery charge.