The PHASR was a prototype weapon designed by the Defense Department to be non-lethal. Its purpose is to shine a light blind enough to make the enemy temporarily blind. But it was not put into production because it was banned by the “U.N. Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons.”
Hmmmm… So its OK to kill somebody in battle but not to temporarily blind them? Not sure this makes a lot of sense, but then again the U.N. is not really known for making a lot of sense.
On the other hand there were rumors that terrorists were catching pilots with this kind of weapon as they were landing.