The ZKZM-500 is a laser gun developed in China during 2018 by the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi.
It can reportedly destroy a target 800 meters away by charring skin and human tissue. The frequency of the laser makes it invisible to the human eye and it does not produce noise. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can shoot more than 1,000 shots per charge.
There is no specific international regulation for the development or use of this type of laser weapon. The Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, signed by more than 100 nations, focuses on previous generations of weapons and prohibits the use of weapons that can cause blindness. It is classified as a non-lethal weapon on a Chinese government website.
After skeptics suggested it would require an enormous battery, the manufacturer of the ZKZM-500 released a video demonstration of the weapon’s effects against cardboard, pork, and a rubber tire.