The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is fully committed to protecting everyone’s First Amendment Right to peacefully assemble and protest. Due to recent incidents involving laser pointers and laser devices being used to cause eye damage, including temporarily blindness and potentially permanent vision loss to both police officers and members of the public, the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor have added an amendment to 55.07 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) prohibiting laser pointers and laser devices at specified events. As a reminder, and to ensure everyone’s safety, LAMC 55.07 prohibits possession of the below specified items while attending or participating in any public demonstration, rally, protest, picket line or public assembly:
1. Any length of lumber, wood, or wood lath unless that object is 1/4 inch or less in thickness and 2 inches or less in width, or if not generally rectangular in shape, such object shall not exceed 3/4 inch in its thickest dimension. Both ends of the lumber, wood or wood lath shall be blunt;
2. Any length of metal or plastic pipe, whether hollow or solid; provided, however, that hollow plastic piping not exceeding 3/4 inch in its thickest dimension and not exceeding 1/8 inch in wall thickness, and not filled with any material, liquid, gas or solid may be used solely to support a sign, banner, placard, puppet or other similar expressive display. Both ends of any plastic pipe permissible under this subsection shall be blunt;
3. Signs, posters, banners, plaques or notices, whether or not mounted on a length of material permitted under Subdivisions 1. and 2. of this section, unless such sign, poster, banner, plaque or notice is constructed solely of soft material, such as cloth, paper, soft plastic capable of being rolled or folded, or cardboard material no greater than 1/4 inch in thickness;
4. Baseball or softball bats, regardless of composition or size; provided, however, that such items are permissible when configured of cloth, cardboard, soft plastic, foam or paper for expressive purposes;
5. Any aerosol spray, tear gas, mace, pepper spray or bear repellant;
6. Any projectile launcher or other device, such as a catapult or wrist rocket, which is commonly used for the purpose of launching, hurling or throwing any object, liquid, material or other substance, whether through force of air pressure, spring action or any other mechanism;
7. Weapons such as firearms, knives, swords, sabers or other bladed devices, axes, hatchets, ice picks, razor blades, nunchucks or martial arts weapons of any kind, box cutters, pellet or BB guns, conducted electrical weapons (CEWs), including, but not limited to, Tasers or stun guns, metal/composite/ wooden knuckles, or any chain greater than 20 inches in length or greater than 1/4 inch in diameter. This subdivision also includes toy or replica firearms unless such toy or replica is florescent colored or transparent;
8. Balloons, bottles or any other container such as water cannons or super-soakers, filled with any flammable, biohazard or other noxious matter which is injurious, or nauseous, sickening or irritating to any of the senses, with intent to throw, drop, pour, disperse, deposit, release, discharge or expose the same in, upon or about any demonstration, rally, protest, picket line or public assembly;
9. Glass bottles, whether empty or filled;
10. Open flame torches, lanterns or other devices that utilize combustible materials such as gasoline, kerosene, propane or other fuel sources;
11. Shields made of metal, wood, hard plastic or any combination thereof;
12. Bricks, rocks, pieces of asphalt, concrete, pellets or ball bearings; or,
13. Laser pointers or laser-style devices emitting any color beam, milliwatt output level, intensity class level or any visibility level, including infrared, or nonvisible.
The LAPD asks all members of the public to not bring any of the listed prohibited items to any event specified under 55.07 LAMC as these items have no legal purpose while individuals are attending or participating in these events. The First Amendment is essential to our Democracy and by prohibiting the above listed items we can all ensure the public’s safety as they exercise their Constitutional Rights.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting LAPD Media Relations at 213-486-5910.