No More Soliciting at LAX

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Travelers at Los Angeles International Airport won't have to deal with solicitors anymore.

A decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that allows police to enforce a city ordinance prohibiting solicitation at LAX.

The ruling covers not only the airport's terminals but also parking areas and sidewalks.

The Los Angeles City Council banned solicitation at the airport in 1997, in response to complaints from travelers and employees who said they were being approached for donations from various charity organizations.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness of California sued to prevent enforcement of the law, citing free-speech rights at public facilities. The Krishnas and others were allowed to continue soliciting pending court action.

In May, the California Supreme Court affirmed the ban. Airport officials returned to court to allow police to begin enforcing the law.

"This is a huge step forward in ensuring the comfort and safety of the traveling public at LAX," says Los Angeles World Airports' Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey in a statement. "From now on the traveling public will not have to worry about solicitors asking for money."

Under the ruling this week, organizations can still handout fliers and other literature and ask travelers to hear a pitch – as long as money isn't collected on the spot.

Violators face a fine of up to six months in jail or a fine of $1,000, if convicted under the law.

Photo, salim virji, flickr
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