2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:1402 - Legislative findings and declaration
§1402. Legislative findings and declaration
A. The legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. It is not the intent of this Chapter to interfere with the constitutional exercise of the protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The legislature hereby recognizes the right of every citizen to harbor and constitutionally express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to associate lawfully with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.
B. The legislature further finds that the state of Louisiana is in a state of crisis, which has been caused by violent street gangs whose members threaten, terrorize, and commit a multitude of crimes against the peaceful citizens of their neighborhoods. These activities, both individually and collectively, present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected. The legislature finds that there are many criminal street gangs and gang members operating in Louisiana, and that the number of gang-related crimes is increasing. It is the intent of the legislature in enacting this Chapter to seek the eradication of criminal activity by street gangs by focusing upon patterns of criminal gang activity and upon the organized nature of street gangs, which together are the chief source of terror created by street gangs. The legislature also finds that an effective means of punishing and deterring the criminal activities of street gangs is through the elimination of the availability to criminal street gangs of premises, often referred to as crack houses, which are used almost exclusively for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity to the detriment of the law-abiding citizens of our state.
Acts 1990, No. 230, §1; Acts 2014, No. 811, §7, eff. June 23, 2014.