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Officials ban backpacks on Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve

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    In this Dec. 31, 2015, file photo, people watch the fountains at the Bellagio while wearing paper hats to celebrate New Years Eve in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS >> Backpacks, bulky purses and coolers are being banned on the Las Vegas Strip as a security measure during an annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show that attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

A law unanimously approved Tuesday by the Clark County Commission also prohibits briefcases, computer and camera bags, luggage, fanny packs, strollers and carts.

Las Vegas police informally banned large bags for the estimated 300,000 people who crowded Las Vegas Boulevard last Dec. 31, but later conceded they didn’t have authority for the restrictions.

Officials cited safety concerns at the time following deadly attacks in December in San Bernardino, California, and in November at a Paris nightclub. They also noted the bombs that killed three people and wounded 246 at the Boston Marathon in 2013 were hidden in backpacks.

But Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said they just couldn’t get lawmakers to pass the measure in time.

The new county ordinance also banned glass bottles on the Strip during the Fourth of July, and on the resort-lined Casino Drive in Laughlin during the Colorado River resort town’s annual Laughlin River Run motorcycle rally in April.

The law limits handbags to 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.

Violators could face a $250 fine or 30 days in jail for a first offense, but officials say people will first get a warning.

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