City of Grand Junction Sued by ACLU Over Panhandling Ordinance
The City of Grand Junction has been sued by ACLU over a panhandling ordinance that is supposed to go into effect on Sunday.
The ordinance restricts the time of day, the locations, and the way panhandlers ask for money. According to the Daily Sentinel, beggars would also be banned from asking for money from motorists on public roads, and would be prohibited from stepping onto the road to receive monetary donations.
The problem of panhandling has long been a problem in Grand Junction, and seems to grow worse the nicer the weather gets. The ordinance seems to be in response to complaints about aggressive panhandlers, but goes beyond restricting the way they ask for money.
Does the ordinance go too far? Does it violate human rights and restrict free speech? Or is this ordinance in Grand Junction long overdue?
The ordinance does not prohibit panhandling, it merely offers some restrictions and guidelines for those who do it. It's kind of like gun control laws that don't prohibit the ownership of firearms, but regulate the manner in which guns are purchased, and the types of weapons that can be owned.
It seems that a certain amount of regulation on panhandling is a good thing. Can it be enforced? Will it be enforced? What will the outcome of this lawsuit be?