Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hot Springs cracks down on panhandlers

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 7:55 AM

The Hot Springs city board Tuesday adopted an ordinance banning panhandling of motorists in the public right of way.  The Sentinel-Record reports.

Violators will get a warning the first time, then be subject to a citation that could carry a penalty of up to $500 and a year in jail. In addition to banning solicitation of money, the measure bans distribution of material in the right of way.

Is it a solicitation to carry a sign saying "Will Work for Food," then accept a proffered gift from a sympathetic motorist?

UPDATE: I'm informed this ordinance is a response to a judge's finding that a state law banning begging was unconstitutional in throwing out a prosecution in Hot Springs. Several lawyers remain skeptical that the new ordinance passes muster.

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