City trying to get handle on panhandling with new laws

The city of Columbus is trying to get a handle on panhandling by introducing some new legislation.

Slated to be brought up by City Council Monday and go into effect immediately if passed, the new laws would treat panhandling as a safety issue by:

  • Prohibiting transactions in the middle of the street or on freeway ramps
  • Prohibiting people from touching and/or following someone who has told them no
  • Prohibiting people from coming within three feet of someone using an ATM


Violators would receive varying degrees of misdemeanors, reports The Dispatch.

This legislation is aimed at discouraging panhandling without stepping on the toes of a 2015 Supreme Court ruling.

The decision involved church signs and how it is unconstitutional for tougher regulations to be placed on those signs than with signs stating other messages.

Lawyers then used the ruling from this case to challenge panhandling laws.


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