Give Now

Delays, Closings and Severe Weather - View All Alerts and Updates

Indianapolis Committee To Review Panhandling Ban Proposal

The proposal would create a "No Solicitation Zone" which would ban panhandling of any kind in downtown Indianapolis.

panhandling

Photo: kennethkonica (Flickr)

Ken Falk, Legal Director for the ACLU of Indiana, says panhandling has been recognized as protected by the First Amendment.

Those in favor and against a proposal which creates a complete ban on panhandling in downtown Indianapolis are speaking out.

Visit Indy spokesman Chris Gahl says they support the proposal because over the last two years, Indianapolis has lost ten big conventions which could have brought more than $6 million to the local economy.

He says the key reason given after the decisions to leave were made was panhandling in the downtown Indianapolis area. Gahl adds that Indianapolis is in danger of losing 15 more conventions for the same reason.

“If we lose these conventions to another city that has a similar ordinance we’re looking at 1,500 jobs that could go way, tourism related jobs,” Gahl says.

The proposal would create a “No Solicitation Zone” which would ban panhandling of any kind in downtown Indianapolis.

However, Ken Falk, Legal Director for the ACLU of Indiana, says panhandling has been recognized as protected by the First Amendment. Falk says he is not aware of any kind of complete ban like this and, if the ban was passed, the ACLU would challenge it if contacted.

“I doubt it would be upheld as constitutional because it certianly is not narrowly tailored and does not leave open other areas where someone could go and do this,” Falk says.

The revised proposal is expected to be introduced to the City-County Council on Monday. It would be heard by the council‘s Rules and Public Policy Committee which does not meet again until late June.

Network Indiana

Network Indiana Indiana's Only Audio News Network. Network Indiana is dedicated to providing the state of Indiana important and useful information.

View all posts by this author »

  • josobo

    First of all, this law will not stop the practice. Second, it will not be able to be policed. Third, you should not pass an ordinance that is unconstitutional. and Fourth, saying that conventions were lost because of panhandling is not believable. Panhandling can be handled using current laws. No Loitering. Vagrancy laws. etcetera. Police can very easily tell the panhandlers to move on. What is the reason the number of panhandlers is so high? Is it higher than any other city? Adding additional ordinances is just a way to sidestep a problem. Instead of building the new sports park, start a program to address the panhandling problem, if the city is losing so much business.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook