Panhandling Now Legal in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A decades-old rule - asking for money - is no longer considered a crime in Arkansas, after a Federal Judge declared it legal Tuesday morning.
 
Panhandling - asking for money, food, or any other charity in a public place - is now legal in Arkansas. 
 
In October, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arkansas filed a lawsuit after two local homeless men were arrested for panhandling. 
 
The ACLU said this law went against First Amendment rights. 
 
"I've stood out here for 20 years doing this," Richard Robinson, a homeless Arkansan, said. "After I was 28 years old, I got a divorce and my life was ruined on purpose."
 
It's left him standing on street corners in Little Rock, hoping someone will hire him.
 
"My father was a general contractor and I grew up in the general contracting business," Robinson said.
 
Robinson says he's done just about everything to get by - asked for work, help, money, etc..
 
So when Robinson hears this is no longer a crime in Arkansas, his response is that "it's very good."
 
"We're relieved the court made its ruling here in Arkansas," Holly Dickson, Legal Director for the ACLU Arkansas, said. "We absolutely hope it will no longer threaten people who need help with being put in jail."
 
 

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