Gun rights group ready to sue Arlington again

by SUSAN SCHROCK | Star-Telegram  |  published on October 27, 2014

ARLINGTON — A gun-rights group is preparing to take Arlington back to federal court over newly proposed rules that regulate where pedestrians can distribute literature or collect donations from motorists at intersections.

On Tuesday, the Arlington City Council is set to formally approve an amendment to the sidewalk ordinance that would ban people from stepping into the roadway to interact with motorists at any intersection controlled by a traffic signal. The change was prompted after a federal judge blocked Arlington from enforcing a more restrictive version of the ordinance, adopted by the council in May, that prohibited pedestrians from interacting with motorists from sidewalks or curbs along specific busy intersections and roadways.

“From the city’s perspective, we have to walk a tightrope. On the one hand, it’s critical that we protect public safety. On the other hand, it’s critical that we protect First Amendment rights. We want to do both things,” Assistant City Attorney Robert Fugate said. “We think this ordinance is a common-sense ordinance. It applies to every intersection controlled by a traffic signal. It’s easy for the police officers to understand. It’s easy for residents to understand.”

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