The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Indiana "Harmful to Minors" Bookstore Registration Law

By Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly, 3/25/2008 8:39:00 AM

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has blasted a new Indiana law that requires bookstores to register with the government if they sell what is considered "sexually explicit materials." The new law, H.B. 1042, was signed by Governor Mitch Daniels on March 13, and calls for any bookseller that sells sexually explicit materials to register with the Secretary of State and provide a statement detailing the types of books to be sold. The Secretary of State must then identify those stores to local government officials and zoning boards. “Sexually explicit material” is defined as any product that is “harmful to minors” under existing law. There is a $250 registration fee. Failure to register is a misdemeanor.

ABFFE spokesman Chris Finan said the law is the only one of its kind currently on the books in the country. Calling it "clearly unconstitutional," Finan said ABFFE will urge the Media Coalition to challenge the law at the organization's next meeting on April 9. H.B. 1042 does not go into effect until July, by which time Finan is hopeful the lawsuit will be filed and an injunction issued by the court."


MichaelK said...

Apparently we like to lead the nation in unthinking idiocy (for the children!) by passing these laws that will more than likely get smacked down on constitutional grounds and really just waste a lot of tax money on the court challenges. See also just about any legislation we recently had concerning the sale of "OMG BAD" video games to minors.

Meanwhile, less flashy but useful things continue to fail to even be discussed that might actually help any kids at all.

Anonymous said...

Whoops. Any bookstore in Indiana that sells the Bible will have to register. (Hint: The Bible is very sexually explicit.)