On Monday, the Rapid City Police Department seized more than 2,000 sex-related products from Spencer’s as possible evidence that the store meets the definition of an adult-oriented business.
Gotta hand it to those Rapid City cops cleaning up such filth and making the city safe for wholesome family values.
Under city ordinance, operating an adult-oriented business without a license is punishable by a $200 fine and 30 days in jail for every day a business fails to register. Businesses can sell adult merchandise without a license as long as it does not make up a “substantial or significant portion of its stock.”
I guess “substantial or significant” is flexible depending on such variables as whether the store owners show proper deference to city authorities (ie: how well they beg) and what kind of day the city attorney happens to be having on the date he decides to file the charges.
Spencer’s has been in Rushmore Mall since 1979, and Mahoney said adult merchandise makes up less than five percent of the items for sale. In other jurisdictions, courts have defined “substantial” as between 20 percent and 50 percent of available merchandise, he said.
Between 20 and 50 percent? So, I guess the object of the game is for stores to have to guess how much is too much and if they guess wrong, the city surprises them with a raid. Of course, any sex obsessed busy body walking into the store probably only sees the sex related merchandise.
According to city officials, the city first received complaints from residents about the store’s merchandise more than a year ago. The city attorney’s office sent a letter to Spencer’s in January and again in September, asking it to comply with the city’s regulations.
According to the Wikipedia entry, Spencer’s has in the past also been the subject of complaints in Ohio and Florida.
Like I’ve said before, the biggest threat to your freedom isn’t the government. It’s your neighbors.