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Arizona Supreme Court opens door for added sex shop hours

Phoenix- The Arizona Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that a Phoenix trial court should take another look at the legality of a state law that restricts the hours of adult and sexually oriented businesses.

The state Supreme Court directed Maricopa County Superior Court to re-examine a challenge to a state law that restricts adult businesses from being open between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and between 1 a.m. and noon on Sundays. The closing time law originated in 1998 and has withstood previous court challenges.

Business owners Hubert August Stummer and Dennis Allen Lumm, who were charged with violating that law, have challenged its legality.

The Supreme Court said the lower court needs to examine whether the law violates free speech rights or if that restriction is outweighed by the public benefit of reducing illegal and undesirable activities associated with sex shops, adult bookstores and other such businesses.

The Center for Arizona Policy said Thursday it was disappointed in the ruling and that the closing hours law helps reduce negative impacts of adult businesses on surrounding areas.

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