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Philly Tour Guides Head To Court Over Licensing Rules

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia tour guides are fighting licensing rules passed by the city even though the city has no money for enforcement.

A federal judge dismissed the case, not on the merits, but because there’s no threat of enforcement. But the guides appealed, and an appeals court that heard arguments this week is now considering the matter.

The rules would require the guides to get a license and pass a written test if they were being enforced, but the city concedes that it has no money for enforcement and won’t for the foreseeable future.

But the guides appealed the earlier dismissal. Attorney Robert McNamara argues guides shouldn’t have the threat of this unconstitutional law hanging over their heads.

“The city of Philadelphia is not Disneyland, and this is not the haunted mansion. We are talking about private citizens talking to other private citizens about their city’s history and their opinions about it. The government has no business deciding who is and who isn’t able to do that.”

The appeals court has not indicated when it will rule whether the case can be decided, now, on its merits.

Reported By Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio.


One Comment

  1. tjinphilly says:

    Folks, I was a Philadelphia Guide, and am a licensed NYC guide. I support licensing 100%. Right now, anyone can charge people to “guide them” on a tour. When you pay for something, you assume that the individual is a professional and knows what they are talking about. Unfortunately, many guides don’t. One of the guides involved in this lawsuit told so many falsehoods I could barely keep a straight face. When I brought it to the attention of the owner of the company he asked me to provide him with all of the research of the mistakes. I couldn’t believe it, they wanted ME to do the research for them, for FREE. A guide taking a test proving their skills, in order to have the right to CHARGE people for their experience is no different than requiring Plumbers, Electricians, or other trades to be licensed. I would gladly take the test.

  2. bottomline says:

    On many occasions I have assisted tourist with directions and information, without expecting any thanks or remuneration from the city or the tourists. Why should anyone have to get a license to offer a friendly outreach to our visitors? Paid guides are usually sincere devotees of our cities’ history, perhaps too truthful for the taste of some.

  3. Frank says:

    The initial federal judge should be dealt with by the system. Dismissing a case because “there’s no threat of enforcement” ?

    More like there’s an idiot on the bench.

Comments are closed.

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