Masked officers confiscate adult newspaper sales racks. A new law restricting the sale of sexually explicit magazines in public racks prompted Phoenix law enforcement officers in late August to seize hundreds of copies of an adult newspaper, the Associated Press reported.
The law, which became effective July 21, makes it a felony to sell or display sexually related material that is “harmful to minors,” unless that material is sold in token- or card-activated machines or in adult-oriented businesses.
Fifteen different racks carrying The Beat, an adult newspaper that runs sexually-oriented news stories along with advertisements for escort services, strip clubs and stores selling sexually-oriented products, were raided around the Phoenix area by officers wearing black ski masks.
The Beat’s editor immediately denounced the raids as a violation of press freedom. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, however, said the issue had nothing to do with the First Amendment but instead was about stopping the distribution of pornography to minors.