Tour guides speak freely on testing

    A Federal Court Judge has taken under advisement a request to overturn Philadelphia’s requirement that tour guides be licensed. Three tour guides are challenging the law, saying that the requirement violates a person’s right to free speech.

    A Federal Court Judge has taken under advisement a request to overturn Philadelphia’s requirement that tour guides be licensed. Three tour guides are challenging the law, saying that the requirement violates a person’s right to free speech.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090424tmtour.mp3]

    New city regulations would require tour guides to have passed a test and undergo continuing education after being certified.

    Ron Avery is a former journalist and tour guide who pushed for guides to be required to pass a test. He says he’s seen too many mistakes during city tours.

    Avery: Someone who confused the idea of Greek Revival architecture thought they heard something else and thought they heard Reefer-Bible architecture.

    Avery says visitors have a 50-50 change of finding an educated guide in the city. But Institute for Justice Attorney Robert McNamara says the city can’t restrict speech, even if it’s factually wrong.

    McNamara: The government has no business silencing them because they don’t think they should be talking.

    Even if the challenge is denied, city officials say they don’t have the money to implement the testing right now.

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