Indiana could restrict where adult stores are located

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers want to restrict where adult entertainment stores are located in relation to schools, playgrounds and businesses focused on kids.

The proposal comes after several recent store openings, including a Lion’s Den location on Indy’s south side – next door to a Cracker Barrel and around the corner from a daycare center and a trampoline park.

“The Lion’s Den in my district helped me understand that this is a statewide issue,” said State Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis), whose office received multiple complaints about the store’s opening from constituents.

Speedy introduced House Bill 1122, which would have banned sexually-oriented businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, child care center or other business that focuses on kids.

The bill passed the House with bipartisan support but didn’t get a hearing in the Senate.

Now Speedy is working to reintroduce some of that legislation in a different bill before the session ends.

“This is the type of bill that would allow communities to push back from very well-heeled businesses,” Speedy said.

One of the concerns raised about Speedy’s bill was a requirement that adult stores that don’t meet the minimum 1,000-foot distance relocate before July 2025. That provision won’t be reintroduced going forward, Speedy said.

“You don’t want to pass bills that are unconstitutional and you might end up having the state lose a lawsuit,” said State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington), who was one of eight House lawmakers to vote against Speedy’s bill.

Pierce said he is not ruling out support of a different version of the legislation if the right changes are made.

“I agree with the general idea that you want to regulate these kinds of facilities so they’re not next to locations where kids are going to be … If some of those bigger problems with the bill get fixed, I could conceivably vote for it, Pierce said.

Last year, the Lion’s Den sued the city of Indianapolis over signage for its south side location. The two sides later reached an agreement.

We’ve reached out to the company and their attorneys for this story and we’re still waiting to hear back.

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