Noise ordinance passed over objections of preacher's lawyer

     SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) Springfield has approved a new noise ordinance over the objections of an attorney for a street preacher who was arrested after delivering loud sermons downtown.

     The Springfield News-Leader reports that backers said the rules approved Monday won’t restrict what people say, only their volume.

     Street preacher Aaron Brummitt was charged with multiple municipal ordinance violations in 2013 after a complaint about his amplifying equipment in public spaces. He reached an agreement in 2014 to have his charges deferred. But police have continued to hear complaints since then.

     Brummitt’s attorney, Dee Wampler, argued in December that the council was “messing with religious speech.”

     Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky raised similar concerns in casting the sole vote against the ordinance. She said the ordinance could “potentially target religious speech and the First Amendment.”



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