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Senator Wants Racy Magazines To Be Hidden Like Pornagraphy -- Sky Arnold

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Nashville, Tenn --- Go into any grocery store in Middle Tennessee and you'll have no trouble finding magazines like Maxim and Cosmopolitan on the shelves.

Senator Jim Summerville believes magazines like them by law should be hidden and sealed like pornographic magazines are.

"They're right there at eye level within reach of a minor and I want to put a stop to that," said Summerville.

To make that happen, Summerville is proposing a bill that would make it a class A misdemeanor to violate the law governing magazine displays.

That means violators could face a punishment of up to a $2500 fine and nearly a year in jail.

"I'm simply trying to put teeth into present law so it's taken more seriously,  If I'm facing jail time and a fine which you would be, I'd think twice about it," said Summerville.

Not everyone agrees the present law actually requires magazines like Maxim to be hidden though and others question whether Senator Summerville's bill is even legal to begin with.

Nashville attorney George Barrett has been handling First Amendment  cases for decades and he believes the bill violates the freedom of speech.

"It impedes an individuals right to select what he or she wants to read or look at," said Barrett.

Senator Summerville disagrees as he says he's not trying to stop adults from reading the magazines just children.

The State Senate will vote on the bill next Thursday.