Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill making it a crime to take more than 25 copies of a free newspaper.
AB 2612 “defines a new crime that is committed when a person takes more than 25 copies of free newspapers to sell or barter the papers, to recycle the papers for cash or other payment, to harm a competitor or to prevent others from reading the paper.”
Once considered petty theft, the offence will be considered a crime once AB2612 goes into effect on January 1, 2007.
Said the Governor, “The freedom of the press is one of the most precious freedoms that Americans enjoy. We must work to ensure that no one is able to deprive others of their First Amendment rights.”