90 Days In Jail For Unlicensed Talking In D.C. (video)

by Chris Bounds on September 17, 2010

Yes – as crazy as it sounds it is true!

I have always had problems with the government requiring a license in order to business. A government license requirement can have some common sense reasons, such building a nuclear power plant.  My problem comes with a government license requirement giving the government enormous power to regulate your liberty and your pursuit of happiness.  While I could surely find many cases of government abuse in this area, a reader from the Institute for Justice sent over one that will get under your skin!

In Washington, D.C. tour guides are everywhere.  By bus, car, foot and even Segways you can follow tour guides around the beautiful city and hear great stories about its abundant history.  If you are a history buff and enjoy telling stories you can even become one yourself.  But not so fast!  Now you must have a tour guide license, essentially giving you permission by the government to talk!  Failure to obtain a license could land you in jail for up to 90 days!

Here is a video detailing the case the Institute for Justice is working on, involving two Segway tour guides Tonia Edwards and Bill Main:

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