A Sandy Springs law banning sex-toy sales was officially deleted by the City Council March 21, a move that effectively ends a looming lawsuit in a court that appeared ready to declare the law unconstitutional.
That means “sexual devices” can now be sold legally in Sandy Springs—including directly across the street from City Hall at Inserection, the bookstore that, along with two residents, sued the city over the law.
As expected, the sex-toy law was deleted via the council’s consent agenda, meaning it was approved without specific discussion on a list of other, mundane items.
City Attorney Wendell Willard commented briefly about the law’s deletion during a short period between the council adjourning and entering an executive session on another matter. He characterized the law—enacted less than eight years ago and defended by the city in court ever since—as unnecessary and expendable.
“We don’t really have a problem with it in the city,” Willard said of sex-toy sales, so the city took the position, “Why continue with the litigation?”
In terms of adult bookstores, he added, “We have a control through zoning regulations” and thus can afford to delete the criminal law affecting them.
The sex-toy ban was part of a package of laws enacted in 2009 in an attempt to rein in adult businesses, spawning a series of lawsuits challenging them as unconstitutional. The legal challenge to the sex-toy ban spun out into a separate case that two residents joined in 2014. The law’s deletion was added to the council’s agenda March 19, five days after the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a previous ruling upholding the sex-toy ban and agreed to re-hear the case.