Great Question: Is Panhandling Legal in Columbia?

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COLUMBIA - It's a word that has two meanings for sure. If you look at a map, Florida has a panhandle, so does Texas and Oklahoma. Tonight's great question isn't about something you heat on the stove, or a geographic simile.

According to Webster, the other meaning to the word "panhandle" is someone who begs for money in a public place. Tonight's "Great Question" is about panhandling specifically in Columbia.

Is it legal to panhandle in Columbia? We asked several viewers, most of their answers were "I don't know?" The real answer is yes! Panhandling is legal in Columbia with one major factor. Panhandling is only legal during daylight hours. From sunrise to sunset it's okay. When the sun sets, it must cease for the night.

The Columbia ordinance features much small print about panhandling such as, you can't ask for money near an ATM, a pay phone, or the bus station. The ordinance includes several smaller obstacles, but the primary consideration is the time of day.

Included is a copy of the Columbia city ordiance dealing with panhandling.