Metal Detectors, ID Scans at S.F. Nightclubs Up for Debate

Can't we have fun without killing each other?

San Francisco is considering draconian safety measures at night clubs, including metal detectors and ID scans -- not even Oakland does that!

That said, Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission, tells SF Weekly that it's unlikely such measures would pass muster in San Francisco. And while that might be reassuring to some, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based digital civil liberties group, isn't backing down.

The group is formally protesting the plan, saying ID scans and surveillance cameras are unconstitutional and would have a "chilling effect" on San Francisco.

According to the group:

"Scanning the IDs of all attendees at an antiwar rally, a gay night club, or a fundraiser for a civil liberties organization would have a deeply chilling effect on speech. Participants might hesitate to attend such events if their attendance were noted, stored, and made available on request to government authorities. This would transform the politically and culturally tolerant environment for which San Francisco is famous into a police state."
Tonight, the Entertainment Commission will consider a slew of safety measures for nightclubs. Some of the more controversial ones include having patrons walk through metal detectors when entering nightclubs and then get their IDs scanned, which would tell police exactly when they entered. Once inside, patrons will be recorded on surveillance cameras; the footage will be kept for police records for two weeks. 

Rebecca Jeschke, spokeswoman with EFF, says these measures are offensive and completely illegal. "It's a waste of time that we are even talking about this," she says. "Because it's unconstitutional."

The stringent rules were cobbled together last year after a streak of nightclub violence that put city lawmakers in the uncomfortable position of trying to make San Francisco's venues safe without killing everyone's buzz.

Then-Mayor Gavin Newsom called a come-to-Jesus meeting with club owners to talk about these proposed rules and consider new ways to help put a stop to the violence.

"The assumption that you need these things to operate isn't something that everyone agrees to," Kane tells SF Weekly.

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Sesotec Metal Detectors 1 Like

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johne 1 Like

Why don't they target the nightclubs where the violence occurs? Why is that impossible? Why are those in authority unable to act without 'a one size fits all' solution. Its lazy.

But then its easier to do draconian unconstitutional things like this then try to fix endemic problems like 6th st., or Turk St., or 16th and Mission - or why they fund SRO'S instead of creating a city where there are jobs. Or why they can't even fix the potholes.

pen is mightier...
pen is mightier... 1 Like

not really sure why the comment about oakland had to be made.

MrEricSir 1 Like

How about they just give you a groping when you walk in, like at the airport? That could even be considered a feature at sex clubs.

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