SAN FRANCISCO — Already outlawed in schools, beepers would be banned from the hands of the under-18 crowd under a proposed city law.
The bill's sponsor, Supervisor Jim Gonzalez, says he believes that the devices are used mainly to link young drug dealers with their suppliers.
"The beeper is used to foil undercover operations, it's used to foil arrests, it's used to carry on transactions without the (adult) drug dealer ever having to show his face," said Gonzalez. "What we're trying to do is take away the tools of the trade from minors so that drug dealers don't employ minors."
But pager industry spokesmen said such a ban probably would be cut off by constitutional challenges if it becomes law.
"The problem with this kind of legislation is that it assumes that anyone under 18 who wants a pager is a criminal," said David Wilson, legal counsel to Allied Radiotelephone Utilities of California.