NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Maybe this is an issue you've struggled with: What do you do if someone on the street or the sidewalk or in a parking lot approaches you for money?

The question we posed to the candidates for mayor: "Do you feel panhandling should be against the law in Nashville?"

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John Ray Clemmons said no.

"Our goal in Metro government should be to end homelessness. Any goal short of that is not doing enough," Clemmons said.

John Cooper said no.

"I think panhandling is probably a pretty constitutionally protected right. It needs to be regulated, but not against the law per se," he said.

Carol Swain said yes.

"Panhandling should be against the law in Nashville because downtown we have some panhandlers that are very aggressive when it comes to interacting with tourists and people that work downtown, and we don't need to be moving in the same direction as cities like San Francisco where the homeless have just taken over."

David Briley said no.

"I think there are certain constitutional limitations on that that would prohibit us from a blanket ban on panhandling. But in the tourist area, especially down on lower Broad, I think we may need some restrictions in terms of the hours, the locations and when you can actually do it down there," Briley said. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 Investigates team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

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