New York Pawn Shop Bill Raises Concerns Among Antiques & Collectibles Dealers

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A bill recently crafted by county legislators here to curb the practice of selling stolen goods to pawn shops could become an onerous headache for proprietors of antiques shops.

As reported in The Democrat and Chronicle, the committee approved a bill on March 25 requiring shop owners to hold all items for two weeks and enter them into a database that police can access. The news item quoted one of the legislators, Carmen Gumina (R, Webster), a sponsor of the bill, saying, “It’s a useful tool for law enforcement to retrieve stolen goods.”

While discouraging the fencing of stolen firearms, jewelry and artwork, such a requirement, however, could prove to be a time-consuming, business-killing exercise for antiques and collectibles dealers.

Such secondhand goods laws have been seen elsewhere, and usually after local police chiefs become as bogged down by onerous paperwork as the shop owners, the legislation is quietly amended to exempt antiques dealers, along with the already exempt clothing consignment shops, booksellers, thrift stores, Goodwill outlets and regular folks just conducting garage sales.

According to the article in the Democrat & Chronicle, the bill is expected to go before the full legislature for a public hearing, followed by a vote. —WD


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