Columbia considers new pawn shop regulations

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia City Council will be talking about pawn shop regulations at Monday night's city council meeting. A proposed ordinance, if passed, will look to tighten regulations against local pawn shops and second hand stores. 

Councilman Michael Trapp has been the council member most involved with the pawn shop ordinance and he said he wants to limit the number of stolen goods being sold locally. 

“Right now there is a significant number of stolen goods going though pawn shop dealers and second hand goods dealers. The idea behind pawnshop reform is to strengthen the regulations of pawn shops and to extend that regulation to other second hand dealers as they are known to end up trafficking stolen goods.” Trapp Said.

Trapp said the ordinance has two main components.

“So what we have in front of us tonight would only strengthen the rules on existing pawn shops. The two main things it would do is require a photo ID for anyone doing a cash transaction and it would add a seven-day wait period before reselling items.” He said.

Patrick McCullum, a manager at Family Pawn, said his pawn shop already self regulates.

“We are already regulated so I see no benefit in what they are trying to add to those regulations. We currently report incoming items, we take ID, we report to a third party data base and we also have video surveillance, so we feel like we are already doing what we should be doing. I don’t think we should have any other regulations put on us.” McCullum Said. 

Dwyane Barnes, a Columbia resident and pawn shop user, said he prefers pawn shops over other options like craigslist or other second hand exchange websites. 

“Craigslist is not very guaranteed that you will get what you are suppose to get. You can get ripped off. Pawnshops are safer. You can show up, haggle over price and then get your money or buy what you want.” Barnes said.

Barnes also said, “It is a great service but I will say this, pawn shops have a bad rap, from the seedy side, they coming in, trying to pawn off stolen goods but, they have cleaned that up pretty good. They ask too many questions for that to be an issue anymore.”

Councilman Trapp says the Columbia Police Department is currently researching what other cities in Missouri are doing to regulate pawn shops and second hand stores.

According to Trapp, the ordinance does not affect target craigslist or other online sale websites but the police monitor those site similar to local pawn shops.

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