by Jeremy Moule
A proposed county law to regulate pawn shops, secondhand dealers, and jewelry and coin exchanges will advance to a vote by the full County Legislature.
Last night, the Legislature's Agenda/Charter Committee approved the legislation, with Democratic Legislator Mike Patterson offering the only vote against it. Patterson said he supported the idea behind the legislation, but he had concerns that it could pose an unfair burden on some small businesses.
Republican Legislator Carmen Gumina is the proposal's sponsor. During last night's meeting, he said the legislation is intended to help law enforcement officials recover stolen property.
The proposed law would require dealers to get a license from the county and would apply to any Monroe County community without preexisting ordinances regulating secondhand dealers. It'd also require dealers to photograph any item they purchase to resell, and to submit that photo to a database operated by the sheriff's office. Dealers would also be required to hold items for 14 days before selling them.
One business owner spoke against the proposal during a public comment session at the start of the meeting. Brian Joseph, who co-owns the Henrietta franchise of Once Upon a Child, said it would create a "logistic nightmare" for his business. Each day, the store buys large amounts of clothing, toys, and other children's goods, and the prices paid wouldn't attract people selling stolen items, he said.