Pawn shop restrictions postponed

Commissioners want more time to consider new restrictions

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Changes to the pawnbroker law were postponed at the June 6 regular Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting. This was the fourth public hearing on the issue.

The Forsyth County pawnbrokers and pawn shop establishment law (Ordinance No. 96) would require a video recording of transactions, as well as a digital picture and fingerprint of those who want to pledge a product as collateral for cash. This does not apply to customers shopping at a pawn shop.

The items purchased by a pawn shop would also have to be held for 15 days.

The new law proposed requires pawn stores to keep accurate books of transactions. Pawnbrokers would need to use security cameras and maintain that video for 12 days. It was originally proposed for 30 days.

The issue was first brought to commissioners in March and was due to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office recommendations last year.

A local businessman, Bob Weinberg, called the law too limiting and said if commissioners want to curb criminals from “unloading” stolen goods, the law should also include trading card shops, electronic game shops, antique stores, movie shops, consignment stores, coin and auction stores.

“These are all places where personal property is sold,” Weinberg said. “I’m in favor of the law, if it will help recover stolen goods, but I’m against it if it’s just limited to…pawn shops and not to stores that do the same thing we do.”

Commissioners said Weinberg raises good points and they may take a closer look at other industries.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the issues are valid, but different from what the pawn shop law addresses.

Commissioner Brian Tam said he would like to have more time to considerer the law and asked to postpone the vote to July 2. The issue was postponed with a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Cindy Jones Mills and Jim Boff were opposed.