Shop Talk: Delaware 11th State to Require Pawn Shops to Photograph Jewelry?

sg23409dv01On April 29, 2013, Newsworks.com reported that Delaware could become the 11th state in the country to require pawn shops and secondhand dealers to take photographs of all of the jewelry they buy. If the proposed bill goes through, pawn shop owners and secondhand dealers will be required to keep photos of all of the jewelry they accept or purchase in their records for one year.

This new legislation could come through on the heels of other legislation that requires the mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms in Delaware. Senate Bill 16, according to another Newsworks.com article published on May 3, 2013, states that all gun owners (including pawn shop owners), “have one week to notify police; the seven-day clock, however, starts running when the gun owner discovers the weapons are missing.” Per the article, the bill passed by a single vote and now moves to the House.

For pawn shops, there are advantages and disadvantages to both pieces legislation.

On the upside, taking photos in order to help prevent theft and help jewelry owners recover stolen property is good for communities and helps improve the image of pawn shops. On the downside, having to take¬†photos on top of recording and keeping detailed written records of all jewelry transactions could present yet another barrier to successfully completing transactions. Customers would have more time to change their minds; pawn shop owners may decide to forego smaller transactions just because they don’t want to go through all of the red tape.

When it comes to the lost or stolen firearm legislation, in theory, pawn shop owners will be able to find out much sooner that a firearm was stolen if people have fewer days to report lost or stolen firearms. This should logically lead to fewer purchases of stolen firearms, which would be good for everybody. However, one has to question whether the legislation will really make that big a difference. After all, no one can ever really know exactly when a firearm owner actually noticed a piece was missing but the firearm owner.