Pawnbroker ordinance passed by city commission

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, January 24, 2017

 After a first reading in November, the Danville City Commission approved on Monday the second reading of the pawnbrokers and precious metal dealers ordinance. The new ordinance requires all transactions to be reported, in order to assist authorities with stolen property issues.

The ordinance was originally brought to the city commission in August after concerns were raised by the Danville Police Department.  Officials looked into a pawnbroker ordinance already in place in Winchester, City Attorney Stephen Dexter previously said.

City Commissioner Kevin Caudill asked Police Chief Tony Gray if the ordinance accomplishes what it is supposed to.

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“I’m very satisfied with this ordinance,” Gray said. “It’s a good starting place for us to combat some of those issues and problems we were having.”

Commissioner Denise Terry said the city commission received a letter from a pawnbroker with concerns about the ordinance. She asked Gray if it seemed like the pawnbrokers were in agreement with the final ordinance.

Gray said they met with several pawnbrokers over an extended period of time, and while some had issues with the ordinance here or there, “For the most part, I think this ordinance captures what we need for it to capture … and the ordinance as a whole, they were satisfied.”

The ordinance now places new limitations and requirements on pawnbrokers and precious metal dealers.

Pawnbrokers are required to report all transactions in order to assist the police department in retrieving stolen property before it is resold or destroyed, according to the ordinance.

The ordinance states the purpose is to “protect public health, safety and general welfare and to enforce the laws prohibiting the act of not reporting transactions and to aid in the prevention of engaging in such transaction with convicted persons.”

It also requires local pawnbrokers and precious metal dealers to file an application for a license and pay a $100 license fee within 30 days. They would have to renew their licenses every year for $50. The pawn shops would also be required to be bonded in the amount of $20,000.

Pawnbrokers are now required to log everything they buy on a daily basis using “Leadsonline,” an online database used by law enforcement to locate stolen items. The Danville Police Department will regularly check the database to keep track of items, Dexter previously said.

The city commission approved the first reading of the ordinance at the last meeting in November.

The second reading was scheduled in December, but City Manager Ron Scott asked for the  ordinance be held due to a request from a local pawnshop owner, so it could be reviewed by Dexter.

When the ordinance was initially introduced, Gray said much of it is borrowed from a Winchester ordinance that has been in effect successfully since 2011.