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Commissioners Delay Vote on Tighter Regulations for Secondhand Goods Dealers


BRADENTON -- Authorities say that when it comes to catching a thief, the criminal element has time on its side. Manatee County Sheriff's Office (MSO) has requested that the county attorney's Office review and revise proposed Ordinance No. 13-49; increasing regulation of secondhand goods dealers, but some commissioners are worried that the rules would place undue restraints on legitimate, law-abiding businesses.

MSO suggests adding language to an ordinance that would require secondhand goods dealers to maintain any product or material purchased from individuals for a 30-day "hold period." 


Manatee County Commissioners were presented with suggested language from MSO that would create a new ordinance which would be incorporated into the Manatee County Code of Laws. 

MSO detectives say the current laws are full of loopholes and swift expiration dates; not giving authorities time to properly investigate questionable items.

Manatee County has the authority to enact and enforce more restrictive laws then the state statutes require. 

Article VIII Chapter 2-19, if initiated, would create "Regulations of Secondhand Goods Dealers" for both incorporated and unincorporated Manatee County. 

This proposed Article does not apply to metal recyclers and pawnbrokers, who are regulated under Article III of this Chapter. 

Commissioner Vanessa Baugh says she is not happy with what she sees so far.

"There are legitimate businesses out there that do all of the right things, pay their taxes, rent and employees,' argued Baugh. "I don't want to burden them with more to do…" 

Baugh wasn't alone. There were many questions to what, when and who qualified for the proposed regulations. 

A MSO representative suggested to Commissioner Baugh that sometimes to catch the bad guys, good guys have to put up with some inconveniences. 

Commissioners voted to have staff return with more details and remedies to the unanswered questions about what Ordinance 13-49 would actually look like if it is to become law.


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