Bookseller Ken Sanders, who owns Ken Sanders Rare Books, posted a call to action on his Web site earlier this week alerting customers to a Utah state law that could threaten his and other used booksellers’ businesses.
The law, called the Pawnshop and Secondhand Merchandise Transmission Information Act originally passed in 2005, targets pawn shops, requiring them to very actively–and expensively–register all their transactions with a central state database. The original law had exemptions for antique and used book stores, but, according to Sanders, those exemptions may not be extended. “If the legislature does not extend the exemptions that have allowed me to do business without complying with these regulations, I will have to close my doors,” writes Sanders.
Here’s more from Sanders:
I understand that the act’s intent is to help reduce theft, and I agree that there may be some merit in requiring pawnshops to track this kind of information. However, I strongly object to the inclusion of legitimate secondhand businesses like mine in with legislation designed for pawnshops. My bookstore is not a pawnshop, and books don’t exactly have the same kind of street value as Rolexes!
Sanders is asking customers to write the state legislature to protest.