PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth City Council is expected to introduce a resolution opposing Senate Bill 270, proposed last month by Senator John Eklund, R-Chardon, and co-sponsored by, among others, State Senator Joe Uecker of the 14th District, which serves Scioto County, concerning pawnshop and scrapyard reporting requirements.
Several sections of the bill would change the current reporting status which is a daily written form showing every transaction.
SB 270 calls for every person licensed as a pawnbroker to keep and use separate pawn forms and purchase forms to be approved by the superintendent of financial institutions; record on the appropriate form for each pawn or purchase information such as the date and time of the pledging or purchasing, the amount of the loan or the purchase price, the rate of interest and the charges to be paid on the loan, the time within which the pledgor is to redeem the pledged property.
In addition, he shall record the name, age and address of the pledgor or seller, a driver license number, military identification number or other personal identification number as well as a physical description of the pledgor or seller, an accurate description of the pledged or purchased property, including the name of the manufacturer, any serial and model numbers, any identifying features, any identifying letters or marks and any disclosured required by federal law.
The bill calls for a copy of each form to be kept at the licensed location and available for inspection at the licensed location by the superintendent, chief of police in the municipality or sheriff if it is located outside a municipality.
What has been removed from the current law is the phrase, “A person licensed as a pawnbroker shall, every day, furnish/ provide the following information…” Replacing that language would be, “A person licensed as a pawnbroker shall provide the following information…” virtually eliminating the mandated daily reporting and reference to “every day.”
The city of Portsmouth had been considering making it mandatory for all such businesses to put each transaction into the database LEADSOnline, but that action came into question by Portsmouth attorney Franklin T. Gerlach, who owns Diamond Gem, a pawn shop in Portsmouth, when he told City Council only the state has the power to regulate pawn shops. City Solicitor John Haas then called on Council to put the action on hold pending further investigation.
The new resolution to be introduced by Council reads, in part, “Whereas, the proposed changes to Ohio Revised Code Sections relating to loosening the reporting requirements concerning pawnshops and scrapyards making it easier for thieves and drug addicts to sell stolen items; and Whereas, some municipalities partner with pawnshops and scrap yards to report their purchases to a database operated by a third-party company, LeadsOnline…”
It goes on to say, “That this Council is opposed to Senate Bill 270, proposed last month by Senator John Eklund, R-Chardon, concerning pawnshop and scrapyard reporting requirements. The City Clerk is hereby directed to serve a certified copy of this Resolution upon Governor John Kasich, Senator John Eklund, R-Chardon, Representative Terry Johnson and Senator Joe Uecker.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.