A new Pasco County ordinance requires secondhand dealers to electronically log every transaction they make as part of business.
Antique shops, swap shops, coin dealers, flea market vendors and gold and precious metals dealers are among the businesses the county identifies as secondhand dealers.
Dealer logs are to be filed with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Under the ordinance, dealers also are required to hold secondhand goods that they receive for a 30-day period before they can resell them.
The ordinance is a companion to the Secondary Metals Recyclers Ordinance also adopted by the county commission Feb. 7.
Sheriff’s office property crimes detective Eric Pfenninger said that the secondhand dealer ordinance helps hasten identification of suspects and otherwise assist deputies.
“It gives the state a better prosecutable case, as well,” he said.
The electronic logs are reported using an online system called FINDER, which the sheriff’s office had used prior to track pawn shop transactions. FINDER is used in several Florida counties.
The new ordinance "requires more people to report to that database,” Pfenninger said.
One Patch reader recently commented that the secondhand dealer ordinance will put undue strain on small-business owners.
“…How can a small business tie up their money for thirty days before reselling coins, gold or silver bars with the way the market constantly changing going up and down. There is no valid reason for the sheriff to request this. Coins are not distinct like jewelry, there are millions made of each one and you cannot really tell one from the other,” .
“I have more compassion for the victims of crime than I do for the minority of business owners who won’t comply with the new ordinance,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said when asked for a response.
Nocco said most business owners were already conducting business using the guidelines that the ordinance mandates, "and to them I say thank you.”
The ordinance “just levels the playing field,” Nocco said.
The sheriff's office is inviting secondhand dealers affected by the changes to attend an informational meeting on the ordinance.
The sheriff's office has scheduled three sessions; each is expected to last about two hours, a media release stated.
"Each session will be the same and attendance is voluntary. The sessions will include a discussion of the requirements found in the new ordinance, a demonstration of the designated reporting system called FINDER, and a chance to ask questions to detectives about the new procedures," the release stated.
Contact Lindy Nowicki at 727-844-7797 or LNowicki@pascosheriff.org to attend.
The ordinance can be downloaded as a PDF file from the Pasco County commissioners website. It also is attached to this article.
- Wednesday, March 14, 1 p.m.: CPI Conference Room, Counsel Square, 7601 Little Road, New Port Richey
- Thursday, March 15, 1 p.m.: Pasco Sheriff's Office, District II, 36409 State Road 52, Dade City
- Wednesday, March 21, 1 p.m.: Pasco Sheriff's Office Detention Center, 20101 Central Blvd., Land O' Lakes