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Pine County Pawn Shop Ordinance: Safety or Business?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 at 6:30 am

Pine County residents have the next month to weigh in on a proposed Pawn Shop Ordinance. The ordinance was discussed last week at the County Board meeting. Senior Assistant County Attorney Steve Cundy explained to the board how the system will work

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The proposed new system will bring Pine County on board with numerous counties using the same system throughout the state, but it does come at a price. Pawn shop owner will have to pay over $5,100 to put the new system in place, something Alex Oken says is not fair.

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Oken owns the Pawn Shop in Banning Junction, one of two pawn shops in the county. He and other pawn shop owners say they want to know who is going to teach and set the new system. Despite the concerns, Cundy says the county has already seen the benefits of the system.

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The ordinance is open for review and public comment for the next 30 days. Oken says if the board passes the ordinance, he is going to change his business from a pawn to gun shop because under the proposed ordinance, he could not sell a gun without a 30-day waiting period, which he says will cost too much business.

Cundy says Pine County has a reputation of being a “black hole” in the system, and says this raises the likelihood of illegal activity in pawn shop sales and purchases.

Cundy adds that Wisconsin is also starting to use the electronic system.

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