Next time you try to sell gold, silver or other precious metals in Houston you can expect to be fingerprinted and photographed.
- City council passes ordinance to fingerprint, photograph precious metal sellers (ABC13/KTRK, Feb 6, 2013):
HOUSTON (KTRK) — Next time you try to sell gold, silver or other precious metals you can expect to be fingerprinted and photographed.
The Houston City Council passed an ordinance meant to help track down criminals who try to resell stolen valuables. Gold-buying businesses will now be required to photograph and fingerprint sellers as well as photograph the items that are being sold to the dealer.
“It’s going to allow us the tools necessary to combat a lot of the high-end jewelry thefts that’s going on in the city, whether it’s robberies or burglaries,” said Houston Police Officer Rick Barajas.
A similar ordinance is already in place for scrap metal sellers and dealers.
- Brown calls new rules on jewelry dealers ‘safety theater’ (Houston Chronicle, Feb 6, 2013):
Houston City Council on Wednesday passed new rules on precious metals dealers despite a lengthy attempt to water down the ordinance by Councilwoman Helena Brown, who called it “safety theater” that would burden businesses and invade jewelry sellers’ privacy.
Officers in the Houston Police Department’s precious metals unit said reputable dealers already implement many of the new rules but said the ordinance – which requires a photograph and thumbprint of each seller and mandates dealers enter transactions into an online database – will help them catch crooks and recover stolen goods.
Brown sought to remove criminal penalties for violating the ordinance, to allow dealers more flexibility in when and how to report transactions and to scrap the rule requiring sellers to have a photo and thumbprint taken. Each amendment was easily defeated.
“Why even ask the legal, law-abiding people to submit to this? It’s not going to prevent crime and it’s not going to solve any crimes,” Brown said. “It’s ludicrous. We’ve gone way beyond what our Founding Fathers envisioned for this nation.”
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