Louisiana Bans Cash For Second-Hand Items?
Now, it's obvious that the intention here was to quash the stolen copper market but has the state of Louisiana has effectively claimed that FRNs are, in fact, not legal tender for all debts public or private?
In a new law that could put every trading post, Goodwill, flea market, garage sale and Craigslist merchant in the state of Louisiana out of business, a bipartisan group of elected representatives has opted to ban all cash payments for the buying and selling of used goods.
Though House Bill 195 was intended to make it easier to track the sales of stolen goods by giving police a paper trail to follow, the unintended consequences could be much more widespread. Namely, the law requires second-hand sales be made paid for with credit cards, paper checks, electronic transfer or money orders. Cash is prohibited.
How does this impact Craigslist sales of crap you no longer want? Yard sales? Little kid lemonade stands?
Well I'm glad I asked. Apparently, this little tidbit has been making the rounds (predictably) and one of the bill's authors reached out to the Internets to clear the air:
STATEMENT FROM REP. CLIF RICHARDSON RE: ACT 389
"It has come to my attention that incorrect information is circulating concerning Act
389 of the 2011 Regular Session. This law was passed to curtail the theft and then sale of copper and other metals and materials.
Under Act 389 a person, other than a nonprofit entity, who buys, sells, trades in,
or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property more than once a month, is deemed to be a secondhand dealer. All payments for the purchase of used property by a secondhand dealer are to be by check, money order, or electronic transfer to the seller of the used property and are to be reported separately in the required daily reports. Secondhand dealers are required to obtain a signed statement from the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property stating that it has been paid for or is owned by the seller. This is new to the secondhand dealers' law but was an existing requirement for junk dealers before the passage of Act 389. A secondhand dealer, under Act 389, who obtains the required statement is exonerated from any fraudulent, willful, or criminal knowledge. Act 389 does not effect the purchase of goods by a consumer from any business.
Under Act 389, (R.S.37:1861 (B), the following are exempt from the secondhand dealer law:
(1)Dealers in coins and currency, dealers in antiques, gun and knife shows or other
trade and hobby shows.
(2) Persons solely engaged in the business of buying, selling, trading in, or
otherwise acquiring or disposing of motor vehicles and used parts of motor vehicles,
or wreckers or dismantlers of motor vehicles
(3) Private residential sales commonly known as "garage sales" or "yard sales" as
long as such sales take place at a residential address
(4) Any bona fide charity possessing a valid exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of
the Internal Revenue Code.
(5) Collectors, transporters, or disposers of waste whose waste collection,
transportation, and disposal activities are regulated by the Department of
Environmental Quality, or persons who collect, transport, or manage recyclable
materials pursuant to a residential collection, recycling, or disposal contract with a municipality or political subdivision.
What does that mean? A whole lot of nothing, really. Go back to your yard sale, America, nothing to see here.
Here's the news report that kicked it all off: