Model Pawnbroker and Secondhand Dealer Ordinance

June 28, 2012

During the past few legislative sessions there have been bills introduced that would limit the abilities of local governments in regulating pawnshops and secondhand dealers.
A number of cities utilize the abilities currently granted by state law to create an electronic reporting system for the pawnshops and secondhand dealers in their jurisdictions which keeps track of the items brought to those establishments. These electronic databases provide a substantial public safety benefit to their communities because the local police are able to quickly find potentially stolen goods that have been brought to local pawnshops rather than having to have an officer sort through mounds of paperwork and materials, running from one pawnshop to the next.
The legislation that was introduced during the 2012 legislative session and did not pass would have prevented local governments from collecting a fee for operating such systems and would, thus, have made such systems cost prohibitive. However, the legislation did contain a grandfathering clause and, as a result, GMA has created this model ordinance for use by cities in the event future legislation is introduced with similar grandfathering provisions.
Should you have any questions or comments related to this model ordinance, please feel free to contact Rusi Patel at

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