Remember that old high school wardrobe you sold to Meeps? The beat up Styx record that Joint Custody took off your hands? That copy of George Orwell’s “1984” you sold to Idle Time Books? Well, MPD wants to know about it.
On April 4, officials with the DC Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) raided a number of Adams Morgan and U Street-area businesses that sell vintage and used goods, threatening them with fines and closure for operating without a secondhand business license. This license is intended to regulate pawn shops, to safeguard against the selling of stolen goods.
The regulations would require shops like Meeps, Idle Time Books, GoodWood, and Miss Pixies — as well as all the record stores in town — to submit to MPD’s pawn unit a detailed list of goods acquired each time they make a purchase. Additionally, MPD wants the stores to hold items for 15 days for police inspection before they can be sold. These requirements introduce a regulatory load which helps no one and threatens the existence of the small businesses that make DC unique.
DC’s secondhand business regulations are outdated, unnecessarily burdensome, and overly broad. A lawyer working with DC’s small business community has proposed amendments to the regulations that would bring them up to date and carve out exemptions for the businesses described above.
Please add your name to this petition to request that the City Council pass emergency legislation that would provide 90 days of relief and time to establish a permanent exemption for businesses that sell used and vintage goods. It’s vital that this happen to re-establish a sense of trust between local government and the businesses that drive our local economy.