By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
The second reading of a new ordinance regulating pawn shops in Barbourville was approved Monday by the Barbourville City Council during a special meeting.
The new ordinance replaces one that was on the books in the city since 1970.
The first reading of the ordinance was approved at the city council’s regular meeting last Thursday. With the second reading approved, the ordinance becomes law.
Under the new ordinance, any pawn shop, pawn broker, second hand store, precious metals dealer, used firearms dealer or gems dealer operating in Barbourville must obtain a license with the city of Barbourville.
If the pawn shop in Barbourville does not have a license, they’ll be fined $50 per day for the first five days of operation, then $100 per day for the following 10 days. If they’re not licensed after 15 days, the pawn shop would be fined $2,500, have their business closed and would be denied any future license to operate a business in the city.
It further stated that any person, business or partnership wanting to obtain a pawn shop license must obtain a criminal history background check through the State Police for all employees, and provide the information to the Barbourville Police Department.
Barbourville Mayor David Thompson said Monday the updated ordinance is compared to the one passed earlier this year in Williamsburg, and will help residents, police and pawn shops combined.
“The pawn shop ordinance hasn’t been changed in 42 years. They’ll be required to have software for their computers that will link them with our police department. The pawn shops will have to film and keep evidence, and get more information. It will definitely help police in doing legwork on stolen items. Now, if they have a report of a stolen lawn mower, for example, they can get online and check all pawn shops to see if the stolen lawn mower is there. It will make people think twice about bringing in any stolen items into a pawn shop,” noted Thompson.
Under the ordinance, immediate revocation of a license, denial of further operation and a $2,500 fine is applied to an owner, beneficial owner or employee who has been convicted of a felony during the past 10 years. The same penalties apply to an owner, beneficial owner or employee convicted of, entering any type of plea, or showing a record of committing crimes such as theft, fraud, receiving stolen property, falsifying business records, tampering with physical evidence, trafficking in controlled substances and identity theft. In addition, the same penalties apply to businesses accepting firearms into inventory, or providing firearms for trade or sale if they employ people who have a current domestic violence order, one proceeding against them, or has been previously convicted of a domestic violence order.
Presently, Barbourville has three pawnshops with a fourth one about to open soon, according to Thompson.
Also passed at the special session Monday was the second reading of an updated ordinance which would prohibit any off-premise signs and billboards within the city of Barbourville. Thompson added the city is planning on updating other ordinances in the future.