Louisiana Law Prohibits Use Of Money... Wait, What?

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If you buy or sell non-new goods and live in the state of Louisiana, you can no longer use legal tender to complete such transactions. Ackel & Associates LLC, a professional law firm, explains that House Bill 195 of the 2011 Regular Session (Act 389), which was recently passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Republican governor Bobby Jindal, prohibits anyone who "buys, sells, trades or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property [from entering] into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of [such items]." Doing so could land you up to five years of hard time in jail.

Besides prohibiting the use of cash, the law also requires such "dealers" to collect personal information like name, address, driver's license number, and license plate number from every single customer, and submit it to authorities. And the only acceptable form of payment in such situations is a personal check, money order, or electronic transfer, all of which must be carefully documented.

The stated purpose of the law, which excludes non-profits and pawn shops, is to curb criminal activity involving the reselling of stolen goods, particularly metals such as copper, silver, and gold. But according to A&A, existing Louisiana state law already requires businesses and other resellers of secondhand goods to account for transactions, and has specific laws already on the books that address the selling of stolen goods.

The new law is so broad and all-encompassing that individuals who buy and sell on sites like eBay or Craigslist using cash will also be in violation of it. Even a stay-at-home-mom who holds a garage sale with her neighbors more than once a month could be required to refuse cash from customers, as well as keep a detailed record of every single purchase made, and who made it.

"Can law enforcement not accomplish its goal of identifying potential thieves and locating stolen items in a far less intrusive manner?" asks A&A. "Why does the Louisiana State Legislature need to enact more laws infringing on personal privacy, liberties and freedom?"

There really is no legitimate reason for banning cash payments, especially in light of the required collection of detailed and excessive personal information. The measure is simply just another excuse for the government to spy on individuals, and take away their economic and civil liberties.

"The law goes further to require secondhand dealers to turn over a valuable business asset, namely, their business’ proprietary client information. For every transaction a secondhand dealer must obtain the seller’s personal information such as their name, address, driver’s license number and the license plate number of the vehicle in which the goods were delivered. They must also make a detailed description of the item(s) purchased and submit this with the personal identification information of every transaction to the local policing authorities through electronic daily reports. If a seller cannot or refuses to produce to the secondhand dealer any of the required forms of identification, the secondhand dealer is prohibited from completing the transaction.

This legislation amounts to a public taking of private property without due process or compensation. Regardless of whether or not the transaction information is connected with, or law enforcement is investigating a crime, individuals and businesses are forced to report routine business activity to the police. Can law enforcement not accomplish its goal of identifying potential thieves and locating stolen items in a far less intrusive manner? And of course, there are already laws that prohibit stealing, buying or selling stolen goods, laws that require businesses to account for transactions and laws that penalize individuals and businesses that transact in stolen property. Why does the Louisiana State Legislature need to enact more laws infringing on personal privacy, liberties and freedom?

Motivating the introduction of this legislation was an increase in criminal activity, necessitating law enforcement to develop additional tools in tracking potential criminals. Thefts of copper and other precious metals have risen recently with higher commodity prices and mounting pressures from the economic downturn. The added restrictions under this recent legislation have come about under the pretense of cracking down on crime and helping the government take care of you, all at the cost of your individual privacy, economic, civil liberty and freedom.

Interestingly enough, although Pawnshops are still required to obtain clients personal information and transmit their client database information to law enforcement, they are exempt from the restriction of cash payments. A jeweler next door to a pawnshop cannot offer clients the same payment method offered by its competing pawnshop neighbor.

Act 389 passed by unanimous consent of the Louisiana House of Representatives and only mustered one nay vote (Senator Neil Riser) from the State Senate. The governor signed the legislation into law on July 1, 2011."

Notable items in the bill:
  • If you sell more than one item per month, then you are considered a "second hand dealer."
  • "CB Radios", "diamonds" and "cassettes" are specifically mentioned in the bill as an example of items to be regulated.
  • "Junk" is defined as stuff commonly known as "junk"
  • The legislation seeks to regulate the sale of car parts, but at the same time exempts people who are "engaged in the business of buying, selling, trading in, or otherwise acquiring or disposing of motor vehicles and used parts of motor vehicles, and shall not apply to wreckers or dismantlers of motor vehicles."
  • This bill also forbids people to buy stolen property (glad the LA legislature clarified that)
  • Nobody under 17 is allowed to buy or sell anything.
  • Coin collectors, tire dealers, and "cash for gold" places are exempt.
  • Penalties include up to a $100 fine and three months in jail.
  • "Second hand dealers" (people who sell more than one thing per month) who are not properly "licensed" and do not comply with the necessary recordkeeping can get a $250 fine and/or 60 days in jail!
  • Second offense gets you $2000 fine and 2 years of "hard time" in jail. Third offense: $10,000 and five years hard time.


Text of LA Act 389, House Bill 195


Posted by Su Doe Nymn on 2015-04-23 00:36:09
Is it just me, or do Politicians really do the exact opposite of what they say they believe in.
Good old Freedom loving Republican keeping you from selling some stuff to help pay the bills.
Sounds like the mark of the beast to me.
These control freaks make me sick.
Posted by Screw you on 2015-05-07 13:14:34
Screw you U.S. currency shall be accepted in all transactions both public and private. Read your money IDIOT!!! Screw the govt I have no intentions of ever complying THAT'S MY BUSINESS AND NO OF YOURS. TELL THE LAZY UNEDUCATED COPS LEARN TO DO THEIR JOB OR FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!!!!!!!!!!


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