Louisiana prohibits residents from using cash when buying, selling secondhand goods
Jonathan Benson, staff writer
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.
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Oct. 16, 2011