GAINESVILLE - Hall County Commissioners Thursday night voted down regulations requiring pawn brokers, second hand dealers and precious metal dealers to use an electronic reporting system.
The vote was 4-1, with Chairman Dick Mecum, a former sheriff, arguing that the Sheriff's Department needed the system to combat crime.
The Commission heard from several pawn shop owners who said no one contacted them about requiring the system. Oakwood pawn broker Fred Mayberry said he did not see the need for a system that was costly and intrusive.
"I don't see the need of this particular system," Mayberry said. "I would like to be part of this decision making, I think we need to get together with the business owners and discuss this thing, we have not been approached."
Commissioner Craig Lutz said it would not cut down on property crime, and motioned for denial, listing three reasons; the regulations would disturb the free market and hurt business, they would expose people to cyber fraud, and the Commission does not have the authority to impose them.
Lutz said he would support coming back with a new proposal that would include input from pawn shop owners and precious metal dealers. Hall County Sheriff's Major John Latty, Commander of Enforcement, said he would be looking forward to the get-together with the commissioners.
"It was kind of a complicated proposal," Latty said. "I think it's wise that we sit down and reconsider and see if we can't modify it so it would be more palatable to everybody."
Latty said there could be several exceptions to the regulations and it would not affect as many people as supposed.
"We'll be working with those people who are affected as well as looking at others that we may exempt who don't need to be included," Latty added.
Latty said electronic reporting and monitoring has a proven track record across the state; it is in place in 53 law enforcement agencies around Georgia including Gainesville.