If you're planning on selling a used book in Augusta, the process could become more difficult. Some proposed regulations would require customers to provide their ID whenever they sell a used book. Bookstores would also have to videotape the transaction. David Hutchison owns The Book Tavern in Augusta and he says the regulations could be costly.
"In terms of the filing of paper work. You know, any software we might have to buy. Security cameras. There is just not a good concrete number that I can put on that at this point," Hutchison says.
Public safety officials say the change would help them track stolen goods, much like the way that pawn shops are using fingerprint technology to track goods as well, but Hutchison says these new regulations aren't needed because people don't steal books.
"Maybe somebody steals a copy of the Inferno by Dan Brown and brings it in, but what are they going to get for it? A buck or two in cash? Maybe 8 bucks in store credit," he says.
Hutchison says the new rules would also require him to pay an annual fee, but he says the most disturbing thing is the waiver of a search warrant.
"The Sheriff's Office, under this, does not have to obtain a search warrant to go onto the premises of a second hand shop. It's not burdensome, but instead it's disturbing because I know how constiutional rights work," he says.
But during Tuesday's committee meeting, Hutchison got some good news from Major Scott Peebles. Peebles withdrew the request from the committee agenda and told commissioners that he wants to make some changes to the regulations before approval.
"Major Peebles said it was never their intent to target the small businesses like myself. It was really 2nd And Charles who drew their concern because they are dealing with things like instruments and electronics," Hutchison says.
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