If you plan to sell a few gold coins or pieces of gold jewelry because the price of gold is at a record level, be prepared for increased hassling by government regulators and local law enforcement.
The good news for those who own some gold coins is that the price of gold is at an all-time high. The bad news is that local governments are passing ordinances and regulations making it increasingly difficult for law-abiding citizens to sell gold coins to dealers. This is another in an ever-expanding list of examples of government’s irresistible urge to regulate everything, especially if it is something popular.
As usual, governments are justifying their latest moves to make the sale of gold coins more difficult, by claiming the booming popularity of buying and selling gold coins (and jewelry) have led to an increase in theft of such items. That may be; but this typical government response of inconveniencing everyone in order to facilitate nabbing a small number of lawbreakers, is not one that should sit well with most citizens.
What is it that local governments are doing in this regard? As noted recently by Christopher O’Quinn in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for example, Cherokee County, a suburb just northwest of Atlanta, has passed new regulations requiring businesses dealing in gold to take mug shots of, and fingerprints from, individuals wanting to sell gold coins or jewelry. This privacy-invasive information will, of course, be provided to law enforcement.
The businesses affected by such regulations – many of which are small, Mom and Pop establishments — will have to purchase fingerprinting and photographing equipment in order to comply; an expense apparently of little concern to local governments. Customers, of course, will be forced to pose for mug shots and be fingerprinted like common criminals, simply because they wish to sell their own property.
Perhaps larger firms able to advertise “cash for gold,” will now change their ads to proclaim, “fingerprints for gold.”
Of course, in our post-9/11 world, the government has conditioned air travelers to accept as the price for travelling on a commercial airliner, undergoing either a highly personal body search or a naked-body scan. In such an environment, forcing people to be fingerprinted and photographed simply for selling a gold coin, may be viewed as only another small step for mankind, or rather, for Big Brother.
By Bob Barr – The Barr Code