Knox City Council Discusses Pawn Shop Ordinance

Knox City Council #2
Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

A discussion of a Pawn Shop Ordinance that would license and regulate pawnbrokers within the corporate limits of Knox met with objections from the owners of First Choice Pawn and Loan of Knox.

Hank Minix and Chris Firebaugh objected to a part of the proposed ordinance that would demand that pawn shops get social security numbers, serial numbers and hold purchased items during a 10 day waiting period.

Firebaugh said this put an undue burden on the pawn shop owners, stating, “The 10 day waiting period to sell merchandise is unreasonable.” He also pointed out that they fingerprint everyone selling items, and attempt to work closely with the police and the prosecutor’s office on stolen property. “We have had only 12 cases of stolen property purchases in 6,000 transactions,” Firebaugh said.

This is the second time the owners had attended the Knox City Council meeting to discuss with the members the proposed ordinance. At the April meeting, Councilman Jeff Berg stated that he didn’t think an ordinance was needed and that pawn shops are controlled by the State.

City Attorney, David Matsey, said the proposed ordinance is modeled after those used in Indianapolis and Bloomington. Other parts of the ordinance demands that no item be purchased from someone appearing to be intoxicated or who is a minor.