On November 17, 2014, Barnegat Township (Ocean County) passed Ordinance 2014-30 which imposes substantial reporting requirements on “secondhand dealers” who purchase “secondhand goods” from the public.  The stated purpose of the ordinance is to “assist law enforcement officials and victims of crime in recovering stolen precious metals and other secondhand goods by requiring minimum identification, reporting, maintenance and distribution criteria for licensed dealers in these goods.”

Karen Barchi, the owner of Bay Avenue Antiques in Barnegat Township, has been fighting the ordinance, so far unsuccessfully, as reported in the March 3, 2015 Sandpiper.  The main proponent of the ordinance is Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato who said, according to the Sandpiper article, that the ordinance is needed to “help track down stolen goods that are sold to get drug money.”  Regulating these mom and pop shops is, according to Coronato, “another tool for us to fight our drug problems in Ocean County.”

Barchi, however, says that the ordinance is onerous because it it requires her to take a photo of her customer, the item sold and a copy of the driver’s license and then forward everything to to Barnegat Police Chief Arthur Drexler, who then sends it to a national database.  “Some of the people I deal with bring many items at once,” she said. “If I accept 50 pieces of merchandise, I’m going to have to document each one,” Barchi is quoted as saying.

Anyone who wishes to contact Barchi may do so through her store’s Facebook page.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]