Regulating the Pawning or Retail of Secondhand Goods

City Councilor Diane Gibson is seeking input on changes to a City ordinance that will call for recording keeping and reporting requirements by secondhand retailers and pawnbrokers relating to their purchase and resale of secondhand goods.


In 2017 City Councilor Diane Gibson introduced legislation that sought to amend the City’s 30-plus year old pawnbroker regulations and the record keeping requirements for the pawning or selling of used goods through pawnbrokers. This bill was introduced as a measure to help track items flowing through pawn businesses in order to help combat high rates of property crime in the City, and to ensure even-handed regulations within the industry. However, during the ordinance development process, it became apparent that other retail establishments may also be susceptible to playing an unwitting role in the market for stolen goods, or otherwise be in competition with potential bad-actors in the second-hand retail business who serve as outlets for the resale of stolen goods, and that are currently completely unregulated. Councilor Gibson is now seeking input on ordinance changes that would enhance record keeping and reporting requirements, and extend the regulations to secondhand retailers as well as to pawnbrokers.

The ordinance changes propose to address the pawning or sale of used or vintage jewelry, bicycles, musical instruments or equipment, sporting equipment, tools, electronics, and other commonly-stolen items.  The ordinance would call for the gathering of identification data for these items, and also for identification data from the person selling or pawning the items to the retailer or pawnbroker.  Records would be uploaded electronically to a data base for review by property-crime enforcement officers, and the records and acquired merchandise would also be subject to in-store inspections.


In January 2019, City Councilor Diane Gibson held two public meetings to inform the public and affected businesses about the proposed City legislation regulating the pawning or selling of certain secondhand goods and to collect questions and comments on the proposal. The public meetings included presentations from City Council staff to outline the ordinance, from Albuquerque Police Department staff to explain the administration of the ordinance, and from the City Treasurer’s Office to explain permitting and registration. After the overview from City staff there was a facilitated discussion with participants to ask questions and offer suggestions to improve the legislation.

Meeting Materials

Comment or Project Contact Information

Charlotte Chinana, 505-768-3136, [email protected]

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