Posted at: 10/26/2012 4:43 PM
| Updated at: 10/26/2012 5:29 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
ALBANY--The website, Citizens Against Law G, depicts an innocent grandmother type who, according to the text on the page, will be treated like a common criminal if the Pawn Shop Law is approved.
"I think it's a slippery slope to Big Brother. I think this law creates a haystack within which they try and find a needle," explains the creator of the site, Ben Chadabe, an Albany resident.
The law would require second hand shops to record and report detailed information, not just about the item being sold, but also about the seller. Lawmakers believe it will help law enforcement to return stolen merchandise and make arrests.
"Someone's ring who was stolen, someone's silver plate. This is going to help recover that and help catch the guy who stole it," says Gary Domalewicz, the Albany County Legislator who drafted the bill.
Supporters of Citizens Against Law G, however, see it another way. Some sellers who end up at second hand shops are there because they fell on hard times or underwent a life change. And now, backers of the website claim, they will be profiled and their privacy violated.
"Now it no longer stays with you and the business...the wrong conclusion can be arrived at," adds Chadabe.
Proponents argue that if you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.
"(It's) no different than walking though the airport or trying to return something to a major retailer without a receipt...they want your driver license, they want everything," maintains Domalewicz .
According to Legislator Domalewicz, New York City just asked for a copy of his bill. He calls that "crucial" since that's where many of the precious metals are sold and melted.
To sign Citizens Against Law G's online petition, click here.