Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

“Hands up! Drop the clippers! Step awayyyyyyy from the barber chair!”

That might not be exactly what the deputies and inspectors, under color of bureaucratic authority, warbled as they raided at least nine barber shops in Orange County, Florida. But armed men did invade the central-Florida shops in August and September, and without warrants.

They did arrest “criminal” thatch dispatchers for handling hair despite lack of a license.

The “authority” here was that of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, whose inspectors were aided in their quest to protect the public from bad trim jobs by the dozen-plus deputies joining the raids. In a few cases, pot or guns were found along with maleficent lack of licensure. But the pretext was to clamp down on unauthorized peaceful means of making a living.

In one raid, the barbers of the assailed shop all did have current licenses, but had to sit around in handcuffs while that fact was confirmed.

The Orlando Sentinel notes that most of the 37 people arrested as a result of the “unprecedented” raids were charged with only the misdemeanor of “barbering without a license.” It’s not obvious why anybody would want to divert resources from real crime fighting to conduct such idiotic assaults. Nobody really thinks that barbers habitually graduate from illegal buzz cuts to home invasions and murders.

I hope the victims consider suing. That might help prevent this travesty from happening again.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. galefly says:

    Who do you think would have promoted and lobbied for such a law? I would guess some greedy rent-seeking organizations of barbers who want to depress competition and control prices by buying dishonest politicians. To hell with ’em and back luck to ’em. (to paraphrase H. L. Mencken). How did they pull this off without warrants? The citizenry should be up in arms and go after the organizations and the politicians.

  2. Egon says:

    …and we, the taxpayers have to pay these bureaucrats’ salaries and retirement benefits? They belong in jail!

  3. John Tracy says:

    Can you drive a car with out a licenses ? No Can you fly a plane with out a licenses ? No
    So barbers need a licenses.
    What’s the big deal ?

  4. voxoreason says:

    >>So barbers need a licenses.
    What’s the big deal ?

    WAG: the presumption of innocence.

    >>In one raid, the barbers of the assailed shop all did have current licenses, but had to sit around in handcuffs while that fact was confirmed.

  5. tim_lebsack says:

    America’s occupational licensing laws historically were legislated to prevent former slaves from competing in the market.
    Libertarians are working to rescind all of these roadblocks to progress.

  6. Mel Pinney says:

    Yet another case that needs to be undertaken by the Institute for Justice ( — the best defender of the little guy extant.

  7. G Hadley says:

    Does Florida have a right of initiative? We need to require a license to vote for a bill in the legislature. Maybe a license for each bill with a test for the legislator on each bill. If we publish the test, then we could laugh ourselves silly about the answers that the legislators had written. Could we get some volunteers to write tests on different laws. Would someone help write test for the legislative test writers?

  8. Gary VanLiew says:

    As the tax base erodes, the goverment will look to make up the lost revenue through nuisance fines and raids on legitimate enterprises. The cost of a barber license is about 15K for 1200 hours of classroom instruction. Even a full-time barber will spend at least 3 years before they will recoup a dime of this money.

  9. […] warrants outrageous assaults, and any government department can commission them. Not so long ago I spoke of raids on barber shops suspected of unlicensed scissor […]

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