Creepy Louisiana Law


Sometimes, the proper response to legislation is just “Huh?”

Too often, though, our incredulity reaches the shivering heights of repulsion. In those cases, we should challenge the legislators who proposed, promoted, and voted for the law. The challenge might as well be in the form of a question: “Don’t you feel creepy for sponsoring that kind of thing?”

I would have felt creepy even contemplating a vote on Louisiana’s HB 125, which, in the cause of preventing transfer of stolen property, prohibits people from buying stuff at Goodwill and similar secondhand stores with cash.

Yes, you read that right: CASH. Greenbacks. Federal Reserve Notes. “Legal tender.”

I’ve always associated such kinds of prohibitions — not allowing cash to leave the country, for example — with poor and/or socialist countries. Real backwaters. The Second or Third World.

But here it is, in Louisiana. A fully recognized state of the union (at least by everyone but FEMA).

The law passed — indeed, in the words of one report, “flew . . . under the radar” — so quickly that “most businesses don’t even know about it.”

Besides non-profit resellers like Goodwill, and garage sales, the language of the bill encompasses stores like the Pioneer Trading Post and flea markets.

Lawyer Thad Ackel Jr. feels the passage of this bill begins a slippery slope for economic freedom in the state.

“The government is placing a significant restriction on individuals transacting in their own private property,” says Ackel.

Somewhat inexplicably, pawn shops are exempted from the prohibition.

What a sorry state.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

15 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct

    Perfect. Just another step to doing away with money.

    Hey, I have an idea. Why not just put a mark on everyone’s forehead or on the back of their hand, like a bar-code, and just use that like a credit/debit card to buy or sell anything.

    Hmm, did I read that somewhere before?

    To them who have and ear, let them hear.

  2. Oct

    By removing the means of having a transaction without making it subject to being monitored by the government, voila, crime goes away. Once cash is gone, it will take care of the drug problem too.

    Orwell was ranting about something called “newspeak” where the ability to foment discussion about freedom or rebellion were curtailed because the words to express those concepts didn’t exist any longer.

    But this is talking about cash.
    Completely different.

  3. Oct
    Brian Richard Allen

    Apparently no-one told Louisiana’s creeps “Legal Tender” compels our fiat currency’s acceptance. Legal tender means that a note so endorsed must, by law, be accepted in payment.

  4. Oct

    We support military Chaplains serving in Afghanistan. When the Chaplains request clothing for the local Afghan children, we shop at stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army to get the nicest for the least amount of money. I don’t see that pawn shops will be selling these items. Our supporters usually just pool cash whenever requests come in and we go shopping, then pay for the shipping. This law is to weird on all fronts. Our group also filled a large UHaul truck and other private pickup trucks with food and a variety of supplies and clothing and drove it to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. When an event like that occurs again, do we just sit on our hands with this law in place???!!!

  5. Oct
    Lisa E. Monroe, LA

    I only found out about this the other day, and it was on Fox News!
    I have not seen a word about it in “The News-Star”, which is our local “news” paper. I personally think that it is unenforceable. The State of Louisiana does not have enough “revenu-ers” to control the moonshine whiskey that is still available, let alone the garage sales!! Stupid, stupid, stupid! And, I think that all of the legislators were re-elected on Saturday, October 22. How is that for scary?????

  6. Oct
    Mark Read Pickens

    I read the law and discovered that cash actually can be used, but only if a DNA sample is provided and kept on file.

  7. Oct

    I keep thinking that we should bring back the stocks. And each legislator should be required to print up a list of the laws he has sponsored, and post them next to the stock he is imprisoned in say every 2 months. Then his constitutents can come, read about his work, and bare handed, give him their opinion of his work.

  8. Oct

    I don’t get it.
    Isn’t the stuff found at Goodwill donated to them? People don’t sell/fence stolen goods to Goodwill.
    Why would a thief give stolen goods away?
    So how does this curtail transactions in stolen property?
    Yet pawnshops are exempted!(?)
    What I am missing?

  9. Oct

    How in the world did something like this get past Gov. Jindal, or did he approve it, too?

  10. Oct
    Bill Koehler

    No problem. Establish an account with the customer and sell to him on credit, creating a debt. According to the legend on our currency, “This note is legal tender for all debts…” The customer then pays the debt before leaving. Problem solved.

  11. Oct
    James Hanley

    I’ve always associated such kinds of prohibitions — not allowing cash to leave the country, for example — with poor and/or socialist countries. Real backwaters. The Second or Third World.

    But here it is, in Louisiana.

    Poor backwaters, third world, Louisiana. I don’t see any contradiction.

  12. Oct

    What does Governor Jindal have to say? Did he sign it into law?

  13. Oct
    Danny Nix

    Louisiana was sold once before. Time to do it again?

  14. Oct
    Lisa E. Monroe, LA

    This is from a friend of mine who manages one of the largest recycling centers in Louisiana.

    “This has already passed effective August 15th. It is very stupid and costly. We have to issue checks, and then cash them for our customers. It is totally useless in tracking stolen property. We already were getting copies of driver’s licenses stored in our computer, and having customers to sign an affidavit saying that the scrap metal is theirs. We are trying to get this reversed in Baton Rouge….”

  15. Oct

    Legal tender does not mean that a medium must be accepted as payment. It means that it may be offered as payment. Nothing compels a merchant or anyone else to accept cash as payment. I could demand to be paid in licorice if I wanted.

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