Springfield pawn shop ordinance dismissed - KCTV5

Springfield pawn shop ordinance dismissed

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

A proposed ordinance from Springfield city councilors has been causing controversy lately.

It would require pawn shops to hold items that are turned in for 20 extra days than they do now.

It's been the center of debate for over six months. On Monday night, the council took up that issue during their meeting.

Both councilors and residents were fired up over the ordinance.

Emotions ran high at Springfield City Hall as the debate over pawn shops heated up.

An ordinance spearheaded by City Councilor Thomas Ashe would have required pawn shops in the city to hold items turned into them for 30 days instead of the current 10.

Customers turning in those items would also have their pictures taken that would be stored and made available to police departments across New England.

For shop owners like Michael Sarkis, they said the new rules could have crushed their business.

"The price of gold and silver have been fluctuating up to as much as 25 percent over a 30-day hold period and it would be catastrophic to business," said Sarkis.

Springfield police said they wanted to extend the holding period so that items stolen from homeowners and the thieves who took them could be found a lot quicker.

Maria Cardinale had several items stolen from her home when it was broken into.

"These pieces are not just possessions, they're not just something you work for. They're evidence, the only evidence sometimes that can link criminals to the crime," said Cardinale.

The council was supposed to vote on the ordinance Monday night.

But after accusations of politicking among councilors and a brief recess, Ashe decided to withdraw the ordinance from being voted on, leaving everything to its current state.

This means pawn shops are still able to hold items for a 10-day period.   

"Even though people may not be happy, at the end of the day, it's the right thing to do," said Sarkis.

"If the police are asking for help, why is the council and city not giving them that help they need and really favoring probability of a business over public safety," said Cardinale.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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