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D.C. To Relax Requirements On Second-Hand Stores

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Owners of second-hand stores in D.C. can breath easy with the news that an obscure law restricting their business is being reconsidered.
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Owners of second-hand stores in D.C. can breath easy with the news that an obscure law restricting their business is being reconsidered.

Some say a century-old law in the District is hurting local businesses selling used goods like books and records. Unenforced for decades, the 1904 law that requires these stores to be regulated in a similar manner as pawn shops is under review. More than 2,500 people have signed a petition protesting recent enforcement of the measure.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs says it has a plan to address these complaints. Appearing on the Kojo Nnamdi show, acting Business Licensing Administrator Eric Rogers said that the department has revised its requirements.

"We heard from the businesses, looked into the law and changed the regulations to reflect current business practices," said Rogers.

Certain stores, including those selling used records and books, will soon be exempt from the second-hand license requirement and only need to carry what Rogers calls "the department's easiest license."

"Which is the general business license — you can purchase it online — it costs about $300. Then you have your license instantly," he said.

The DCRA plans to publish the proposal in the D.C. Record no later than next Friday.

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