Lawmakers Looking To Address Montgomery County's Pawn Problem | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Lawmakers Looking To Address Montgomery County's Pawn Problem

Play associated audio
Big box retailers are currently prevented from taking in trade-in units in Montgomery County.
Mike Mozart: https://flic.kr/p/mHd976
Big box retailers are currently prevented from taking in trade-in units in Montgomery County.

A nearly 30-year-old law in Montgomery County is frustrating customers who are looking to trade-in cell phones and other electronics to get the latest versions of them.

When it was passed in 1985, the county's so-called "pawn shop" law prevented stores from giving cash to customers who brought in goods to sell — stores could only give them checks. It was designed to stop criminals who sold stolen goods for cash.

Three decades later, that law is stopping stores like Best Buy and Apple from giving store credits to customers when they bring in their electronics — mostly cell phones and tablets — that are applied to purchasing the latest versions of those devices.

Eric Friedman heads Montgomery County's office of consumer protection and says that, for whatever reason, this part of the pawn shop law was never updated.

"Back in 1985, we didn't have appliances on the marketplace that were typically replaced every few years with new versions. You bought a television, it lasted 20 years and you bought a new one," Friedman says.

The county council will take up a bill when it returns to work next month that would allow stores to offer credits and gift cards, not just written checks.

NPR

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

"I've never accused myself of being manly," Offerman says, noting his real-life persona is different from his Parks and Recreation character. His book is a set of essays about people who inspire him.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.