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Pawn Shop Laws

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It seems that there is a pawn broker located on every street corner these days. For some people, they are the last resort in obtaining a loan to pay family bills. To others, they are a place to find a bargain on used merchandise. Others people have a less charitable view of the business. While views differ, Florida law imposes specific duties on pawn brokers with legal consequences for noncompliance.

Pawn brokers must maintain records, the form of which is mandated by the state. 

It is unlawful to falsify or intentionally fail to make entries on those forms and a pawn broker may not refuse to allow law enforcement to inspect their records. The pawn broker may not enter into a transaction with any person who is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Pawn brokers may not use drive-through windows. 

Pawn brokers may not sell insurance in connection with the pawn transaction or fail to return the pawned property upon payment of the full amount due. Pawnbrokers may not hire anyone to work in a pawnshop who has been convicted of any crime involving theft, burglary, embezzlement or other crimes of fraud.

The statute also provides a mechanism for victims of theft to recover their property should the property be pawned. A victim must provide written notice by certified mail to the pawn broker identifying the property and providing a copy of the report to law enforcement.
Randall Love, PA