Cobb County proposes new pawn shop ordinance

Cobb County proposes new pawn shop ordinance

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

Pawn shops in Cobb County could soon have to follow a new set of rules aimed at helping fight crime.

A proposed ordinance would require pawn shops to submit a digital fingerprint and photo of their customers to a national police database.

Cash America owns two pawn shops in Cobb County. The company thinks uploading digital fingerprints and photographs of its customers to a police database operated by a private vendor could pose a privacy and security threat.

"This database that they're uploading all this information to, we're all concerned now about identity theft and everything about you getting out. This is the best way for it to happen," said John Moore, an attorney for the Texas-based Cash America.

Moore says Cash America already fingerprints and checks the IDs of its customers, and shares that information with law enforcement.

"There is no change in prevention of crime by going to the new stuff as compared to what we're doing already. If there were, I think we would certainly be right on board," said Moore.

Some customers of the national chain see the advantage of having a digital police database to solve crime, but still think it's overkill.

Pawn customers would pay for the digital system at a 20 cent per transaction fee, but Moore says pawn shops will still have to pay to have the system installed.

"Our business has six customer service cash registers, if you want to call them that. So, we'd have to buy five of our own in order to do it," Moore said.

The Cobb Board of Commissioners will hold another public hearing on the proposed pawn shop ordinance later this month. They are expected to vote on July 23.

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