The collectivistic criminal gang known as the State of Maryland is coercing metal dealers who heat metal to recycle, which is actually good for the environment. However, its effort to stifle these peddlers is actually outrageous to the extreme. The state is attempting to slap a huge tax on the dealers, requiring them to be licensed if they want to continue their businesses, produce and keep detailed documentation of where they procure every ounce of metal that they melt, and comply with new required regulatory waiting periods before they engage in every business transaction.
Here's an excerpt of the uproar regarding the state's monstrosity:
Carmen Micucio Jr. thinks state lawmakers may have dealt a death blow to the recycling business he's spent 26 years building in Glasgow.
And he's not alone. Scrap dealers across the state are protesting new regulations that go into effect June 1 requiring, among other things, licensing, detailed documentation on all items bought and sold and waiting periods that will slow the sale of scrap metal in a time of turbulent prices.
'The law puts Delaware dealers at a competitive disadvantage because there are dealers just over the line in Chester, Pa., who are not subject to that law,' said Scott Sherr, president of Diamond State Recycling in Wilmington, the state's largest scrap metal processor.
The law, adopted a year ago, was designed to tighten regulation of scrap metal processors, pawnshops and secondhand dealers to help police stem the flow of stolen goods.
A second law passed in April further tightened regulations on the resale of copper after a slew of thefts this spring at homes, farms and construction sites fueled by the rapid jump in world copper prices.
Violations of the new law are misdemeanors punishable by $10,000 fines and the loss of the dealer's license.
Sherr and Micucio say legislators never visited them before writing the law to see how the business works and assess how the new regulations would hurt.
'They railroaded this through,' Sherr said. 'We're going back to Legislative Hall and tell them why it won't work.'
Police and lawmakers contend the law was needed to make sure dealers keep better records so police would be able to track people who pawned or sold stolen property.
The law also requires that dealers keep metals they buy on hand for 18 days before reselling them, a step police say is needed so stolen materials can be tracked -- and the seller identified -- before they are crushed or melted down.
Every scrap metal processor must specifically state on a form how all copper, silver, gold or brass was acquired. The forms must be kept for a year and provided to police upon request.
[Hat tip to LRC blogger Chris Brunner for alerting us freedom-lovers today.]