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Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law 655

First time accepted submitter fyngyrz writes "Lousiana has passed a law that says people may no longer use cash for second hand transactions. The idea is to make all transactions traceable, thus foiling copper theft, etc. This move has profound implications that range from constitutional rights to Bitcoin, Craigslist and so forth; I wonder if there are any Slashdotters at all that support such a move." On the list of exceptions: people who deal in used goods or "junk" less frequently than once per month, and (drumroll, please) pawn shops. That means a pretty big chunk of the population who post in online classified ads in Louisiana are probably already in violation.
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Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law

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  • Craigslist? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:30PM (#37782440) Homepage Journal

    So, if I sell a motorcycle on Craigslist and the buyer pays in cash, this is now illegal? That's somehow gotta be unconstitutional, but I need a lawyer for that... And can I pay the Lawyer in cash?

    May I be the first to say... Fuck You Louisiana. I'm never going there and I hope you get wiped out by a Hurricane.

  • Traceability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by almitydave ( 2452422 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:34PM (#37782538)

    My understanding is that pawn shops are allowed to use cash because they're already legally required to keep detailed records about the individuals with whom they deal, and this law is all about making it hard for criminals to sell stolen goods without a paper trail.

    But this seems like a case of legislatively throwing the baby out with the bath water: "I'll sell you this book of mine for $5, but you'll have to write me a check because I sold someone an old XBox game last week for cash." Or are small private transactions not regulated by the law (I haven't read the text of the bill, obv.)?

    If not, this seems outrageous, and I'm all about the outrage!

  • Le Tax? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FlavaFlavivirus ( 2021178 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:35PM (#37782568)
    I'm thinking that this has less to do with trying to catch "criminals," and more to do with the state missing out on all that sales tax.
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:39PM (#37782634)
    The only way a transaction does not involve "debt" is if the parties involved agree to it before hand. And if there is no debt for the transaction, I dont need to give you a traceable payment. If I do, then its debt and US currency is good for it. There are a bunch of federal trade and commerce laws out there to back this up and it could also be argued that it falls under the US Constitution. Having a legal requirement that the government can track all sales transactions violates a whole bunch o' stuff.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:39PM (#37782646) Homepage Journal

    Precisely what law? You're only required to take cash when servicing debt, not at the time of the transaction.

    To quote my $20 - "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private"

    In a technical sense, accepting goods places a burden of debt upon the recipient.

    Sounds like something which will be brought to the Supreme Court, where a state claims rights in interstate (even if it is intrastate) commerce which supersede the domain of the federal government.

    Interesting ambition, but flawed.

  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:43PM (#37782740) Journal

    Well, in that case, the new law should be easy to circumvent: You don't sell the product for cash, but you give it on credit, and the debt is then immediately paid back using cash.

  • by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:50PM (#37782898)

    Actually, the libertarians on my facebook aren't too happy about this either.

    I mean, surprise surprise, libertarians aren't happy when restraints are put on personal liberty by a governmental institution. Does it matter if it's a federal government or a state government?

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:54PM (#37782998) Journal

    Indeed. It strikes me that simply signing an IOU and then immediately paying it ought to take care of the direct cash payment angle. Just make sure you save the IOU along with any invoices and other source documents, and I don't think there's anything the state could do about it.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:42PM (#37783838)

    Other motive?

    Law enforcement: when someone steals your stereo and sells it to the second hand shop, they'll have a record of who did it, and when someone buys it from that shop before you find out and can recover it, you can find it and get it back.

  • A state has the right to strike alternative legal tender, per Article 1, Section 10. They don't have the enumerated right to require it. Much like an employer asking your favorite sexual position, they can try. Thus, someone will soon see the state of LA in court, I suspect.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:57PM (#37787082) Journal

    BWA HA HA HA HA...oh wait, you were serious? BWA HA HA HA HA must not have had to deal with the cops very often. When my sister's checks were stolen the place that cashed them wrote the perps DL number on the checks and what did the cops put down? "Chance of solving...0%". I guess having to you know, get up, walk to the PC, put in the numbers, man that is just too much damned work. The sad part? the ONLY time I've ever seen local cops do their jobs is when there was potential for profit for them. true story:

    My late sis live across the street from a gal that was getting battered. Restraining order didn't do shit, average police response time? FOUR HOURS. the last time put her in the hospital and with it escalating sis called me for help. I went to the gal and said "Here is how you solve the problem, you say the "D" word. When he starts beating on the door you call the cops and tell them you think he's high and has a bunch of drugs on him". she didn't believe me but promised to try it. Well sure enough next Saturday rolls around and here comes Mr Abuser. She says the "D" word. police response time? FOUR MINUTES and TWO squad cars. After they tore his truck to the frame and didn't score they were soooo pissed they threw the book at him, every single violation they could think of. He got something like 9 year all told.

    so yeah, I kinda doubt law enforcement has jack shit to do with it, more likely they have never met a tax they didn't like and what to make sure they can squeeze the poor down in LA for every single shekel they can get. Frankly wouldn't surprise me with the asshole politicians we have in this country." Screw civil liberties, we need MORE MONIES nom nom nom!"

May all your PUSHes be POPped.