The Garage Sale Police
What is more quintessentially American than the garage sale?
Americans have held them for decades and, in fact, attending them is a pleasant passtime for many each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
But Big Brother has decided that such Americana is a menace to our children.
Yes, friends, the “Garage Sale Police” are coming.
If you’re planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you’d best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.
The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that’s been recalled by its manufacturer.
“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Now I don’t know about you, but when children outgrow toys, parents usually store them away, give them away or, eventually, sell them at a garage sale. What parents don’t do is keep up with which toys have been recalled by their manufacturers.
But that’s precisely what you must do now if you want to sell the kid’s old toys at your garage sale:
The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.
Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.
Goodwill and the Salvation Army say they do that anyway. But Ma and Pa cleaning out the attic – yeah, not so much.
But in this brave new world, you must be aware that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the agency, said it wouldn’t be dispatching bureaucratic storm troopers into private homes to see whether people were selling recalled products from their garages, yards or churches.
“We’re not looking to come across as being heavy-handed,” he said. “We want to make sure that everybody knows what the rules of engagement are to help spur greater compliance, so that enforcement becomes less of an issue. But we’re still going to enforce.”
Now you can take that any way you wish to take it, but denying on the one hand that they’ll be dispatching inspectors to garage sales and saying “but we’re still going to enforce” on the other sends a very mixed message. Their method of enforcement will be fairly easy – they’re hoping that garage sale buyers will turn in garage sale sellers breaking this odious law.
Well, I’ve got a fairly simple and straight forward message for the feds – butt out. We’ve been raising our children safely since the dawn of humanity without you and we don’t your garage sale police to keep them safe – thank you very much.
And politicians wonder why people are seemingly angrier and angrier about what they see coming out of Washington?
[HT: The Liberty Papers]
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