Antique & collecting hobby is under attack!

[Incoming PRG email…can this really be true?…anybody know anything about this? This could be a real mess..our Liberty as bottle and glass dealers may be at stake]

Dear Antique Faire shoppers, flea market enthusiasts and collectors everywhere,

Assembly Bill 391 is moving quickly with a priority status and is now in final stages at the Senate Public Safety Committee before being voted on by the State Senate and it threatens the future of our antique faire as well as all similar events statewide!

In the guise of creating an electronic reporting database to recover stolen property, it will force secondhand dealers, Pawnbrokers and coin dealers to report via an electronic database, (yet to be created and maintained with the fees that will be required) ALL secondhand tangible property — except firearms — which have been purchased, taken in trade, taken in pawn, accepted for sale on consignment or accepted for auctioning within 24 hrs of purchase. If you, as a collector, ever plan to resell anything, then this affects you as well.

Currently the Bill calls for all property to be reported. We believe the legislators do not understand how the antique business works or how dealers sell. Many do not have brick and mortar shops or a means of submitting electronic reports in the manner and timeline they are requesting. If AB 391 goes through, many of them will no longer be able to engage in the business of buying used goods and selling them at venues like our antiques faire and you will see the faire shrink in size until it closes down.

Antique dealers and secondhand dealers currently hold business licenses and pay fees, State Resale taxes and Income tax, so they are accountable too. We believe this class of sellers should be excluded, except for specific classes of high theft goods that are over a determined $ value. We also believe that auction houses should be exempted since they place all material to be sold on public display.

Passage of this Bill will require sellers of ALL secondhand tangible property to:

1) Obtain fingerprints and photo ID from anyone that sells them merchandise.

2) Report daily or on the first working day following the receipt or purchase of secondhand tangible personal property to a statewide electronic database. Full description, serial numbers and inventory of each item purchased.

3) Hold all merchandise for 30 days prior to selling anything.

4) Register as a Second Hand Dealer, submit fingerprints relative to a required criminal background check and pay an initial licensure fee & annual renewal fee of up to $300.

5) It appears the way the bill is written, they would be required to obtain the above licensure for each location in which they sell.

Needless to say this would devastate the antique industry and force a majority of dealers out of business. This would also lead to the end of events such as our faire, flea markets garage sales, and secondhand stores.

Please review the latest updates to Assembly Bill 391 using this link. We implore you to call the Governor’s office, your local State Senator and the Senators on the Public Safety Committee today. If it passes, it will take effect immediately.

AB 391 is very serious. Call the Governor’s office and as many State Senators as possible.  And please forward this email to your collector friends!


Use this easy link to send a letter to Governor Brown and tell him what you think:

Or send a letter:

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814  Phone (916) 445-2841


Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesday, 9:30am, Room 4203

& 2nd & 4th Tuesday, 9:30am Room 3191

Senator Loni Hancock (Chair) 916-651-4009 (Capital Office) 510-286-1333 (Oakland)

Senator Joel Anderson (Vice Ch) 916-651-4036 (Capital Office) 619-596-3136 (El Cajon) or 951-676-1020 (Temecula)

Senator Ron Calderon 916-651-4030 (Capital Office) 323-890-2790 (Montebello)

Senator Tom Harman 916-651-4035 (Capital Office) 714-957-4555 (Costa Mesa)

Senator Carol Liu 916-651-4028 (Capital Office) 818-409-0400 (Glendale)

Senator Curren Price 916-651-4026 (Capital Office) 213-745-6656 (Los Angeles)

Senator Darrell Steinbert (Pro Tem) 916-651-4006 (Capital Office) 916-651-1529 (Sacramento)

When speaking with Representatives and Senators, please stress that this will turn honest dealers from being a taxpayer to someone needing assistance and force tens of thousands of citizens out of work statewide.

Stress that antiquing is pure recycling and a major GREEN activity. All the things that Antique Dealers will no longer be able to sell will go to the landfill. This Bill is anti-recycling.

Remind the Legislators there are millions of Californians that love going to antique fairs and will be very upset when their hobby is taken away from them.

Educate them on the thousands of variations in the merchandise.  What would a database be like that encompassed such a massive listing of items?

Do they really understand?  Even breaking it into categories would still leave hundreds of variations. Will the law enforcement officials have the time and wherewithal to search it?  Or will all the time and expense fall short and do nothing but force dealers out of business and end the fun and savings of buying vintage items?

Don’t let this happen!  Please speak up now. Your input will help them create a more viable solution.

Sincerest Regards,

Allen Michaan, President

Antiques By The Bay, Inc.

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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4 Responses to Antique & collecting hobby is under attack!

  1. sandchip says:

    Collecting is under attack everywhere, especially in the southeastern states of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. We need a collectors’ equivalent of the NRA that monitors, mobilizes, and lobbies against anti-collector legislation nationwide at the state and federal levels. The typical working man cannot keep up with bills that are regularly introduced, usually in state legislatures, that negatively affect our hobbies, be it bottles, Indian artifacts or coins (metal detecting). He or she usually finds out about the law when a game warden walks up to him (too late now) and issues a citation. With record prices being paid for antiquities of all types, and probably as many, if not more collectors in general, as there are gun owners, I’m sure there are individuals with the financing and legal/political connections to start such an organization to which I am and have been ready to pay my yearly dues.

  2. sandchip says:

    Ferd, this thread really should remain red-flagged at the top of the home page so that this issue does not get buried and forgotten. If we could pull together all collectors of all antiquities, the member numbers would be staggering, rivaling, if not eclipsing that of Congress’ most formidable lobbyist groups. Bottles, insulators, coins, stamps, signs, petroliana, lightning rod balls, Indian artifacts, marbles, toys…the list goes on and on. Every one of these hobbies has some type of organization, the members of which must be consolidated into one large collector lobbyist group. There is an all out war against collecting, waged under the guise of protecting our heritage for future generations. The vast majority of archaeologists don’t give a damn about preserving our history the second funding runs out. I’ve seen it personally. You can have the most important archaeological site ever, and once the money for the survey, excavation and study runs dry, they give the all clear to proceed with site destruction. Furthermore, any time the government can’t figure out a way to tax something, they simply outlaw it, so that the much desired revenue is gained by fining violators. Rambling here? Maybe so, but all this ties together to illustrate why all collectors must unite in order to survive.

    • I agree. We are all so seemingly happy and this stuff creeps ups. My goal is to unify the bigger groups like diggers, divers, detectors, writers, historians, collectors, auctioneers, dealers, bloggers etc. It looks like I may be chief cheese cutter for the FOHBC come July. You have my word, that I will take this on.

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