Used bike sales could get easier in D.C.

September 17, 2013

A bike commuter pileup on 15th Street NW at Massachusetts Avenue. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

Updated 12:10 p.m. to clarify that bike shops would be exempted from secondhand dealer rules, not pawn-shop rules.

One bill introduced to the D.C. Council on Tuesday would legalize marijuana; another bill would legalize the sale of used bicycles — or at least make it much easier for established bike shops to do so.

Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) introduced a bill that would for the first time exempt bicycles from tough rules meant to regulate the pawn industry second-hand shops. That would make it much easier for bike shops to sell used cycles without having to secure a special license and follow strict recordkeeping requirements.

But it could also raise concerns that it could exacerbate bike thefts in this bike-loving city by offering thieves more opportunities to sell stolen goods.

Bowser said the current rules have “have encouraged a number of bicycle retailers not to get into the used bicycle business” — retailers, she says, who have then sent their used-bike-seeking customers to outlets outside the city to spend their money.

Meanwhile, David P. Grosso (I-At Large) introduced his marijuana legalization measure. It received no co-introducers or co-sponsors. A less sweeping proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana has won broader support.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.
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