Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

August 21, 2009

Coming To A Garage Sale Near You: Big Brother

by Doug Mataconis

Proving yet again that there is no limit to the extent to which the Federal Government will intrude upon our lives, the Feds are now turning their attention to that staple of American Suburbia, the garage sale:

WASHINGTON — 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.

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.

Staffers for the federal agency are fanning out across the country to conduct training seminars on the regulations at dozens of thrift shops.

I could come up with a lengthy response about this, but I think Chris’s wife summed up my feelings quite well — Leave Us The Hell Alone.

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