Guest Commentary from the Aug. 8, 2016, issue of Coin World:
Three years ago Minnesota passed legislation that could have had devastating consequences for coin dealers across the country. Despite its name, the Minnesota Bullion Coin Dealer Law covered all coin dealers and regulated transactions that occurred entirely outside of Minnesota. Worse yet, dealers found it impossible to determine which consumers and transactions were regulated under the law. As a result, dealers were at risk of violating the law even when they made good-faith efforts to comply or to avoid doing business in Minnesota.
The MBCDL included many other burdensome requirements, some of which were impossible for most dealers to implement. Failure to comply carried the risk of fines up to $10,000 per violation — even criminal penalties. Many dealers simply withdrew from the state. Collectors and investors suffered from the loss of choice and competition among dealers, and many consumers found they could no longer do business with trusted dealers they had known for years.
If other states adopted the Minnesota law, our business and hobby would be threatened.
Two years and hundreds of hours of work by ICTA led to enactment last May of legislation that removes or limits some of the most burdensome requirements of the MBCDL. Since passage of our bill, however, we’ve seen some misrepresentations and confusion about its effects. I want to address these questions here.
FALSE: Our bill increased the number of dealers subject to the law.
In fact, we significantly reduced the number of regulated dealers by:
➤ Limiting the regulated transactions to those that physically occur in the state or where a consumer uses a Minnesota shipping address.
➤ Raising the annual registration threshold from $5,000 to $25,000.
➤ Excluding from the $25,000 threshold all transactions with non-Minnesota consumers.
➤ Expanding the coin show exemption.