Gamers who want to trade their used games in Florida’s Broward County are in for a surprise: When they hand over their games, they’re also going to have to hand over a thumbprint.

A report in the New Times of Broward-Palm Beach says the Sheriff Department sent deputies to every videogame store in the county in October 2008, informing them that they would have to begin collecting thumbprints from people who sell their used games. GameStop went along with the policy because, as manager Carlos Rivera put it, “They have guns. I don’t argue with people with guns.”

Kayla Concepcion, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the requirement is actually part of a new law passed by the Florida Legislature that puts used videogames in the same category as items sold at pawn shops. As a result, people selling their games to shops like GameStop have to provide thumbprints and a range of other personal information. Most people don’t care, Rivera said, although a few have “turned around and walked out.”

Changes to Florida laws all the way back in 2007 meant game sellers would have to put a 15-day hold on used games before they could be resold but while the New Times reports the legislation as Florida-wide as well, some GamePolitics readers in the state are claiming that stores in different counties have not implemented the policy. Regardless, the idea of having to provide that sort of information just to unload a few old games strikes me as borderline outrageous and a good incentive to sell the stuff online or out of a trunk. Have any of you run into this at your local GameStop?


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