CINCINNATI (AP) -- An Ohio city has agreed to tough new restrictions on scrap metal sales aimed at curbing theft problems.
Cincinnati city council voted 5-4 Wednesday on rules that legislative experts say will be among the nation's strictest. They require frequent sellers to obtain licenses, pass criminal background checks and wait two days to get paid.
Supporters said they are trying to deter would-be thieves by making it more difficult for them to sell stolen scrap. High prices for copper and other metals, combined with a struggling economy, have spurred metal thefts locally and globally.
Opponents say the move is an overreaction that will hurt honest metal vendors and dealers, send legitimate sales outside the city, and undermine recycling efforts. Two councilmen predicted Wednesday the rules won't stop the theft problems.