Locksmith Licensing

Jan. 4, 2021

Editor’s note: The following letters are in response to our Nov. 18 Notes from the Editor enewsletter on locksmith licensing. Read at www.locksmithledger.com/21163197.

I enjoyed this article, and I agree with you.

You might remember that during my time on the board of ALOA, I spearheaded the push to develop a model licensing law for use by state associations. It was adopted by some. 

As I see it, the problem with the laws that ultimately were passed is that they went too far. They included competency testing and lacked enforcement authority. In my view, competency, or the lack thereof, usually is solved in the free market. For example, a licensed plumber who does bad work will get bad reviews and soon will be out of business. The current locksmith laws are simply a tax on the law-abiding locksmith, while the unlicensed guys are free to do what they want, with no fear of reprisal. 

In my view, what’s needed in our industry is simply a permit based upon a background check. Essentially, if you have a weapons permit (which requires a criminal background check), then you can get a permit to be a locksmith. 

The general public needs some assurance that their local locksmith is at least free of criminal convictions. Anyone I ever have spoken with assumes this to be the case already and are shocked when they learn the truth.

— Jon Payne Sr., CML, ARL

LockPro Locksmith LLC

Elberton, Georgia

This sounds a lot like advocacy for licensing to me. I think the proof is that, in the 10 years since it was a big deal in the industry, little has changed for the better overall.

The situations described were obviously criminal in nature. Aren't there laws on the books for that already?

If it makes you feel good, then go for it, but what we need is for law enforcement to do their job on an as-needed basis and leave me alone to do mine.

Arrest and prosecute the lawbreakers, put them in jail for an offense rather than put them back in society, and there would be less crime altogether.

Stop layering on regulations and licensing that’s largely ineffective in reducing harm to the public and drives up costs for customers.

If there is customer demand for credentialed security and safety professionals, then there will be an industry spring up to meet that demand. That’s as it should be. 

Those who choose to pursue the accreditations should charge and be compensated accordingly. The market doesn’t need any greater influence than that to meet the needs of the public/consumer. 

— Gregory A. Fisher

Maryville Glass and Lock

Maryville, Missouri

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The editors of Locksmith Ledger welcome reader input. We would like to hear your comments and suggestions on any of our articles or general industry trends and topics.

Share your opinions on relevant topics, such as locksmith licensing, the shift from key to keyless for automotive and residential and the state of our industry in general. Let us know what works and doesn’t work for your business.

Letters can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Locksmith Ledger, 125 S. Wilke Rd., Ste. 300, Arlington Heights, IL 60005.