Bail Bondsmen Back in the News
Nothing involves the combination of occupational licensing, the Second Amendment, civil rights, police and courts, free markets, and entrepreneurship quite like the bail bond industry. That’s probably why I write about it every chance I get. So, when I got back in the office this morning for the first time since Friday (there was a fire in our Clayton office building on Friday, shutting it down, and many of us spent Monday through Wednesday at a think tank convention — my brain is very tired), I was delighted to see Combest linking to a story about an investigation of some bail agents.
Apparently, Missouri is holding hearings on the industry. I might go and testify on Nov. 10 — but, then again, I might not. I really don’t know very much about the industry (my enthusiastic blog postings aside), and since this is one industry where I think the benefits of having some licensing outweighs the costs, I really don’t have that much to add. “Don’t go too far with tightening up the licensing requirements,” would basically be all I might say.
This is also topical because some agents possibly went too far in their efforts to catch someone the other day in Springfield. As the police officer quoted in the story says, agents do have the right to kick down your door in certain circumstances:
“They have less […] restrictions [than] what a law enforcement agency has and can make some entries under some circumstances,” Springfield Police Department Maj. Kevin Routh said. “And that’s the key that’s under investigation here…is, did they have enough information to make entry into the residence?”
I basically think that if the agents did indeed violate the rights of the other citizens, criminal and civil penalties should be enforced. If they made an honest mistake in a difficult situation, then perhaps there should be civil repercussions to benefit the people they harassed, but I wouldn’t see the need for criminal charges. No matter what, there are current laws to deal with this, and this should not serve as some excuse to tighten up the licensing requirements further.