By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association is rallying this month to help Albuquerque, N.M., retailers and the industry at large, fight a proposed city ordinance that would ban the sale and use of car audio aftermarket equipment.
This week the City Council of Albuquerque is scheduled to vote on a proposal "that essentially makes it illegal to install, possess or play a car audio system other than a factory system. And factory systems can't have any more than four speakers and the speakers can't be any larger that 6.5 inches in diameter," said MERA executive director Rick Mathies.
The bill's sponsor, city council VP Greg Payne, explained the legislation was proposed because of the city's failure to enforce local noise ordinances, Mathies said.
MERA has responded with letters and e-mail to city council members and the mayor, stating MERA's position and suggesting alternative ordinances that would help control noise.
Prior to press time, Mathies said he expected a settlement with the council. He received a correspondence from Payne, stating, "The bill is as much about making a statement as it is about an actual ban." Payne said that he is amenable to working with MERA and that the purpose of the bill is to "tone down some of the more excessive and outlandish boombox violations, rather than take away someone's boombox," where boombox covers the broader category of car stereo.
MERA said the legislation raises restraint of trade and constitutional issues. "You can not say you can have OEM stereos and not aftermarket stereos," Mathies said.
He said this type of proposed legislation is an isolated incident and is unlikely to pass.
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