|Posted:||January 30, 2019 02:55 PM|
|From:||Representative Jim Rigby|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Precious Metal Sales|
|In the near future I will be introducing legislation that will amend Act 17 of 1984, the Precious Metal Sale Regulation Law. This legislation was previously introduced as HB 41 (2017-2018).
We have all heard of cases, too numerous to ignore, of persons selling stolen property in the form of jewelry and other items containing precious metals, to pawn shops and other dealers in precious metals. Unfortunately, current law regarding the resale of precious metals is inadequate and allows dealers to sell or otherwise dispose of purchased items in only five days. The requirements of current law relating to records of dealer purchases is also woefully insufficient and is not useful in assisting in an investigation of the stolen property or efforts to return of the items to the rightful owner.
The bill will require dealers in precious metals to maintain the purchased items for 10 working days. This change will provide more time for law enforcement to act on the information. It also requires dealers to maintain a photocopy of the seller's proof of identity and photographs of each individual item purchased. The photos must be large enough to identify any distinguishing details of an item such as marks, initials or inscriptions. In the event a dealer purchases stolen property, these requirements will facilitate identification of the rightful owner and promote prosecution of the offender even if the items have been sold, melted down or otherwise disposed of.
Finally, the bill will require dealers to maintain a copy of their annual license application at each place of business, for inspection by the general public. This provision is needed to combat transient dealers who set up temporary shops in hotels to buy gold and other precious metals and leave town quickly, inhibiting investigative efforts to track down stolen property that may have passed through their hands.
The drug trade is driving many of the thefts that result in sale of stolen precious metals to dealers within the Commonwealth. This legislation will provide for stronger regulation of precious metal sales, broaden the window for law enforcement to investigate reports stolen property and hopefully, make the victims of these thefts whole by reuniting them with their property, much of which has sentimental value that far surpasses its monetary value.
I certainly would appreciate if you would join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB350