Provides for the lawful sale of scrap copper and other metals by junk dealers; restricts sale of certain items; increases existing penalties.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to the lawful sale of scrap copper and other metals by junk dealers
PURPOSE OF BILL: This bill would: (1) impose stricter regulations on salvage dealers and scrap metal processors who purchase scrap metals; (2) amend the penalties for scrap metal dealers and scram metal sellers who engage in illegal transactions in violation of these provisions; and (3) increase the monetary damages levied against defendants convicted of these offenses.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill would amend General Business Law (GBL) § 62 to require salvage dealers to obtain a copy of a government-issued identification card from the seller of scrap metals, and would require sellers to provide written verification of their authority to sell such scrap metal.
Section 2 of the bill would make a conforming change to GBL § 63 to ensure that dealers segregate purchased scrap metal for the statutorily required 5-day period.
Section 3 of the bill would add a new GBL § 63-b to restrict the sale of certain items, including street signs, propane containers for fueling forklifts, funeral markers or any metal items bearing markings of a governmental entity, utility company, cemetery or railroad.
Section 4 of the bill would amend GBL § 64 Penalties. 1. Each violation of this article, either by the junk dealer, the agent or servant thereof, shall be a misdemeanor and the person convicted shall in addition to other penalties imposed, forfeit his or her license to do business.
In addition to a term of imprisonment, where any junk dealer, agent or servant thereof has been convicted pursuant to section one of this subsection provided further that the junk dealer, agent or servant thereof has gained money or property through a violation of this article the court, upon conviction thereof may sentence the defendant to pay an amount. fixed by the court not exceeding double the amount of the defendants gain from the commission of the offense.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: In 2008, the Legislature passed similar legislation (S.4023-D (Volker/B.6250-D (Peoples)), which the Governor was constrained to veto (Veto number 157 of 2008).
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT: In 2008, there was a spike in thefts of metals from vacant buildings and construction sites (electrical wires and plumbing pipes), cemeteries (grave markers) and other locations, by
thieves who would resell the stolen metals to salvage yards for recycling. The Division of Criminal Justice services (DCJS) reported, for example, that Rochester saw an approximately 15 percent increase in burglaries from 2007 to 2008, and that nearly 16 percent of all burglaries in Rochester area associated with copper theft. Law enforcement officials in other counties reported that they have had reports of copper theft on a daily basis.
This increase in thefts appears to be the result of record high metal prices. For example, copper prices increased nationally by 160 percent between March 2005 and April 2006.
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: This bill would have no fiscal impact.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill would take effect 90 days after it is signed into law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1779--B 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 12, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. PERKINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to the lawful sale of scrap copper and other metals by junk dealers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 62 of the general business law, as amended by chap- ter 302 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 62. Statement required from persons selling certain property. 1. On purchasing any pig or pigs of metal, bronze or brass castings or parts thereof, sprues or gates or parts thereof, copper TUBING OR wire or brass car journals, or metal beer kegs, such junk dealer shall: (A) TAKE A COPY OF THE SELLER'S GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION; AND (B) cause to be subscribed by the person from whom purchased a statement as to: (I) when, where and from whom he or she obtained such property
[, also his or her identity as verified by a government issued identifica- tion card,]OR OTHER PROOF OF AUTHORIZATION TO SELL SUCH ITEMS; (II) THE PERSON'S age, residence by city, village or town, and the street and number thereof, if any, the driver's license number or information from a government issued identification card, if any, of such person, and otherwise such description as will reasonably locate the same [, his or her]; (III) THE PERSON'S occupation and name of his or her employer and place of employment or business, which statement the junk dealer shall forthwith file in the office of the chief of police of the city or village in which the purchase was made, if made in a city or incorpo- rated village, and otherwise in the office of the sheriff of the county in which made. THE JUNK DEALER SHALL CAUSE SUCH STATEMENT TO BE SIGNED BY THE SELLER. The junk metal dealer shall also make and retain a copy of the government issued photographic identification card used to verify the identity of the person from whom the junk metal was purchased and shall retain this copy AND THE SIGNED STATEMENT in a separate book orEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07009-07-1 S. 1779--B 2
register for two years from the date of purchase of the junk metal and include an additional copy of this identification with the information required to be transmitted to the chief of police or sheriff pursuant to this section. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY SELLER TO REFUSE TO FURNISH SUCH INFORMATION OR TO FURNISH INCORRECT OR INCOMPLETE INFORMATION. 2. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICA- TION" MEANS ANY CURRENT AND VALID OFFICIAL FORM OF IDENTIFICATION ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A STATE, TERRITORY, PROTECTORATE, OR DEPENDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY OR SUBDIVISION THEREOF, ANY PUBLIC AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT THEREOF, OR ANY PUBLIC EMPLOYER, WHICH REQUIRES AND BEARS THE SIGNATURE OF THE PERSON TO WHOM IT IS ISSUED, NOT INCLUDING A SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER CARD. S 2. Section 63 of the general business law is amended to read as follows: S 63. Certain property to be kept in separate piles. Every junk dealer shall on purchasing any of the property described in
[the last]section SIXTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE, place and keep each separate purchase in a separate and distinct pile, bundle or package, in the usual place of business of such junk dealer, without removing, melting, cutting or destroying any article thereof, for a period of five days immediately succeeding such purchase, on which package, bundle or pile shall be placed and kept by such dealer a tag bearing the name and residence of the seller, with the date, hour and place of purchase, and the weight thereof. S 3. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 63-b to read as follows: S 63-B. PROHIBITION ON SALE OF CERTAIN ITEMS. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL TO SELL OR OFFER FOR SALE TO A JUNK DEALER OR FOR A JUNK DEALER TO PURCHASE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: STREET SIGNS, FUNERAL MARKERS, OR ANY OTHER JUNK METAL ITEMS BEARING MARKINGS OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, UTILITY COMPA- NY, CEMETERY OR RAILROAD. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE SALE, OFFER FOR SALE OR PURCHASE AS JUNK, OF ITEMS BY A DULY AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE OR REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, UTILITY COMPANY, CEMETERY OR RAILROAD ACTING IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE SALE, OFFER FOR SALE TO A JUNK DEALER OR FOR A JUNK DEALER TO PURCHASE FUNERAL MARKERS BY OR FROM A DULY AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE OR REPRESENTATIVE OF A MANUFACTURER OF FUNERAL MARKERS. S 4. Section 64 of the general business law is amended to read as follows: S 64. Penalty. 1. Each violation of this article, either by the junk dealer, the agent or servant thereof, and each false statement made in or on any statement or tag above mentioned shall be a misdemeanor and the person convicted shall [, in]BE SUBJECT TO A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT NOT TO EXCEED ONE YEAR OR BE ORDERED TO PAY A FINE NOT EXCEEDING ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR BOTH SUCH FINE AND IMPRISONMENT. IN addition to other penalties imposed, SUCH JUNK DEALER, AGENT OR SERVANT THEREOF SHALL forfeit his OR HER license to do business. But nothing herein contained shall apply to cities of the first class. 2. IN ADDITION TO A PENALTY IMPOSED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, IN THE EVENT THAT A JUNK DEALER, AGENT OR SERVANT THEREOF HAS GAINED MONEY OR PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE, THE COURT UPON CONVICTION MAY SENTENCE THE DEFENDANT TO PAY AN AMOUNT, TO BE FIXED BY THE COURT, NOT EXCEEDING DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF THE DEFEND- ANT'S GAIN FROM THE COMMISSION OF THE OFFENSE.S. 1779--B 3
S 5. Section 69-e of the general business law, as added by chapter 431 of the laws of 1976, is amended to read as follows: S 69-e. Definitions. 1. "Scrap metal processing facility" shall mean an establishment engaged primarily in the purchase, processing and ship- ment of ferrous and/or non-ferrous scrap, the end product of which is the production of raw material for remelting purposes for steel mills,
[foundaries]FOUNDRIES, smelters, refiners, and similar users. 2. "Scrap processor" shall mean any person, association, partnership or corporation operating and maintaining a "scrap metal processing facility". 3. "GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION" MEANS ANY CURRENT AND VALID OFFICIAL FORM OF IDENTIFICATION ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A STATE, TERRITORY, PROTECTORATE, OR DEPENDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, A COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY OR SUBDIVISION THEREOF, ANY PUBLIC AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT THEREOF, OR ANY PUBLIC EMPLOY- ER, WHICH REQUIRES AND BEARS THE SIGNATURE AND PHOTOGRAPH OF THE PERSON TO WHOM IT IS ISSUED. S 6. Subdivision 1 of section 69-g of the general business law, as amended by chapter 302 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: 1. Such scrap processor shall record [(i) each purchase of any pig or pigs of metal, bronze or brass castings or parts thereof, sprues or gates or parts thereof, utility wire or brass car journals, or of metal beer kegs, and (ii)]each purchase of [iron, steel]FERROUS and/or nonferrous scrap [for a price of fifty dollars or more,]and preserve such record for a period of three years; which record shall show the date of purchase, name of seller, [his]THE SELLER'S residence OR BUSI- NESS address [by street, number, city, village or town, the driver's license number or information from a government issued photographic identification card, if any, of such person, or by such description as will reasonably locate the seller,]AND the type and quantity of such purchase [; and the]. THE scrap processor shall cause such record to be signed by the seller or his agent. It shall be unlawful for any seller to refuse to furnish such information or to furnish incorrect or incom- plete information. Such scrap processor shall also make and retain a copy of the government issued photographic identification card used to verify the identity of [the]ANY NATURAL person from whom the scrap metal was purchased and shall retain this copy in a separate book, register or electronic archive for [two]THREE years from the date of purchase. S 7. Section 69-h of the general business law is renumbered section 69-i and a new section 69-h is added to read as follows: S 69-H. PROHIBITION ON SALE OF CERTAIN ITEMS. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, IT SHALL BE UNLAW- FUL TO SELL, OFFER FOR SALE, OR PURCHASE AS SCRAP, ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: STREET SIGNS, FUNERAL MARKERS, OR ANY OTHER JUNK METAL ITEMS BEARING MARKINGS OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, UTILITY COMPANY, CEMETERY OR RAIL- ROAD UNLESS SUCH ITEMS ARE OFFERED FOR SALE BY A DULY AUTHORIZED EMPLOY- EE OR AGENT OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, UTILITY COMPANY, CEMETERY OR RAILROAD. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE SALE, OFFER FOR SALE TO SCRAP PROCESSOR OR FOR A SCRAP PROCESSOR TO PURCHASE FUNERAL MARKERS BY OR FROM A DULY AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE OR REPRESENTATIVE OF A MANUFACTURER OF FUNERAL MARKERS. S 8. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.