Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Revises law concerning scrap metal businesses.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning scrap metal businesses, revising various parts of the statutory law, and supplementing P.L.1981, c.96.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 3 of P.L.2009, c.8 (2C:20-7.2) is amended to read as follows:
3. Each State, county, and municipal police department may, upon receiving reliable information that scrap metal has been stolen, promptly notify scrap metal businesses of the theft and provide such businesses with information to identify the stolen scrap metal, to effectuate the purposes of [P.L.2009, c.8 (C.45:28-1 et al.)] P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
(cf: P.L.2009, c.8, s.3)
2. The title of P.L.1981, c.96 is amended to read as follows:
An Act regulating certain persons in the business of buying certain precious metals or scrap metals and supplementing Title 51 of the Revised Statutes and repealing sections 1 and 2 of P.L.1980, c.53 (C.51:5-8 and C.51:6-11).
(cf: P.L.1981, c.96)
3. Section 3 of P.L.1981, c.96 (C.51:6A-3) is amended to read as follows:
3. Any person who violates any provision of this act shall be liable to a mandatory penalty of not less than [$100.00] $500 nor more than [$500.00] $1,000 recoverable by the Superintendent of Weights and Measures pursuant to ["the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.)] the provisions of the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). An action for the recovery of a civil penalty for violation of this act shall be within the jurisdiction of and may be brought before the Superior Court or municipal court in the municipality where the offense is committed or where the defendant resides or where the defendant may be apprehended.
A summons or warrant against any foreign business entity doing business in this State shall be processed as provided by law.
(cf. P.L.1991, c.91, s.482)
4. Section 5 of P.L.1981, c.96 (C.51:6A-5) is amended to read as follows:
5. For purposes of this act:
a. "Precious metals" means gold, silver, platinum, palladium and alloys thereof.
b. "His name and address" means the name of the buyer and the legal name of the business under which the buyer is doing business, together with the permanent business address.
c. "Transient buyer" means a buyer of precious metals as provided for in this act who has not been in any retail business continuously for at least 6 months at the address in the municipality where he is required to register or who intends to close out or discontinue all retail business in the municipality within 6 months.
d. "Scrap metal" means used, discarded, or previously owned items that consist predominantly of ferrous metals, aluminum, brass, copper, lead, chromium, tin, nickel, or alloys.
e. "Scrap metal business" means a commercial establishment which, as one of its principal business purposes, purchases scrap metal for purposes of resale or processing.
(cf: P.L.1981, c.96, s.5)
5. (New section) The operator of a scrap metal business shall:
a. Verify the identity of any person delivering or selling scrap metal to the scrap metal business by requesting and examining a photograph-bearing, valid State or federal driver's license or other government-issued form of identification bearing a photograph.
b. Make a clear copy of, and record, in a manner as may be prescribed by the Attorney General, the number of the driver's license or other government-issued form of identification presented by the person delivering or selling the scrap metal, before receiving or purchasing any scrap metal from that person.
c. Maintain, for at least five years, a record of all receipts or purchases of scrap metal, including, but not limited to:
(1) the date of receipt or purchase of the scrap metal;
(2) the name and address of the person delivering or selling the scrap metal;
(3) the type and number of the identification presented by the person delivering or selling the scrap metal, along with a copy of the driver's license or other government-issued form of identification;
(4) a description of the scrap metal received or purchased, including, but not limited to its type, amount, and form;
(5) the signature of the person delivering or selling the scrap metal;
(6) a photographic record of the scrap metal received or purchased; and
(7) any other information as may be required by the Attorney General.
d. Make any records maintained pursuant to subsection c. of this section available to any law enforcement agency or State or local weights and measures official upon reasonable request.
e. Retain any scrap metal in the form in which it was received or purchased for a period of not less than five business days, or a minimum of 120 hours.
f. Clearly and prominently display at the point of purchase:
(1) His name and address; and
(2) The price being offered or paid by the buyer for scrap metals expressed as price per standard measure of weight as prescribed by the Superintendent of Weights and Measures.
g. Include his name and address in all advertisements concerning those scrap metals.
h. Weigh scrap metals in plain view of the person selling the scrap metals on State certified scales with the certificate of inspection clearly and prominently displayed.
6. (New section) The operator of a scrap metal business shall immediately report to an appropriate law enforcement agency any delivery or sale of scrap metal under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe the scrap metal was probably stolen or otherwise inappropriately obtained.
7. (New section) Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, any person who reports information to a law enforcement official or agency concerning the suspect delivery or sale of scrap metal shall be immune from any civil liability on account of the report, unless such person has acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose.
8. (New section) Sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of P.L.2009, c.8 (C.45:28-1 et seq.) are repealed.
9. This act shall take effect on the 90th day next following enactment.
This bill authorizes the Office of Weights and Measures in the Department of Law and Public Safety to regulate scrap metal businesses. The bill revises the penalty provisions currently in place for scrap metal businesses, and authorizes the Office of Weights and Measures to recover the civil penalty.
The bill requires scrap metal businesses to make their records available to any law enforcement agency or weights and measures official upon reasonable request and requires scrap metal businesses to keep records of all receipts or purchases of scrap metal. Under current law, as provided in N.J.S.A. 45:28-1, et seq., scrap metal businesses are only required to keep records of receipts or purchases of scrap metal that are in excess of 100 pounds or $50, whichever is less.
The bill also requires scrap metal businesses to: (1) clearly and prominently display at the point of purchase their name and address and the price being offered or paid by the buyer for scrap metals expressed as price per standard measure of weight as prescribed by the Superintendent of Weights and Measures; (2) include their name and address in all advertisements concerning those scrap metals; (3) weigh scrap metals in plain view of the person selling the scrap metals on State certified scales with the certificate of inspection clearly and prominently displayed; (4) maintain a photographic record of all scrap metal purchased or received by the scrap metal business for at least five years; and (5) retain any scrap metal in the form in which it was received or purchased for a period of not less than five business days or a minimum of 120 hours.
This bill amends and supplements the law regulating certain purchases of precious metals to also regulate certain purchases of scrap metals. It repeals sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of P.L.2009, c.8 (C.45:28-1 et seq.). This bill, by amending and supplementing the law on precious metal sales, is placing jurisdiction over the regulation of persons buying scrap metals under the Office of Weights and Measures rather than the Division of Consumer Affairs. Through this revision, several of the repealed provisions are added as supplementary sections to the current law.
This bill also increases civil penalties for scrap and precious metals buyers who fail to comply with the State’s precious and scrap metal laws and removes the criminal penalties for violating the scrap metal law.