Article XI. Control and regulation of second-hand precious metal dealers
§ 863.241. Legislative findings
It is hereby declared and found that because of the increase of incidents of property theft, the increase of the price of precious metals and gems, the ease with which some second-hand dealers buy and sell precious metals and gems without requiring identification or proof of ownership, these second-hand precious metal and gem dealers represent
to persons involved in crime an opportunity to dispose of stolen property. For business enterprises to be allowed to continue to operate without laws to control and regulate the purchase of such articles not only jeopardizes the property rights of many people, but also extremely hampers the police agencies in their efforts to recover stolen property and identify suspects. If the law enforcement agencies are to function in this area, a local law regulating second-hand precious metal and gem dealers isnecessary. Thereby, the public health, morals and general welfare of the County of
Westchester will be protected and promoted, and the best interests of the people would be served by control and regulation of second-hand precious metal and gem dealers.
§ 863.242. Definitions
1. Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this Article shall be as follows:
a. “Persons” as used herein shall mean and include natural persons, corporations, partnerships, associations, joint stock companies, and all other entities of any kind capable of being sued.
b. “Dealers in second-hand precious metals and gems” shall mean any person who in any way, as principal, broker or agent:
(i) deals in the purchase or sale at retail of any second-hand manufactured articles composed wholly or in part of gems, gold, silver, or platinum, or
(ii) deals in the purchase or sale at retail of second-hand gems, gold, silver or platinum, or
(iii) deals in the purchase or sale at retail of articles composed wholly or in part of gold, silver or platinum for the purpose of melting or refining, or
(iv) engages in melting precious metals for the purpose of selling at retail.
c. The term “Director” shall mean the Westchester County Sealer of Weights and Measures or the County Director of Weights and Measures.
d. “Gems” shall mean articles composed wholly or in part of the following: emerald, diamond, ruby, sapphire, black opal, ruby spinal, citrine, demantoid, bloodstone, jasper, pearl, aquamarine, beryl, topaz, garnet, chrysolite, fire opal, moonstone, rose quartz, tourmaline, carnelian, peridot, sardonyx, zircon, morganite, chrysoprase, kunzite, cat’s eye, amethyst, chalcedony, onyx, agate, alexandrite, star sapphire, lapis lazuli, harlequin opal, turquoise, jade, or any other item composed wholly or in part of any gem or stone whose value is in excess of one hundred ($100.) dollars.
2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to apply to charitable not-forprofit organizations as defined by the laws of the State of New York.
§ 863.243. Restrictions
1. It shall be unlawful for a second-hand precious metal or gem dealer to purchase any second-hand precious metals or gems from any person whom such dealer knows to be or has reason to believe to be under the age of eighteen (18) years.
2. It shall be unlawful for any dealer in second-hand precious metals or gems to sell, dispose of, destroy, alter or remove from such dealer’s premises any second-hand precious metal or gem until the expiration of fourteen (14) calendar days after the acquisition by such dealer of said precious metal or gem.
3. It shall be unlawful to cause, allow, or approve of the blockage, obstruction or concealment from the view of the consumer any scale, machine, weighing device, or part thereof, used to weigh or calculate the value of precious metals or gems. Only devices approved for use in trade by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets shall be lawful.
4. No weighing or measuring device shall be used in the purchase or sale of precious metals or gems within Westchester County without first notifying the Department of Weights and Measures, of its intended use. This is to include new, used, repaired devices or devices which have been moved from the location where they were originally tested and sealed, either within or outside of the County of Westchester.
5. It shall be unlawful for a second-hand precious metal or gem dealer to purchase second-hand precious metals or gems from any person between the hours of ten o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning.
§ 863.244. Signs and labeling
The unit daily price of each type and class of precious metal shall be clearly displayed in arabic numbers in such a manner that the public will be informed.
§ 863.245. Lost or stolen property
If any articles composed wholly or in part of precious metals or gems shall be advertised in any newspaper printed in the County of Westchester as having been lost or stolen, and if any articles answering such advertised description or any part thereof shall be in or come into the possession of any dealer upon receiving actual written or oral notice of the similarity of description of such articles, such dealer shall immediately
give information relating thereto to the appropriate law enforcement agency. No disposition of such articles shall be effected until authorization to do so shall be given to such dealer by the appropriate law enforcement agency.
§ 863.246. Record of purchases and sales
1. Every dealer in second-hand precious metals or gems shall keep a bound book in a form prescribed by the Director of consecutively numbered transactions, in which shall be legibly written in English, at the time of every purchase or sale, a description of the second-hand precious metal or gem articles so purchased, or sold, the number or numbers and any monograms, inscriptions or other marks of identification that may appear on such article, the name, residence address from whom such purchase was made and the day and hour of the purchase and amount of the transaction.
2. Such books shall be kept on the business premises of the second-hand precious metal or gem dealership at all times during normal business hours. Such books shall be open to the inspection of any police officer, or the Director, or any person duly authorized for such purpose by the Director.
3. The dealer shall use only the forms prescribed by the Director and shall reimburse said Director for the cost thereof.
4. At the close of each business day the dealer shall forward, by mail, to the Westchester County Department of Public Safety Crime Analysis Unit the original record of purchase.
§ 863.247. Identity of person from whom purchase is made
1. It shall be the duty of every second-hand precious metal or gem dealer to verify the identity of every person from whom a purchase is made and to make and to keep a written record of the nature of the evidence submitted by such person to prove identity. The signature of the dealer shall be included in the recording of each transaction.
2. Only the following shall be deemed acceptable evidence of identity: any official document, except a social security account number card, issued by the United States government,
any state, county, municipality or subdivision thereof, any public agency or department thereof, or any public or private employer, which requires and bears the signature of the person to whom issued.
3. It shall be the duty of every dealer in second-hand precious metal or gem articles to require that every person from whom an article is purchased sign his/her name in the presence of the second-hand precious metal or gem dealer, and to compare the signature on the identifying document, if any, and retain on said premises the person’s signature together with the number and description of the identifying document, if any.
§ 863.248. Report to the law enforcement agency
Every second-hand precious metal or gem dealer shall furnish to the appropriate law enforcement agency, all information requested by such agency relative to all records required to be kept under this Article.
§ 863.249. Duty to enforce
It shall be the duty of any peace officer or police officer having jurisdiction at the site where a person is seen dealing in second-hand precious metals or gems to enforce the provisions of this Article against any person found to be in violation of the same.
§ 863.250. Disclaimer of liability
This Article shall not create any liability on the part of the County of Westchester, its officers, agents, or employees, or any police officer for any act or damage caused as a result from reliance on this Article or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
§ 863.251. Penalties for offenses
1. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary contained in this Chapter, the Westchester County Charter, the Westchester County Administrative Code or any other local law, a failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Article shall constitute a violation and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred ($500.00) dollars, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense shall constitute a separate and distinct violation hereunder for each day the offense is continued;
2. In addition to the penalties provided above, any offense against the provisions of this Article shall subject the person committing the offense to a civil penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each day that the offense shall continue, collectible by and in the name of the County of Westchester.
§ 863.252. Severability
If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Article shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy and in which such judgment shall have been rendered.