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Sponsors: Senator Mescher
Document Path: l:\council\bills\pt\1171mm03.doc
Introduced in the Senate on January 16, 2003
Introduced in the House on February 26, 2003
Last Amended on February 25, 2003
Currently residing in the House Committee on Judiciary
Summary: Gem dealer, precious or semi-precious stones, dealer may not purchase stolen goods; provisions
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/16/2003 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-18 1/16/2003 Senate Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry SJ-18 2/19/2003 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Labor, Commerce and Industry SJ-17 2/20/2003 Senate Amended SJ-13 2/20/2003 Senate Read second time SJ-13 2/20/2003 Senate Ordered to third reading with notice of amendments SJ-13 2/20/2003 Scrivener's error corrected 2/25/2003 Senate Amended SJ-22 2/25/2003 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-22 2/26/2003 House Introduced and read first time HJ-10 2/26/2003 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-10 2/26/2003 Scrivener's error corrected
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
AS PASSED BY THE SENATE
February 25, 2003
S. Printed 2/25/03--S. [SEC 2/26/03 11:40 AM]
Read the first time January 16, 2003.
TO AMEND SECTION 40-54-70, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO A DEALER'S CIVIL LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES TO THE TRUE OWNER FOR KNOWINGLY PURCHASING STOLEN PRECIOUS METAL, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE PURCHASE OF A PRECIOUS OR SEMIPRECIOUS STONE OR GEM, TO REQUIRE A REASONABLE INQUIRY BY THE DEALER INTO THE TRUE OWNERSHIP OF THE ITEM, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADDITIONAL REMEDY OF IMMEDIATE RETURN OF THE ITEM UPON DEMAND BY THE TRUE OWNER.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 40-54-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-54-10. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Business' means the purchase of precious metal or precious or semiprecious stones or gems for profit.
(2) 'Dealer' means any person, corporation, or partnership who buys precious metal or precious or semiprecious stones or gems from the general public, whether in bulk or in manufactured form, with an intent to obtain a monetary profit for himself or for a principal.
(2)(3) 'Precious metal' means any article made in whole or in part of gold, silver, or platinum.
(3)(4) 'Precious or semiprecious stone or gem' means any stone or gem that is rare or costly or any stone or gem that is of lower value than those classified as precious.
(4)(5) 'Local law enforcement agency' means the chief of police for businesses located within the corporate limits of a municipality and the county law enforcement agency for businesses located outside the corporate limits of a municipality.
(5)(6) 'Permanent place of business' means a fixed premises either owned by the dealer or leased by him. One year's lease is a presumption of permanency.
(6)(7) 'Places proposed to do business' means the counties or municipalities in which the dealer intends to purchase precious metal s or precious or semiprecious stones or gems or both precious metal s and precious or semiprecious stones or gems.
(7)(8) 'Purchase' means the acquisition of precious metal or precious or semiprecious stones or gems or both precious metal and precious or semiprecious stones or gems for a consideration of cash, goods, or other precious metal s or precious or semiprecious stones or gems or both precious metal s and precious or semiprecious stones or gems. Trade-ins are covered by the provisions of this chapter unless the item traded was purchased directly from the dealer allowing the trade.
(9) 'Seller' means a member of the general public making a sale or offer of sale of precious metal or precious or semiprecious stones or gems."
SECTION 2. The first two undesignated paragraphs of Section 40-54-20 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
No A dealer as defined herein shall not operate a business in the State of South Carolina unless he first obtains a permit from the local law enforcement agency to engage in the business of purchasing precious metals from the local law enforcement agency and operates only from a permanent place of business. No A dealer shall must not operate upon public property nor or from a vehicle, flea market, hotel room, or similar temporary location.
The form of the permit to engage in the business
of purchasing precious metals shall must be prescribed by the State Law Enforcement Division and all. All applicants for a permit under this chapter, whether a person, firm, or corporation, shall must file a written sworn application signed by the applicant if an individual, by all the partners if a partnership, and by the president if a corporation, with the local law enforcement agency showing:"
SECTION 3. The first undesignated paragraph of Section 40-54-40 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Every A dealer shall must keep a book in which must be written at the time of any a purchase: of precious metal or precious or semiprecious stones or gems made from the general public, whether in bulk or manufactured form, the date of purchase ,; the amount of money or other property exchanged for the metal, stones, or gems ,; the name, sex, race, age, address, and driver's license number of the person selling the items, articles, or things bought ,; and the number and nature and brand name of the items, articles, or things. Descriptions must include size, weight, patterns, or engraving or any unusual identification marks. If the seller does not have a driver's license, some other another positive identification bearing his photograph and an identifying number may be substituted. If the seller cannot is unable to produce a driver's license or other positive identification, the dealer may shall not buy any merchandise make a purchase from him. Every dealer shall, at the time of purchase, At the time of purchase, a dealer must obtain the signature of the seller as part of the recording of the transaction."
SECTION 4. Section 40-54-50 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-54-50. (A)
No A dealer may shall not make a purchase any precious metal from a minor unless the minor is accompanied by his parent or guardian with appropriate identification as required by Section 40-54-40.
precious metals purchased purchases made by a dealer shall must be held by the dealer at his permanent place of business or at another suitable location in the State of South Carolina without being resold, melted, or altered in any manner, for a period of seven days from the purchase date. All goods required to be held under pursuant to this section shall at all reasonable times be open are subject to inspection, at reasonable times, by any a law enforcement agency."
SECTION 5. Section 40-54-60 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-54-60. Possession of equipment which has been used, or is being used, for the melting, crushing, or
altering other alteration of the precious metal s, stones, or gems is unlawful unless possessed by a dealer with a valid permit as provided in Section 40-54-20."
SECTION 6. Section 40-54-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-54-70. (A) A dealer shall not make a purchase from a seller if there is evidence of ownership by a third party without first taking reasonable steps to ascertain the item's true ownership. A dealer must return an item so purchased, on demand and without a fee, to the third party owner.
Any A dealer buying precious metal making a purchase with knowledge that the metal, stone, or gem has been stolen shall be is liable to the lawful owner of such the metal, stone, or gem in an amount triple the fair market value of the stolen items item, computed at the time of the theft, and shall be is liable for a reasonable attorney's fee as the court in its discretion may award. This shall be a civil remedy and is in addition to any other civil and criminal remedies provided by the law. Provided, any However, a dealer, having purchased precious metal who makes a purchase in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, such metal subsequently but the item being shown is subsequently shown to have been stolen by a member of the immediate family of the rightful owner, may demand reimbursement from the owner equal to the amount paid for the metal item before returning the metal item to the owner."
SECTION 7. Section 40-54-90 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-54-90. The provisions of this chapter
shall regulate the business of purchasing precious metal s and precious or semiprecious stones or gems in this State and shall preempt any ordinances passed by political subdivisions purporting to regulate such the business."
SECTION 8. Section 40-54-100 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-54-100. This chapter
shall does not apply to the following specific transactions:
(1) a transaction between dealers
of precious metals where if the selling dealer has already complied with the seven-day holding period , nor shall they apply or to transactions between coin dealers and coin collectors occurring at regularly scheduled numismatic conventions .;
(2) the purchase of manufactured items bought directly from the manufacturer or his authorized representatives
the purchase of bulk precious metals brought purchases made directly from the commodity exchanges, banks, dealers, or licensed brokers."
SECTION 9. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this chapter, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 10. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to purchases made after that date.
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