H. B. 2695
(By Delegates Douglas, Manuel, Staton, Faircloth and Trump)
[Introduced February 23, 1995; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article three, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
fifty-two, relating to the regulation of pawnbrokers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article three, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section fifty-
two, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
§61-3-52. General regulations of pawnbrokers.
(a) As used in this section, "pawnbroker" means any person
who lends or advances money or other things for profit on the
pledge and possession of personal property, or other valuable things, other than securities or written or printed evidences of
indebtedness, or who deals in the purchasing of personal property
or other valuable things on condition of selling the same back to
the seller at a stipulated price.
(b) No pawnbrokers shall sell any pawn or pledge until (i) it
has been in his possession for four months, unless a shorter period
of not less than thirty days is agreed to in writing by the pawner,
and (ii) a sworn statement of ownership acknowledged by a notary
republic licensed under chapter twenty-nine-c of this code is
obtained from the pawner. The governing body of the locality
wherein the pawnbroker conducts his business may determine the
contents of the statement of ownership.
(c) Every pawnbroker shall keep at his place of business an
accurate and legible record of each loan or transaction in the
course of his business. The account shall be recorded at the time
of the loan or transaction and shall include:
(1) A description of the make and/or manufacturer, model
and/or model number, size and/or shape, serial number, year of
manufacture, and a statement of ownership of the goods, article or
thing pawned or pledged or received on account of money loaned
thereon. In addition to the aforementioned description of pawned
or pledged items, firearms shall also include in their description
the color, caliber, and size;
(2) The time, date and place of the transaction;
(3) A separate transaction number shall be assigned for each
good, article, or thing pledged or pawned in a transaction;
(4) The full name, residence address, work place, and home
and work telephone numbers of the person or persons pawning or
pledging the goods, article or thing, together with a particular
description, including the height, weight, date of birth, social
security number, race, gender, hair, and eye color, and any other
identifying marks, of such person or persons;
(5) Verification of the identification by the exhibition of
a government-issued identification card such as a driver's license,
DMV non-driver's license, military identification card or passport.
The record shall contain the type of identification exhibited, the
issuing agency, and the number thereon;
(6) The superintendent of the division of public safety in
the department of military affairs and public safety shall
promulgate regulations specifying the nature of the particular
description for subdivision four of this article. The
superintendent shall also promulgate regulations specifying the
nature of identifying credentials of the person pawning or pledging
the goods. Such credentials shall be examined by the pawnbroker,
and an appropriate record retained thereof.
(d) Every pawnbroker shall prepare a daily report of all goods, articles or things pawned or pledged with him that day and
file such report within 72 hours with the chief of police, sheriff,
state police detachment responsible for that county, or other law-
enforcement officer of the county, city, or town where his business
is conducted. The report shall include the name and residence of
the pledgor and description of the goods, article or thing pledged
and shall be in writing and clearly legible to any person
(e) Every pawnbroker and every employee of the pawnbroker
shall admit to the pawnbroker' place of business during regular
business hours, the chief law-enforcement officer, or his designee,
of the jurisdiction where his business is being conducted, or any
law-enforcement official of the state or federal government. The
pawnbroker or employee shall permit the officer to (i) examine all
records required by this chapter and any article listed in a record
which is believed by the officer to be missing or stolen and (ii)
search for and take into possession any article known to him to be
missing, or known or believed by him to have been stolen.
(f) No property received on deposit or pledge by any
pawnbroker shall be disfigured or its identity destroyed or
affected in any manner so long as it continues in pawn or in the
possession of the pawnbroker, nor shall any property be concealed
for forty-eight hours after the property is received by the pawnbroker.
(g) Pawnbrokers shall store, or take care to protect from
damage during disuse, all blankets, clothing carpets, furs, rugs,
dress goods, cloths, mirrors, oil paintings, glass and chinaware,
pianos, organs, curtains, beddings and upholstered furniture pawned
or pledged with them. Pawnbrokers shall be allowed to charge two
percent per month in addition to the regular charges for the first
three months, or part thereof, while such goods remain as pledge
for money advanced.
(h) A pawnbroker may not acquire a precious metal object, or
take any merchandise in a pawn transaction, from an individual who
is a minor.
(j) Any licensed pawnbroker who violates any of the
provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and,
upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than ten thousand
dollars, or confined in a county or regional jail, not less than
one day nor more than one year or both fined and imprisoned.
NOTE: This bill creates a law regulating pawnbrokers in this
Section 52 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.