Senate Bill No. 359
(By Senators Yost and Kessler (Mr. President))
[Introduced January 20, 2012; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §61-3-51 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requiring sellers of precious metals and gems to provide photo identification to dealers; requiring the dealers to submit this information to the State Police; requiring the State Police to create a database of the transactions that is accessible to all law-enforcement agencies; and establishing criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-3-51 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
§61-3-51. Precious metals and gem dealers; records; prohibited acts.
(a) Each person, firm or corporation in the business of purchasing precious metals or precious gems, or both, for any purpose other than personal, family or household use, shall be is subject to the provisions of this section. Each such purchaser shall secure from the seller of the precious metal or precious gem photo identification, and sufficient proof of lawful ownership or a sworn affidavit of ownership, the original of which shall be retained by the purchaser.
(b) Each such purchaser of a precious metal or precious gem shall truly and accurately list each purchase in a permanent record book clearly showing the kind, character and amount of metal or gem purchased, any special or unique quality or item of description concerning the metal or gem purchased; the date of purchase, the full name and residence address and mailing address of the seller, and any telephone number of the seller Such and a copy of the photo identification. The record book shall be open to inspection by any law-enforcement officer in this state during normal business hours of the purchaser. If any such purchase is made within a municipality, the purchaser shall report all the information required by this section in writing to the chief of the police department of the municipality within twenty-four hours of the purchase. If any such purchase is made outside of a municipality, the purchaser shall report all the information required by this section in writing to the sheriff of the county wherein the purchase was made within twenty-four hours of the purchase. The information required by this section shall be preserved for a period of not less than three years.
(c) A dealer shall submit the required information from each transaction electronically to the State Police by noon of the next business day.
(c) (d) Each such purchaser of a precious metal or precious gem shall may not, for a period of ten calendar days after the purchase, dispose of such the metal or gem, remove such the metal or gem from the state or alter in any way the form or substance of such the metal or gem.
(d) (e) As used in this section, "precious metal" means any gold, silver, platinum or other valuable metal; and "precious gem" means any diamond, pearl, emerald, ruby, sapphire or similar precious stone.
(f) The State Police shall create a database of the information required by this section that is accessible to all law-enforcement agencies of this country.
(e) (g) Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision subsections (a), (b) , (c) or (d) of this section shall be is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined imprisoned in the penitentiary a correctional facility not less than one nor more than two years, or, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not more than one year or shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, or both fined and so imprisoned or confined in either the penitentiary or jail, all in the discretion of the court.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require sellers of precious metals and gems to provide photo identification to dealers. The bill requires the dealers to submit this information to the State Police. The bill also requires the State Police to create a database of the transactions that is accessible to all law-enforcement agencies. The creates criminal penalties.