OLR Bill Analysis

HB 7239 (File 260, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT PREVENTING THE THEFT OF COPPER.

SUMMARY:

This bill, with some exceptions, subjects scrap metal processors to the laws that apply to junk dealers, including record keeping for property they receive and municipal licensing. By law, a junk dealer is someone in the business of dealing and trading in junk, old metal, scrap, rags, waste, paper, or other secondhand articles. By law, anyone illegally engaging in the junk dealer business is subject to a penalty of up to three months in prison, a fine of up to $ 50, or both.

The law requires junk dealers to (1) keep a record book that describes property they receive, when they receive it, and who they receive it from; (2) make weekly sworn statements of transactions; and (3) keep goods for at least five days after filing the statement. The bill only requires a scrap metal processor to separate scrap metal it receives from other material on its property and hold it for five days if it is wire for transmitting telecommunications or data.

The bill also requires the scrap metal processor to take a picture of a motor vehicle delivering scrap metal and imposes different documentation requirements when receiving wire that could be used for transmitting telecommunications or data.

*Senate Amendment “A” adds the provisions on receiving loads of scrap metal and wire.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

PROPERTY RECEIVED

The law requires junk dealers to keep a record book that describes property they receive, when they receive it, and who they receive it from. The record book, property, and place of business can be examined at any time by town officials. Dealers must make weekly sworn statements of transactions to the chief of police or town clerk (depending on the circumstances) describing the goods received and the person from whom the dealer received them. Dealers must keep goods for at least five days after filing the statement. These provisions do not apply to motor vehicle dealers or dealers in antique household furniture, china, or glassware (CGS 21-9 et seq. ).

The bill provides that a scrap metal processor is not required to separate scrap metal it receives from other material on its property and is not required to hold it for five days unless it is wire for transmitting telecommunications or data. The requirement regarding wire does not apply if it is bought from someone (1) registered as a business that demolishes buildings or (2) who has already separated the wire as required by the bill's provisions or those regarding junk dealers and provides a written statement affirming it.

The bill requires a scrap metal processor who receives a load of scrap metal to take a picture of the motor vehicle delivering it. It must show the license plate and the load of scrap metal. On receiving wire that could be used for transmitting telecommunications or data, the bill requires the scrap metal processor to (1) copy the person's registration, (2) record a description of the material received, and (3) record a statement of where the material came from.

The bill requires a scrap metal processor to maintain the required documents and pictures in good condition for at least two years. They must be open to inspection by law enforcement officials during normal business hours.

JUNK DEALERS, LICENSING, AND ORDINANCES

By law, a town can make reasonable ordinances on licensing junk dealers, including imposing a license fee of $ 2 to $ 10 for each team or vehicle. Junk dealers must register with the Department of Motor Vehicles and show their registration certificate when applying for a town license. Town ordinances can regulate the establishment, location, or conduct of a junk yard unless the town has a zoning and planning commission or a special act provides otherwise.

By law, anyone in the business of dealing and trading in secondhand bicycles, junk, metals, or other secondhand articles must apply for a license to conduct business in a town. Towns set licensing fees between $ 2 and $ 10, with a $ 10 annual renewal fee. Licenses may be revoked for cause.

BACKGROUND

Scrap Metal Processors

By law, a scrap metal processor includes any place of business and place of deposit that (1) has facilities for preparing and processing iron, steel, and nonferrous metals into a form suitable for remelting by a foundry, steel mill, or other remelter; (2) does not buy or receive motor vehicles except from licensed motor vehicle recyclers, public agencies, or certain intermediate processors; and (3) does not sell automobile parts for reuse as parts.

A processor is considered a motor vehicle recycler's business or motor vehicle recycler's yard if motor vehicle junk is retained on the premises for over 30 days without being processed into a suitable form for remelting (CGS 14-67w). Motor vehicle recycler businesses and yards are subject to laws on licensing, location, and record keeping (CGS 14-67g et seq. ).

Scrap metal processors receiving motor vehicles must obtain, keep, and have open to inspection certain information about the vehicle and the person they receive it from. These provisions do not apply to a licensed motor vehicle recycler's business or motor vehicle recycler's yard that is delivering a motor vehicle that has been dismantled, crushed, or conditioned for scrap metal processing to a scrap metal processor (CGS 14-67w).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

38

Nay

0

(03/14/2007)

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

16

Nay

0

(04/20/2007)

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

33

Nay

0

(05/02/2007)