A Local Law to Amend Chapter 195 of the Code of Putnam County entitled ―Precious
Metals and Gems.‖
Section 1.
Chapter 195 of the Code of Putnam County entitled ―Precious Metals and Gems‖ is
hereby amended to include the following changes, which read as follows:
The title of Chapter 195 of the Code of Putnam County is hereby amended to be entitled
―Secondhand Dealers.‖
§ 195-1. Legislative intent.
It is hereby declared and found that, because of the increase of incidents of property
theft, the increase in the price of precious metals and gems and the ease with which
some secondhand dealers buy and sell precious metals and gems without requiring
identification or proof of ownership, these secondhand 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 law enforcement agencies in their efforts to recover stolen property and
identify suspects. If law enforcement agencies are to function in this area, a local law
regulating secondhand dealers is necessary. Thereby, the public health, morals and
general welfare of the County of Putnam will be protected and promoted and the best
interests of the people would be served by control and regulation of secondhand dealers.
It is the intention of the Legislature of Putnam County that this Local Law be established
and shall constitute the complete law in relation to the control and regulation of
secondhand dealers for the County of Putnam.
§ 195-2. Definitions; applicability.
A. Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in
this chapter shall be as follows:
1. Whenever used in this Local Law, the words ―secondhand dealers‖ shall mean
any person, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association and the
agents or employees of such entities, engaged in the commercial exchange,
purchase and/or sale of secondhand articles for any purpose and whatever
nature, including and limited to any person dealing in the purchase or sale of
any secondhand manufactured article composed wholly or in part of gold,
silver, platinum or other metal, or in the purchase or sale of gold, silver or
platinum, or dealing in the purchase of articles or things comprised of gold,
silver or platinum for the purpose of melting or refining, or engaged in melting
precious metals for the purpose of selling, or in the purchase or sale of
pawnbrokers’ tickets or other evidence of pledged articles or, not being a
pawnbroker, who deals in the redemption or sale of pledged articles.
2. The term ―gems‖ or ―precious stones‖ as referred to herein shall include, but
is not limited, to mean diamonds, alexandrite, cymphophane, ruby, sapphire,
opal, amethyst, smoky quartz, citrine, rose quartz, spinel, malachite, turquoise,
emerald, aquamarine, morganite, garnet, lapis lazuli, jadeite, kunzite, topaz,
tourmaline, zircon, amber, jet, pearl, coral, tanzanite.
3. The term ―precious metals‖ as referred to herein shall mean gold, silver,
platinum, iridium, ruthenium, osmium, or any alloys of any one or more of said
4. The term ―Department‖ as referred to herein shall mean the Department of
Consumer Affairs.
5. The term‖ Director‖ as referred to herein shall mean the Director of Consumer
B. This Local Law shall not apply to or include the following:
1(a) The sale is held on property occupied as a dwelling by the seller or owner or
rented or leased by a charitable or non-profit organization (i.e.—yard sale, moving
sale, garage sale, and the like); AND
(b) The items offered for sale are owned by the occupant or seller; AND
(c) That no sale exceeds a period of ninety-six (96) consecutive hours; AND
(d) That no more than three (3) sales are held in any twelve (12) month period;
(e) That none of the items offered for sale shall have been purchased for resale or
received on consignment for purpose of resale.
2. The sale of goods at an auction held by a licensed auctioneer, provided the
auctioneer complies with all requirements of Article 3 of the New York State
General Business Law and any other applicable statutes, rules and regulations
pertaining to auctions and auctioneers.
3. Goods sold as bona fide antique, with the exception of antique jewelry, or used
furniture (i.e. a business in which at least seventy-five percent [75%] of the
business’ revenue is derived through the sale of antiques, or used furniture).
4. Any not-for-profit or charitable organization that receives or sells secondhand
5. Any junk dealer or scrap processor licensed pursuant to Article 6 and/or Article
6-C of the New York General Business Law.
6. Coin shows, where
(a) The term ―coin show‖ is defined as a gathering of coin dealers and
collectors with the purpose of dealers displaying their merchandise for the
general public to view and/or purchase;
(b) Where the coin show is conducted by a New York State coin club, such
as the Empire State Numismatic Association;
(c) Where the coin club holds the coin show for one day and only once per
calendar year; and
(d) Where the coin club conducting the coin show provides the Putnam
County Department of Consumer Affairs and the law enforcement agency
for the jurisdiction with written notice of the time and place of the coin
show at least ten (10) business days prior to the coin show.
7. The acceptance of merchandise which is not secondhand as a return,
exchange, or for credit or refund if such merchandise was originally purchased as
new merchandise from the person accepting or receiving same, nor to the resale
of such merchandise.
(a) The burden of proof that an article was originally purchased from the
person accepting it or receiving it, that it was the first subsequent sale or
exchange thereof to a person other than an ultimate consumer, or that it
was a first sale at retail of such factory rebuilt merchandise shall be upon
the person asserting the same.
§ 195-3. License required; display.
A. No person shall, within the County of Putnam, establish, engage in or carry on,
directly or indirectly, the business of dealing in secondhand articles either
separately or in conjunction with some other business, without first having
obtained and having in full force and effect a license as provided herein.
B. Such license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place at the designated place
of business of the licensee.
C. Such license shall not in any way supplant the licensing and display
requirements of any applicable State or Federal laws.
§ 195-4. Application for license; fee; bond.
A. Applications for secondhand dealer licenses shall be made to the Director of
Consumer Affairs (hereinafter the ―Director‖). The application shall contain
the following information:
1. Name and description of the applicant’s business enterprise. Individuals
operating under a trade name shall present a certified copy of the trade
name certificate filed in the Putnam County Clerk’s office. A partnership
conducting business, whether or not under a trade name, shall submit a
certified copy of the partnership certificate which was filed in the Putnam
County Clerk’s office when the partnership was formed. A corporation
shall furnish a copy of its certificate of incorporation, as well as its
certificate of good standing and, if a foreign corporation, its application for
authority to do business in New York State.
2. The applicant’s legal address and address of all places of business within
Putnam County and the address of a designated agent for service of
3. A description of the nature of the business to be conducted and/or being
conducted by the applicant in Putnam County.
4. The name and address of the owner or owners of the business premises
and the nature of the right of occupancy of the applicant to the use of said
5. A statement that the applicant is at least eighteen (18) years of age.
6. A statement as to whether or not the applicant has, within the past ten (10)
years, been convicted of a crime or violation of any municipal ordinance,
the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefore
and such other facts or evidence as is deemed necessary to establish that
the applicant is a person fit and capable of properly conducting the activity
or business for which the license is sought.
7. Two (2) photographs of the applicant, taken not more than sixty (60) days
prior to the date of application, which clearly depict the head and shoulders
of the applicant and which shall be two (2) inches wide by two (2) inches
B. Such application for a secondhand dealer’s license shall be accompanied by a
non-refundable application fee of $250.00.
C. Every applicant shall submit a bond or other surety to the County of Putnam in
the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or for a renewal license, evidence
of a bond issued in favor of the licensee. The bond shall be for the purpose of
guaranteeing payments up to the face amount of the bond for bank drafts or
other negotiable instruments issued by the licensee in exchange for the
purchase of secondhand articles. All bonds must be conditioned so that the
licensee will observe all laws in relation to secondhand dealers and will
conduct business in conformity thereto. Such bond shall remain in force
during the entire period for which the license is valid. The Director may
establish rules and regulations concerning the amount of a bond to be posted,
upon proper notice to the licensee.
§ 195-5. Issuance of license.
A. Upon receipt of the license application, fee and bond(s) required of the
applicant, the Director shall review the application and, if appropriate, issue a
license to the applicant.
B. The Director shall keep a record of all licenses issued, as well as any other
matters herein described.
C. If a license hereunder shall be lost, stolen, or destroyed; a duplicate may be
issued by the Director on; (a) the filing of an affidavit satisfactorily explaining
the facts of such loss or theft, and (b) the payment of a $25.00 fee.
§ 195-6. Expiration and renewal of license.
Every license shall expire one (1) year after its issuance. Every license may be renewed
upon payment of the required renewal fee in the amount of $250.00, and filing a renewal
application with the Director no earlier than thirty (30) days, and no later than fifteen (15)
days before the license is due to expire.
§ 195-7. Denial or revocation of license; appeals.
A. A license may be denied, suspended, or revoked for any of the following
1. Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements in the application for license;
2. Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements made in the course of
carrying on the licensed business;
3. Any violation of this Local Law; or
4. Conviction of a crime that involves theft, larceny, burglary, robbery, and
possession of stolen property or any other fraudulent dealing within the
past ten (10) years, subject to a review consistent with the provisions of
Article 23-A of the New York Corrections Law.
B. The initial determination to deny, suspend, or revoke a license under this
subsection shall be made in writing by the Director.
C. Within sixty (60) days of the initial determination to deny, suspend, or revoke a
license under paragraphs A through B above, an aggrieved applicant or
licensee may request a formal hearing. Such request shall be addressed via
certified mail to the Director of Consumer Affairs. Within a reasonable time
thereafter, the Director shall appoint an independent hearing officer with the
authority to compel the attendance of witnesses, administer oaths, take the
testimony of any person under oath and in connection therewith require the
production of any evidence relating to any matters affecting the determination.
The applicant shall be advised of the hearing date and his/her right to be
represented by counsel at said hearing. The hearing officer shall render
his/her Decision and Recommendation to the Director within thirty (30) days of
the date of the hearing. The Director will notify the applicant/licensee within a
reasonable time thereafter of his/her Final Determination with respect to the
disposition of his/her license/application for license.
§195-8. Non-transferability of license.
No license under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferred or assigned to any
person or used by any person other than the licensee to whom it was issued, his agents,
employees or duly authorized representatives, said agents, employees or duly authorized
representatives having been approved by the Director.
§195-9. Restrictions.
A. It shall be unlawful for a secondhand dealer to purchase any secondhand
articles from any person whom such dealer knows to be or has reason to
believe to be under the age of 18 years.
B. It shall be unlawful for any secondhand dealer to sell or dispose of any
secondhand articles until the expiration of 14 days after the acquisition by
such dealer of said secondhand article.
1. All articles subject to this holding period shall be available for
inspection by the County or any Local Law Enforcement Agency.
C. 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.
D. No weighing or measuring device shall be used in the purchase or sale of
precious metals or gems within Putnam County without first notifying the
Director, or his/her designee, of its intended use.
E. It shall be unlawful for a secondhand dealer to purchase secondhand articles
from any person between the hours of ten o’clock in the evening and six
o’clock in the morning.
F. It shall be unlawful for a secondhand dealer to purchase secondhand articles
from any person who appears to be intoxicated or of unsound mind.
G. It shall be unlawful for a secondhand dealer to purchase secondhand articles
from a person who is unable to produce proper identification.
1. For purposes of this section, proper identification shall be a valid
United States Passport; a New York State Driver’s License; or
equivalent state-issued picture identification that contains the
person’s name, a physical description, and current address. Social
Security cards, draft registration cards, voter registration cards,
school or college identification cards, and comparable documents
shall not be considered sufficient identification for the purpose of
this Local Law.
H. It shall be unlawful for any secondhand dealer to engage in buying activities in
any place within Putnam County other than the place of business designated
in such license, except to meet with a customer at his home, bank or suitable
place of business. However, when purchases or sales are made at locations
other than the premises of such an establishment, the licensee must note the
location where the transaction took place in addition to the records required
by this chapter. A secondhand dealer may, upon application to the Director
and receiving approval of the Director, temporarily extend his license to cover
other locations within the County of Putnam, such as flea markets, fairs,
bazaars or religious or charitable organization functions.
I. It shall be unlawful for a secondhand dealer to continue to carry on business
after his license is suspended, revoked, or has expired and has not been
J. It shall be unlawful for any secondhand dealer to damage, destroy, alter or in
any way change or direct or request anyone else to alter or change the
structure or makeup of a precious metal or gem so as to make it unidentifiable
within 14 days after the acquisition by said dealers of such precious metal or
gem. In the event that said secondhand dealer damages, destroys, alters or in
any way changes the precious metal or gem, the secondhand dealer shall
restore the precious metal or gem to its original condition as much as is
possible, provided that the secondhand dealer receives a written request to do
so from the owner of said item and law enforcement agency within the time
limits set forth in this Subsection J.
§ 195-10 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 of such prices.
§ 195-11. Lost or stolen property.
If any articles composed wholly or in part of precious metals or gems shall be advertised
in any newspaper printed or circulated in the County of Putnam or reported by law
enforcement 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 licensed
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. The failure of the law enforcement agency within 30 days to give
the dealer further written notice that the articles are actually lost or believed to be stolen
and are needed in connection with a pending investigation or prosecution shall
constitute authorization to dispose of said articles.
§ 195-12. Written Records.
A. No secondhand dealer shall acquire an item specified herein, whether within
the physical place of business or off site, within Putnam County, unless such
secondhand dealer has requested, obtained and recorded the following
information in English:
1. The amount paid or advanced for the article;
2. A detailed, complete and accurate description of the article,
including but not limited to identifying marks, such as, but not
limited to, monograms, engravings, and inscriptions;
3. If applicable, the article’s serial number, make and model number;
4. In the case of precious metals, jewelry, gems or precious stones, a
photograph of the article;
5. Identification information, as described in (C) below, of the person
offering the article for sale;
6. A physical description of the person conducting the transaction;
7. The date, time and place of the transaction.
B. A bill of sale and/or receipt MUST be given, and a copy retained by the
secondhand dealer. Any bill of sale and/or receipt must be numbered in
consecutive order and issued in the same order.
C. Identification Information.
Every secondhand dealer MUST request identification from the seller and
compare the photographic image to the seller to verify the identity when
acquiring a secondhand article. The secondhand dealer shall record the name,
date of birth, address or current address (if different than that on the
identification), and the identification number (i.e. motorist identification
number on a driver’s license) of the seller’s identification. However, if the
acquisition is made from another secondhand dealer, then the secondhand
dealer purchasing the item shall record the date, time, business name and
address of the secondhand dealer selling the item and the number of days the
article was held prior to acquisition. Purchases between secondhand dealers
do not require photographic identification.
Only the following shall be deemed acceptable evidence of identity: a valid
United States Passport; a New York State Driver’s License; or equivalent stateissued picture identification that contains the person’s name, a physical
description, and current address. Social Security cards, draft registration
cards, voter registration cards, school or college identification cards, and
comparable documents shall not be considered sufficient identification for the
purpose of this Local Law.
D. Records Retention/Inspections.
1. Every secondhand dealer shall maintain the information required
pursuant to this section in a secure location for a minimum period of
five (5) years. Every secondhand dealer shall allow any records kept
pursuant to this Local Law and all articles of secondhand merchandise
therein, to be examined during normal business hours by any member
of law enforcement, the Director or his/her designee. Computerized
records can be used to satisfy the requirements of this Local Law
provided that such records include the information herein and are
available for inspection in printed format upon request.
2. Additionally, every secondhand dealer shall electronically report each
article purchased using a computer program approved by law
enforcement and the Director during the sale. Such reporting will
include the required information described in subsections (A) and (C) of
this section of this Local Law. Jewelry, gems and precious stones are
NOT to be transmitted with these records. Further, nothing in this
section shall be construed as to prevent law enforcement from
requesting the form required hereunder to be filed on such other date or
at such other times and frequency as exigency or law enforcement need
may require. Law enforcement shall establish by rule the format and
requirements of the transmission of data and may restrict the scope of
the items that are to be electronically reported.
E. Law Enforcement Hold.
A secondhand dealer, when notified by law enforcement that property in
his/her possession is stolen or alleged to be stolen, shall take immediate steps
to secure that property and such property shall be marked ―POLICE STOP.‖
Thereafter, such property shall not be sold or removed from the premises until
notification is made to the dealer in writing by law enforcement allowing such
removal or sale.
§ 195-13. Payments of Secondhand Dealer By Check.
It shall be unlawful for a secondhand dealer to make a payment in cash money to any
seller or pledger.
§ 195-14. Report to law enforcement agencies.
Every secondhand 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 chapter.
§ 195-15. Duty to enforce.
It shall be the duty of any member of law enforcement, or the Department of Consumer
Affairs, having jurisdiction at the site where a person is seen dealing in secondhand
articles to enforce the provisions of this chapter against any person found to be in
violation of this chapter.
§ 195-16. Disclaimer of liability.
This chapter shall not create any liability on the part of the County of Putnam, its officers,
agents or employees or any member of law enforcement for any act or damage caused
as a result of reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made
§ 195-17. Penalties for offenses.
A. A failure to comply with §§195-9 (A), (B), (E), (F), (G), and (J); 195-11; 195-12 (A)
– (E); 195-13; and 195-14 shall constitute a violation and shall be punishable by
a fine not exceeding $500, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days,
or by both such fine and imprisonment.
B. A failure to comply with §§195-3; 195-6; 195-8; 195-9 (C), (D), (H), and (I); and
195-10 shall subject the person committing the offense to a civil penalty in the
amount of $500 for each day that the offense shall continue, collectible by and
in the name of the County of Putnam.
§ 195-18. Severability.
If any section of this Local Law or the application thereof to any person or circumstance
shall be adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment
shall be confirmed in its operation to the controversy in which it is rendered, and shall
not effect or invalidate the remainder of any other provision or any section or the
application of any part thereof to any other person or circumstance and to this end, the
provisions of each Section of the Law is hereby declared to be severable.
§ 195-19. Applicability.
This Local Law shall apply to actions or transactions occurring on or after the effective
date of this Local Law.
Section 2.
This local law shall take effect on October 1, 2013.