Metals Theft Laws
The most effective way to address the problem of metal theft is through a comprehensive strategy focusing first on efforts to prevent metal theft to the maximum extent practicable and second on assisting law enforcement and prosecutors in their efforts to catch, prosecute, and penalize those who perpetrate these thefts to the extent necessary to dissuade their colleagues from a similar path.
To this end, Florida Recyclers Association has worked closely with the state legislature and law enforcement agencies to bring about Florida laws to prevent metals thefts.
To find out how we can assist law enforcement and legislators, please click <here>
Florida Metals Theft Statute || read item
Effective July 1, 2012
The regulation of transactions involving regulated metals is preempted to the state unless the ordinance or regulation was enacted before March 1, 2012.
The law creates a new category of “restricted regulated metals” for which additional restrictions and requirements are imposed on Secondary Metals Recyclers. (See below, page 3)
Secondary Metals Recyclers are required to collect certain information from any seller of regulated metals and keep records of such information for not less than 3 years.
Required information that must be collected includes:
During the usual and customary business hours, law enforcement may inspect records and regulated metals property in the possession of the secondary metals recycler.
Electronic Records and Reporting
Secondary metals recyclers must maintain an electronic database of all purchase transactions. All of the above information, including the oath of ownership, seller signature and thumbprint, must be in electronic form that can be downloaded onto a paper form.
Electronic records of purchase transactions must be electronically transmitted to law enforcement no later than 10 a.m. of the business day following the date of the transaction and must not include the price paid. If law enforcement requests records for the purpose of a criminal investigation, the secondary metals recycler must make available the original transaction records, including the price paid, and transmit them within 24 hours.
Whenever law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that certain items of regulated metals property in the possession of a secondary metals recycler have been stolen, the law enforcement officer may issue a 15 calendar day hold notice to the secondary metals recycler. Law enforcement may issue a second extended hold notice for 45 calendar days.
This law does not apply to purchases of regulated metals property from:
No cash transactions in excess of $1,000 for the purchase of regulated metals property.
Payment in excess of $1,000 for regulated metals must be made by check issued to the seller of the metal and payable to the seller. Payment for restricted regulated metals must be by check issued to the seller and payable to the seller or by electronic payment. Checks are to be mailed after 3 days and may not be mailed to a P.O. Box.
Checks may be provided at the time of purchase if the seller is:
Secondary metals recyclers must register with the department. A secondary metals recycler must pay a fee of $6 per location at the time of registration and an annual renewal fee of $6 per location on October 1 each year. A secondary metals recycler’s registration must be conspicuously displayed at the place of business. The Department of Revenue may impose a civil fine of up to $10,000 for each knowing and intentional violation of the registration requirements. If the fine is not paid within 60 days, the department may bring a civil action to recover the fine. Registration may be denied or revoked, restricted, or suspended by the department under certain circumstances.
Restricted Regulated Metals
The following materials are subject to the new cash ban and other restrictions:
Secondary metals recycler may not do or allow any of the following:
A secondary metals recycler who knowingly and intentionally violates the inspection or hold requirements, engages in a pattern of failing to keep records, purchases regulated metals from any seller who presents the property for sale when it was not transported in a motor vehicle or violates the payment prohibition commits a felony of the third degree. Recyclers committing a third or subsequent violation, commit a felony of the third degree. A recycler who commits a third or subsequent violation commits a felony of the first degree.
A person acting as a secondary metals recycler who is not registered with the department commits a felony of the third degree.
If a lawful owner recovers stolen regulated metals property from a secondary metals recycler who has complied with this law, and the seller is convicted of theft, a violation of the metals theft law, or dealing in stolen property, the defendant must make full restitution to the secondary metals recycler.
|Analysis of Florida House Bill 885 || download PDF|
|Final Florida House Bill 885 || download PDF|
|Alabama House Bill 278 || download PDF|
|Georgia House Bill 872 || download PDF|