Chapter 5.20
PRECIOUS METALS AND GEMS AND PAWNBROKERS*

Sections:

Article I. Dealers

5.20.010    Definitions.

5.20.020    Article not applicable to purchase or sale of coins.

5.20.030    Waiver of article provisions for certain exhibitions and shows.

5.20.040    Violations of article.

5.20.050    Inspection of records required by article and of articles listed in such records.

5.20.060    Bond or letter of credit.

5.20.070    Notice of closing and reopening of business – Location of business.

5.20.080    Identification of persons from whom purchases made.

5.20.090    Record of purchases.

5.20.100    Prohibited purchases.

5.20.110    Retention of purchases.

5.20.120    Record of sales.

5.20.130    Permit required.

5.20.140    Application – Fee.

5.20.150    Applicant’s weighing devices to be inspected and approved.

5.20.160    Issuance or denial.

5.20.170    Not transferable.

5.20.180    Term – Renewal.

5.20.190    Revocation.

Article II. Pawnbrokers

5.20.200    Definition.

5.20.210    License required.

5.20.220    Issuance of license.

5.20.230    Private action upon bond.

5.20.240    Strict observance of state code.

*Editor’s note – Title of chapter changed by ordinance of 1-26-95.

Article I. Dealers*

*State law reference – Authority of city to adopt ordinance from which this article is derived, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.26.

5.20.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:

“Coin” means any piece of gold, silver or other metal fashioned into a prescribed shape, weight and degree of fineness, stamped by authority of a government with certain marks and devices, and having a certain fixed value as money.

“Dealer” means any person engaged in the business of purchasing secondhand precious metals or gems, removing in any manner precious metals or gems from manufactured articles not then owned by such person or buying, acquiring or selling precious metals or gems removed from such manufactured articles. “Dealer” shall mean any employer or principal on whose behalf a purchase is made and any employee or agent who makes any such purchase for or on behalf of his employer or principal. This definition shall not be construed so as to include persons engaged in the following:

(1) Purchases of precious metals or gems directly from other dealers, manufacturers or wholesalers for retail or wholesale inventories, provided the selling dealer has complied with the provisions of this article.

(2) Purchases of precious metals or gems from a duly qualified fiduciary who is disposing of the assets of the estate being administered by such fiduciary in the administration of an estate.

(3) Acceptance by a retail merchant of trade-in merchandise previously sold by such retail merchant to the person presenting that merchandise for trade-in.

(4) Repairing, restoring or designing jewelry by a retail merchant, if such activities are within his normal course of business.

(5) Purchases of precious metals or gems by industrial refiners and manufacturers, insofar as such purchases are made directly from retail merchants, wholesalers, dealers or by mail originating outside the commonwealth.

(6) Persons regularly engaged in the business of purchasing and processing nonprecious scrap metals which incidentally may contain traces of precious metals recoverable as a byproduct.

“Gems” means any item containing precious or semiprecious stones customarily used in jewelry.

“Precious metals” means any item, except coins, composed in whole or in part of gold, silver, platinum or platinum alloys. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-1; Code 1985, § 21-11).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.15.

5.20.020 Article not applicable to purchase or sale of coins.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to the sale or purchase of coins. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-12; Code 1985, § 21-12).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.27.

5.20.030 Waiver of article provisions for certain exhibitions and shows.

The chief of police or his designee may waive, by written notice, any provisions of this article, except SCC 5.20.100, for particular numismatic, gem or antique exhibitions or craft shows sponsored by nonprofit organizations; provided, that the purpose of the exhibitions or shows is nonprofit in nature, notwithstanding the fact that there may be casual purchases and trades made at such exhibitions or shows. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-10; Code 1985, § 21-13).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.24.

5.20.040 Violations of article.

Any person convicted of violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-11; Code 1985, § 21-14).

Cross reference – Penalty for Class 3 misdemeanor, SCC 1.05.100.

5.20.050 Inspection of records required by article and of articles listed in such records.

Every dealer shall admit to his premises, during regular business hours, the chief of police or his sworn designee or any law enforcement official of the state or federal government, and shall permit such officer to examine all records required by this article and to examine any article listed in a record which is believed by the officer or official to be missing or stolen. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-2; Code 1985, § 21-15).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.16.

5.20.060 Bond or letter of credit.

(1) Every dealer, at the time of obtaining a permit under SCC 5.20.130 et seq. of this article, shall enter into a recognizance to the city, secured by a corporate surety authorized to do business in the commonwealth, in the penal sum of $25,000, conditioned upon due observance of the terms of this article. In lieu of a bond, a dealer may cause to be issued, by a bank authorized to do business in the commonwealth, a letter of credit in favor of the city in the sum of $25,000.

(2) A single bond upon an employer or principal may be written or a single letter of credit issued under this section to cover all employees and all transactions occurring at a single location.

(3) If any person shall be aggrieved by the misconduct of any dealer who has violated the provisions of this article, he may maintain an action for recovery in any court of proper jurisdiction against such dealer and his surety; provided, that recovery against the surety shall be only for that amount of the judgment, if any, which is unsatisfied by the dealer. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-7, 3-8; Code 1985, § 21-16).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, §§ 54-859.21, 54-859.22.

5.20.070 Notice of closing and reopening of business – Location of business.

If the business of a dealer is not operated without interruption, Saturdays, Sundays and recognized holidays excepted, the dealer shall notify the chief of police of all closings and reopenings of such business. The business of a dealer shall be conducted only from the fixed and permanent location specified in his application for a permit under SCC 5.20.130 et seq. of this article. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-17).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.23E.

5.20.080 Identification of persons from whom purchases made.

No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems without first ascertaining the identity of the seller by requiring an identification issued by a governmental agency, with a photograph of the seller thereon, and at least one other corroborating means of identification. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-3; Code 1985, § 21-18).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.17.

5.20.090 Record of purchases.

(1) Every dealer shall keep at his place of business an accurate and legible record of each purchase of precious metals or gems. The record of each such purchase shall be retained for not less than 24 months. These records shall set forth the following:

(a) A complete description of all precious metals or gems purchased from each seller. The description shall include all names, initials, serial numbers or other identifying marks or monograms on each item purchased, the true weight or carat of any gem and the price paid for each item.

(b) The date and time of receiving the items purchased.

(c) The name, address, age, sex, race, driver’s license number or social security number and signature of the seller.

(2) The information required by subsection (1) of this section shall appear on each bill of sale for all precious metals and gems purchased by a dealer, and a copy shall be mailed or delivered, within 24 hours of the time of purchase, to the chief of police. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-2; Code 1985, § 21-19).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.16.

5.20.100 Prohibited purchases.

(1) No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems from any seller who is under the age of 18 years.

(2) No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems from any seller who the dealer believes or has reason to believe is not the owner of such items, unless the seller has written and duly authenticated authorization from the owner permitting and directing such sale. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-4; Code 1985, § 21-20).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.18.

5.20.110 Retention of purchases.

(1) A dealer shall retain all precious metals or gems purchased for a minimum of 10 calendar days from the date on which a copy of the bill of sale is received by the chief of police pursuant to SCC 5.20.090. Until the expiration of this period, the dealer shall not sell, alter or dispose of a purchased item, in whole or in part, or remove it from the city.

(2) If a dealer performs the service of removing precious metals or gems, he shall retain the metals or gems removed and the article from which the removal was made for a period of 10 calendar days after receiving such article and precious metals or gems. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-5; Code 1985, § 21-21).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, §§ 54-859.19.

5.20.120 Record of sales.

Each dealer shall keep and maintain, for at least 24 months, an accurate and legible record of the name and address of each person to whom he sells any precious metal or gem in its original form after the waiting period required by SCC 5.20.110. This record shall also show the name and address of the seller from whom the dealer purchased such item. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-6; Code 1985, § 21-22).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.20.

5.20.130 Permit required.

No person shall engage in the activities of a dealer within the city, unless he has a current permit so to do issued pursuant to this article. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-28).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.23A.

5.20.140 Application – Fee.

To obtain a permit required by this article, the dealer shall file with the chief of police an application form which shall include the dealer’s full name and any aliases and his address, age, sex and fingerprints, the name, address and telephone number of the applicant’s employer, if any, and the location of the dealer’s place of business. Such application shall be accompanied by an application fee of $200.00. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-29).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54-859.23B.

5.20.150 Applicant’s weighing devices to be inspected and approved.

Before a permit may be issued under this article, the applicant must have all weighing devices used in his business inspected and approved by local or state weights and measures officials and shall present written evidence of such approval to the chief of police. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-30).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54.1-4108C.

5.20.160 Issuance or denial.

Upon the filing of a proper application under this article and compliance with the provisions of this article, the applicant shall be issued a permit by the chief of police or his designee; provided, that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude within seven years prior to the date of the application. The permit shall be denied if the applicant has previously been denied a permit or has had a permit revoked under this article or under state law or any ordinance of another jurisdiction similar in substance to the provisions of this article. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-31).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54.1-4108B.

5.20.170 Not transferable.

No permit issued under this article shall be transferable. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-32).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54.1-4108D.

5.20.180 Term – Renewal.

A permit issued under this article shall be valid for one year from the date issued and may be renewed in the same manner as such permit was initially obtained, with an annual permit fee of $200.00. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-9; Code 1985, § 21-33).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54.1-4108D.

5.20.190 Revocation.

Upon the first conviction, by any court, of a dealer for a violation of any provision of this article, the chief of police may revoke his permit to engage in business as a dealer under this article for a period of one full year from the date the conviction becomes final. Such revocation shall be mandatory upon a second conviction. (Ord. 12-9-82, § III, 3-11; Code 1985, § 21-34).

State law reference – Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 54.1-4110.

Article II. Pawnbrokers

5.20.200 Definition.

“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 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. (Code 1985, § 21-35).

5.20.210 License required.

No person, firm or corporation shall engage in the business of a pawnbroker without obtaining a license therefore pursuant to Chapter 40 of Subtitle V of Title 54.1 (Sections 54.1-4000 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia, as amended. Applicants shall apply to the circuit court for the city of Staunton, Virginia, for authorization permitting the city of Staunton to issue such license pursuant to Section 54.1-4001 of the Code of Virginia, as amended. (Code 1985, § 21-36).

5.20.220 Issuance of license.

The license authorized by the circuit court for the city of Staunton may be issued by the commissioner of revenue for the city of Staunton, Virginia, upon the following conditions:

(1) The applicant shall furnish the date of birth of the applicant.

(2) The applicant shall designate the location of the building wherein the business shall be conducted.

(3) The applicant, at the time of obtaining such license, shall enter a recognizance to the city of Staunton secured by corporate surety authorized to do business in the commonwealth of Virginia, in the penal sum of $2,500 conditioned upon the due observance of the terms of Section 54.1-4000 through and including Section 54.1-4014 of the Code of Virginia, as amended. In lieu of a bond, the applicant may cause to be issued by a bank authorized to do business in the commonwealth of Virginia a letter of credit in favor of the city of Staunton, conditioned as aforesaid, in the same penal amount. The bond, or letter of credit, set forth herein shall be kept in force and effect during all times that said business is conducted, and evidence of this shall be furnished to the commissioner of revenue upon request. Any person who has previously obtained a license to operate a pawnbroker business who has not posted the bond or letter of credit required hereunder shall be required to post such bond or letter of credit prior to the continuation of such business under the license previously issued. (Code 1985, § 21-37).

5.20.230 Private action upon bond.

Any person who recovers a judgment against a licensed pawnbroker for the pawnbroker’s misconduct may maintain an action in his own name upon the bond (or letter of credit, as the case may be) if the execution issued upon such judgment is wholly or partially unsatisfied. (Code 1985, § 21-38).

5.20.240 Strict observance of state code.

Every pawnbroker must comply with the provisions of Section 54.1-4000 through and including Section 54.1-4014 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, and is subject to the penalties set forth therein for violation thereof. (Code 1985, § 21-39; Ord. 1-26-95).