[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 11-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to provide licensing and regulation of individuals dealing in precious metals, gems, secondhand goods and pawnbrokering to protect the residents of North Brunswick, and those transacting business in the Township of North Brunswick as permitted, in part, by N.J.S.A. 51:6A-1 et seq. and N.J.S.A. 45:22-1 et seq., the Pawnbroking Law. The licensing and regulation of such establishments will assist the North Brunswick Police Department and others in recovering stolen goods. All dealers in precious metals and gems shall comply with this chapter in addition to all laws, rules and regulations as contained in N.J.S.A. 51:6A-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 13:47C-1.1 et seq.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, partnership, association or corporation lending money on deposit or pledge of personal property, other than choses in action, securities, or printed evidences of indebtedness; or purchasing personal property on condition of selling it back at a stipulated price; or doing business as furniture storage warehouseman and lending money on goods, wares or merchandise pledged or deposited as collateral security.
- Individual natural persons, partnerships, joint ventures, societies, associates, clubs, trustees, trusts, corporations or unincorporated groups or any officers, agents, employees, servants, factors or any kind of personal representatives of any thereof, in any capacity, acting either for himself or for any other person under either personal appointment or pursuant to law.
- An article or articles deposited with a pawnbroker in the course of his business.
- A person who delivers the pledge into the possession of a pawnbroker, unless such person discloses that he is or was acting for another, and in such an event "pledger" means the disclosed principal.
- PRECIOUS METALS AND GEMS
- Items comprised of gold, silver, platinum, palladium and alloys thereof, gems, coins containing precious metals and all forms of previously owned jewelry which contain precious metals.
- PRECIOUS METALS AND GEMS BUYER
- A person engaged in the business of purchasing metals, gems, coins, containing precious metals and all forms of previously owned jewelry, either as a primary business or in connection with a related business, from any person who is not in the business of selling precious metals as required under N.J.S.A. 51:6A-1 to 51:6A-8, including, but not limited to, businesses commonly referred to as "jewelry stores."
- SECONDHAND GOODS
- All forms of previously owned goods, including but not limited to antiques, furniture, watches, china, crystal, paintings, precious metals and gems and goods containing precious metals and gems.
Any person, partnership or corporation in the business of buying precious metals, jewels or gems, secondhand goods or pawnbrokering who buys, attempts to buy or offers to buy precious metals or gems on the basis of bulk value from any person who is not in the business of selling precious metals or gems in North Brunswick Township shall maintain a written record of all purchases and shall be subject to the regulations contained in this chapter.
The record shall be kept in a record book with Smyth sewn binding, with all pages numbered in sequence. All entries shall be made in pen or ink. There shall be no spaces between entries, and each entry shall be numbered in sequence.
The purchaser shall require that the seller present a current and reliable form of identification. The form of identification shall bear a photograph of the seller. The record shall reflect the nature of the identification presented. No transaction shall be made with a person under 18 years of age.
The record shall contain the following information which shall be made in the English language:
Date of sale;
Name and address of seller, sex, date of birth, telephone number of seller;
Detailed description of items purchased, including the weight of any precious metal purchased;
A picture or photocopy of the items purchased;
Purchase price; and
A legible photocopy of the seller's identification.
Any person, partnership or corporation in the full- or part-time business of purchasing gold, silver, precious metals and gems, secondhand goods and/or pawnbrokering in North Brunswick Township shall maintain a written record of all purchases of precious metals or jewels, gems, secondhand goods or pawnbrokering in North Brunswick Township and must, prior to engaging in such business, be duly licensed by the Township. The licensing procedure is to be accomplished as follows.
The business entity shall authorize a representative to complete a registration application to obtain a license to deal in precious metals, gems, secondhand goods and pawnbrokering.
The registration application for a license shall be made available to persons wishing to secure same through the Township Clerk's office.
The registration form shall be executed by that person or persons who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business. Where a corporation is involved, the president of the corporation shall sign same, and where partnerships are involved, the managing partner shall sign same.
The registration form shall contain the following information:
The names and current addresses and telephone numbers of all principals of the business. If the business is a corporation, then the information shall include the names and current addresses and telephone numbers of all stockholders;
The place or places where the business entity shall operate from, as well as a listing of the hours when the entity proposes to conduct business;
The names and addresses of three business references;
A statement by the applicant that no principal of the business entity has any arrests or convictions of any crimes. In cases of a corporation, the certification shall apply to all stockholders. If there is an arrest or conviction record, same must be disclosed;
A list of business and home addresses of all principals of the business for the past five years; and
The registration must also include a photograph of the person who will manage the day-to-day operation of the business, and that individual must also agree to be fingerprinted by the Township Police Department.
Upon receipt of such application completed pursuant to this chapter, the Clerk shall refer such application to the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, who shall make an investigation of the prospective licensee pursuant to this chapter for the purpose of determining the suitability of the applicant for licensing as follows:
The experience of the applicant in the business of purchase and sale of those articles or goods referred to in the definitions of "pawnbroker," "precious metals and gems," "precious metals and gems buyer" and "secondhand goods" as set forth in § 237-2, Definitions, herein, although nothing in this section shall be construed to warrant denial of a license solely on the basis of lack of experience.
The reputation of the applicant for fair dealing in the community, which shall be made among credible sources, which sources shall be disclosed to the applicant in the event of a denial of any license.
Any criminal record of the applicant.
The type of operation contemplated to be conducted by the applicant, particularly whether the business is to be operated from a fixed location, whether it is to be conducted from a location primarily devoted to the purchase and sale of those articles and goods referred to in the definitions of "pawnbroker," "precious metals and gems," "precious metals and gems buyer" and "secondhand goods," as set forth in § 237-2, Definitions, herein, and other factors bearing upon whether the licensed business will be of a fixed and permanent nature. This section, however, shall not be construed to require denial of any license solely on the grounds that the business is not conducted from a fixed location.
The Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, shall complete any investigation pursuant to this chapter within 30 days of the submission of the application to the Clerk, fully completed by the applicant. If a criminal record check has been requested within the thirty-day period and has not been received by the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, within that period, the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, may, if all other factors are satisfactory, recommend a conditional issuance of the license subject to the finding regarding criminal record.
The Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, shall, upon completion of the investigation, recommend grant or denial of the requested license to the Clerk, who shall grant or deny the license. Any recommendation of the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, shall be in writing and, in the case of a recommendation of denial, shall state fully and specifically the reasons for said recommendation. If the Clerk accepts the recommendation of the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, to deny any license, the Clerk shall notify the applicant within 10 days of such denial and forward to the applicant a statement of the reason or reasons for such denial. The applicant shall have 10 days thereafter to request reconsideration by the Clerk and may provide the Clerk with any relevant information in response to that set forth in the Clerk's notice of denial.
Grounds for recommending denial of a license may include reliable information indicating that the applicant has in the past engaged in fraudulent or deceptive business practices in a business identical to or similar to the business for which the applicant seeks a license pursuant to this chapter. A license may be denied if the investigation conducted by the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, reveals conviction of the applicant or any of its principal officers or employees of any crime or disorderly persons offense in which deceit or misrepresentation is an element, or any conviction of any crime or disorderly persons offense involving theft or receiving stolen goods, whether the prospective licensee's conviction was as a principal, as an accessory before or after the fact, or as a coconspirator. Upon receipt of the recommendation of the Deputy Chief of Police, or his designee, the Clerk shall issue or deny the license accordingly, contingent upon the receipt of a bond pursuant to § 237-11, Bond, herein. In the event of a denial of the license by the Clerk, the applicant shall be entitled to a hearing before the North Brunswick Township Council, at which time the applicant shall be permitted to introduce such evidence as may be deemed relevant to such denial.
The annual fee for the license shall be $100. All such licenses shall be issued for a period of one year commencing August 1 and expiring July 31 next following the date of issuance, and there shall be no rebate for any lesser time. The license shall be conspicuously exhibited upon the premises licensed thereunder.
Each licensee shall deliver a bond to the Clerk executed by the applicant as principal with a surety company authorized to do business under the laws of the State of New Jersey as surety. The bond, in a form subject to the review and approval of the Township Attorney, shall be in the penal sum of $10,000, conditioned for the due and proper observance of and compliance with the provisions and requirements of all ordinances of the Township in force or which may be adopted respecting the conduct of this business, and conditioned also that the bond shall be and remain for the benefit of any person or persons who shall have received judgment against the licensee licensed under this chapter by reason of any damage sustained by any such person as a result of the operations of the licensee under this chapter, which damage shall be established by a judgment of a court of proper jurisdiction. Said bond shall contain the following language: "The obligation of this bond shall, in addition to the Township of North Brunswick, be and remain for the benefit of any person who shall obtain a judgment against obligor as a result of damage sustained in operation pursuant to any license granted under Chapter 237 of the Code of the Township of North Brunswick." Said bond shall be kept for a minimum of one year from the date of issuance of license and must be renewed annually along with the license.
The purchaser shall make the record available for inspection to any law enforcement officer, upon demand, without the need for advance notice. The record shall be kept at the purchaser's business premises. The records shall be maintained for two years from the date of purchase.
Each business dealer or persons required to be licensed pursuant to this chapter that is doing business in North Brunswick Township shall deliver to the Deputy Chief of Police or his designee, on forms prescribed by the North Brunswick Township Police Department, a description of all items purchased, received or sold, within 24 hours of the completion of the transaction, except for transactions conducted on Saturday, in which case said list shall be delivered to the Police Department by no later than 12:00 noon of the Monday following.
As to those business entities which are governed by this chapter and who are already doing business in the Township prior to the effective date of this chapter, then the businesses shall be licensed within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter.
No business dealer or persons required to be licensed pursuant to this chapter that are doing business in North Brunswick Township shall sell, melt, change the form of or dispose of any articles purchased or received for a period of three business days from the date the notification is made to the Deputy Chief of Police or his designee. All such items shall remain on the premises where the purchase was made until the expiration of the time period set forth herein.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements herein shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the judge. The continuation of such violation on successive days shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided herein for each separate offense.