[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Burlington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Precious Metals and Gems
[Adopted 4-3-2012 by Ord. No. 05-2012]
The Common Council of the City of Burlington hereby finds that there is a need to regulate and control the buying and selling of gold, silver, precious or semiprecious materials in order to prevent the easy disposal of items which have been unlawfully obtained as a result of crime, while protecting and recognizing the legitimate businesses which are engaged in the buying and selling of gold, silver, precious and semiprecious materials.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity, whether permanent or itinerant, who on one or more occasions (through any means) buys or sells secondhand gold, silver, precious or semiprecious metals, gems, jewelry and includes everyone advertising the purchase of sale or any of the aforementioned items. For purposes of this section and article, the term "dealer" shall not include any entity dealing in the retail sale of jewelry whose business consists of greater than 90% sales in jewelry or goods that are not secondhand in nature, nor shall the term dealer include any entity whose business consists of the sale of used antique merchandise purchased by the entity through the wholesale antique/estate sales market, or whose business in the antique market consist of greater than 90% in the sales of antiques to the public. The determination as to whether any entity dealing in the buying or selling of any gold, silver, precious or semiprecious metals, gems or jewelry shall be made by the Chief of Police of the City, or his or her designee. In the event that any applicant or entity disagrees with the Chief's determination, that entity shall have the right to a hearing before the Common Council for the City of Burlington.
- ITINERANT BUSINESS
- Any business conducted intermittently within the City or at varying locations. No itinerant business may be conducted within 500 feet of a school or park. Minor shall mean any person under the age of 18 years.
- PERMANENT-BASED BUSINESS
- Any business conducted on a year-round basis and housed in a single structure, such as a store and residence. No permanent-based business shall be located within 500 feet of a school or park unless said business was in existence at the time of the adoption of this article.
Each dealer in secondhand jewelry and precious metals, as defined in § 275-2 of this article, conducting business within the City of Burlington shall first obtain a license to do so and shall apply through the office of the City Clerk. The application shall contain the following information:
The name and permanent address of the applicant;
If the applicant is a corporation, partnership or other business entity, the names and addresses of each person having more than ten-percent interest in the applicant;
The address of the applicant's place of business within the City of Burlington and any other business location of the applicant;
The applicant's photograph (if the applicant is an entity, a photograph(s) of the owner(s) having more than ten-percent interest in the applicant).
Upon notice from the office of the City Clerk, the Chief of Police shall cause such investigation to be made of the applicant's business and moral character as he/she deems necessary for the public good. Such investigation shall include fingerprinting of the applicant and all employees. If the applicant is a corporation, or other business entity, the majority shareholder, or controlling owners, shall be fingerprinted, as well as all others owning at least 10% of the applicant.
The Chief of Police, after inserting thereon his or her recommendations and results of any investigations relative to the license applied for, shall forward the application to the office of the City Clerk.
If the finding of the Chief of Police is that the applicant's business and moral character is unsatisfactory based on one or more of the following findings or on other evidence:
Then the City Clerk shall deny the application in writing and shall send a copy, plainly marked "Not Approved," to the Police Department and file the original in his or her office as City Clerk.
If the findings of the Chief of Police are that the applicant's business and moral character are satisfactory, the City Clerk shall issue a license to the applicant and in the applicant's name. Said license shall be prominently displayed at the place of business in a visible location if said business is a permanent-based business as defined in § 275-2 herein.
Upon issuance of a license, the fee shall be based as follows:
Permanent-based business: $500 for the initial application; $500 for each year thereafter of continuous operation. A business that has discontinued operation for longer than one year shall be required to pay the initial application fee of $500 upon restarting the same business.
Itinerant business: $25 per day of business.
A license issued under the provisions of this article shall not be transferable and shall terminate on December 31 of the year in which the license is issued.
Each dealer shall maintain a complete record of each purchase and sale, by computer database, including the date, amount paid, description of item sufficient to clearly identify it, any identifying numbers, and the name, residence address, age and photograph of the person(s) from whom the items were purchased or received, and the name and residence address of the person(s) to whom the items were sold, and requiring such person(s) to sign a receipt for each item. These records shall be subject to inspection by any authorized police officer of the City of Burlington. The dealer shall maintain such records for at least two years after each transaction and computer records must have a secure backup system in the event of a computer failure.
Each dealer which operates as an itinerant business shall deliver to the City of Burlington Police Department the description of all items purchased, received or sold, within two business days of the completion of the transaction on forms prescribed by, and which from time to time may be modified by, the Chief of Police.
Each dealer which operates as a permanent-based business within the City of Burlington shall deliver to the City of Burlington Police Department on Monday by 5:00 p.m., the description of all items purchased, received or sold during the preceding week on forms prescribed by, and which from time to time may be modified by, the Chief of Police.
No dealer shall sell, melt or change the form of or dispose of any articles purchased or received for at least 10 business days from the date of the purchase, and all such items shall be made available for inspection by the Chief of Police or any police officer of the City upon request, for at least 10 business days.
Each dealer must require two forms of identification of the person with whom it is transacting business, one of which should be a driver's license, if such individual has a driver's license or other valid photo identification, and no purchase may be made from any minor or with any individual who is in an intoxicated state and/or is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drugs. Any minor wishing to make a transaction under this article must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who shall present the appropriate identification set forth in this section. In the event that the seller has no photo identification, the dealer must take a photo of the seller to be placed in the computer database required pursuant to § 275-5 herein.
Licenses issued under the provision of this article may be revoked by the Common Council after a hearing on notice for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for the license.
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made in the course of carrying on the business of purchasing secondhand and precious metals, gems and jewelry.
Any violation of this article.
Conviction of any crime of the first, second, third or fourth degree, or a disorderly person's offense involving moral turpitude.
Conducting the business of soliciting or canvassing in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a license shall be given in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the licensee at his last known address at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
Failure to respond or appear at the hearing shall result in a revocation of the license. For good cause, a reasonable postponement to a new hearing date shall be granted to the licensees or their attorney if made within the five-day period.
This article shall not be applicable to any person, partnership, corporation or entity which receives secondhand gold, silver, precious metals, gems or jewelry as a gift.
Any provisions of the article in addition to the revocation of license pursuant to § 275-9 herein shall be subject upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or community service not to exceed 90 days or any combination thereof. Each date that a violation is deemed to occur shall be a separate offense.