Township of Falls, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township 7-17-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licensed businesses — See Ch. 145.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 173.

§ 169-1 Definitions.

BUSINESS DAY
A day on which business is done.
DEALER
A pawnbroker, precious metals dealer, antique dealer and/or secondhand dealer. For purposes of this chapter only, dealer shall not be defined to include a person or persons engaged in a "yard sale" as that term is defined in Chapter 142 of the Code of Ordinances of Falls Township.
GOVERNMENT IDENTIFICATION
A valid identification document issued by a state or federal government, bearing a photograph that gives identifying data, such as name, date of birth, gender, physical description, and current address of the person bearing the card.
ITEM
Personal property, precious metal, antique and/or secondhand or used good.
MINOR
Any person under the age of 18.
PAWNBROKER
An individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other business entity, including an itinerant and/or transient merchant, doing business in the Township of Falls that lends money in exchange for personal property deposited by a pledger as security that can be sold if the loan is not repaid within a specified period and/or engages in purchase and resale of any merchandise from a pledger or seller.
PLEDGE
An article or articles deposited with a pawnbroker as security for a loan or currency in the course of his/her business as defined in the definition of "pawnbroker."
PLEDGER
The person who obtains the loan from a pawnbroker and delivers a pledge into the possession of a pawnbroker, unless such person discloses that he/she is or was acting for another, in which case "pledger" means the disclosed principal.
PRECIOUS METAL DEALER
An individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other business entity, including an itinerant and/or transient merchant, doing business in the Township of Falls that purchases or makes appraisals of precious metals and their alloys for resale to refiners, brokers, or the public.
PRECIOUS METAL
An item containing or being of ten-karat gold or greater fineness, silver, platinum, including, but not limited to, jewelry and silver services.
SECONDHAND DEALER OR ANTIQUE DEALER
An individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other business entity, including an itinerant and/or transient merchant, doing business in the Township of Falls that purchases or makes appraisals of secondhand or used goods for resale or refining, or an individual who acts as an agent for such individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other business organization or entity.
SECONDHAND or USED GOOD
One that is being purchased by or otherwise transferred to a second or later end user.
SELLER
The person who obtains payment from a dealer in return for the sale of any merchandise to the dealer.
TRANSACTION
A purchase, sale or loan by any dealer.
WORKING DAYS
Weekdays Monday through Friday, but not including national holidays.

§ 169-2 Licenses and registration.

A. 
License. No person shall act as a dealer unless he or she has obtained a license from the Township Manager for each location from which that person seeks to act as a pawnbroker. Said license shall be prominently displayed so that it is easily visible to members of the public.
B. 
Registration. No person shall act as a dealer unless he or she pays an annual registration license fee of $200 for each location from which the applicant intends to operate.
C. 
Pawnbrokers license. No license to act as a pawnbroker shall be issued by the Township Manager unless the applicant has been licensed first by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as required by the Act of April 6, 1937, P.L. 200, 63 P.S. § 281, as amended.
D. 
Dealer in precious metals licensed. No license to act as a dealer in precious metals shall be issued by the Township Manager unless the applicant has been licensed first by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or the County of Bucks as required by 73 P.S. § 1932, as amended.

§ 169-3 Records required.

A. 
All dealers are required to maintain records of all transactions, including but not limited to pledges, loans, purchases and sales. Records shall be kept in the English language.
B. 
All records shall include the following information:
(1) 
Date of sale;
(2) 
Time of sale;
(3) 
Location of sale;
(4) 
Make;
(5) 
Model;
(6) 
Serial number;
(7) 
Model number;
(8) 
Description;
(9) 
Color;
(10) 
Special markings of the pledge or sale item;
(11) 
Currency amount paid to pledger and or seller; and
(12) 
Photocopy of the pledger/seller government identification.
C. 
A color photograph shall be produced for all items and/or for all precious metals received. The color photograph shall be of sufficient clarity to enable identification of the item(s).
D. 
A copy of all pledge and/or sale transactions containing this information shall be retained at the location of business for a period of two years after the date of transaction, payment, loan, or sale of the pledge, whichever is later.

§ 169-4 Weighing devices.

A. 
All scales or other devices used by dealers to weigh precious metals must be of a type approved for commercial use in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and must be inspected and sealed by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards' Weights and Measures Division.
B. 
Dealers must notify the Pennsylvania Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards' Weights and Measures Division whenever a weighing device referred to in Subsection A above is moved from one location to another.

§ 169-5 Identification of pledger/seller.

The dealer shall obtain the following information from the pledger and/or seller for the purposes of establishing identification of each pledger and/or seller:
A. 
A photocopy of verified government-issued identification;
B. 
An accurate physical description of the pledger and/or seller, including race, gender, eye and hair color and identifying marks, if any;
C. 
A clearly visible thumbprint of the pledger and/or seller on a form approved by the Falls Township Police Department; and
D. 
A color photograph of the pledger and/or seller. The color photograph shall be of the front of the pledger and/or seller's face, not his or her profile. When possible, the individual's torso should also be visible in the photograph.

§ 169-6 Stolen property.

A dealer may seize any item offered in a sale or pledge which he/she has reason to believe is stolen property. The dealer shall issue a seizure receipt to the person presenting such property in pledge and shall immediately deliver such seized property, together with a copy of the seizure receipt, to the Falls Township Police Department. If property is identified as stolen either by the Police Department or an individual claiming ownership of the subject property, the dealer shall immediately notify the Police Department, and such property shall be held until there is a final resolution as to the ownership of the subject property.

§ 169-7 Electronic filing.

A. 
Responsibility of Township.
(1) 
The Falls Township Police Department shall enter into an agreement with an online entity which operates an electronic database for law enforcement agencies for the purpose of identifying stolen merchandise and persons suspected of thefts.
(2) 
The entity chosen by the Falls Police Department to administer the electronic inventory tracking system shall insure that all data remain secure and confidential by providing to each dealer login security protocols which meet current industry standards, and shall employ state-of-the-art technology to protect the data from all forms of unauthorized access and malicious intrusion.
B. 
Responsibility of dealer.
(1) 
Each dealer doing business in the Township of Falls shall, within 30 days of the adoption of this chapter, maintain an electric inventory tracking system which is capable of securely and confidentially uploading all transactions via computer to the entity designated by the Falls Township Police Department pursuant to Section A herein.
(2) 
Daily upload. No later than 24 hours after the completion of the transaction, every dealer must upload, in the manner specified by the Police Department, the required tracking information for all transactions. This section shall apply regardless of whether the twenty-four-hour time limit falls in a working day, a weekend day, or a national or religious holiday. It shall not be a defense that a dealer did not comply with this section because the day following the transaction was not a working day.

§ 169-8 Holding period and inspection.

A. 
All items shall be kept in unaltered condition, available for inspection by law enforcement officials in the course of their law enforcement duties, for 10 working days following a transaction by a dealer or a data upload as specified in § 169-7 above, whichever occurs last.
B. 
Law enforcement officials shall not require a search warrant to inspect the item, unless the inspection is made during hours other than regular business hours.
C. 
During the holding period, any item subject to the holding period shall be segregated from other inventory to insure that it is not placed in an area or section where personal property and/or precious metals are offered for sale. Where any item is held off the premises, the dealer shall make the item available for inspection within 24 hours after receiving a request for inspection by law enforcement officials.
D. 
Any law enforcement official who has reason to believe any item was not sold or exchanged by the lawful owner may direct the dealer to hold the item for a reasonable length of time that the law enforcement official considers necessary to identify it.

§ 169-9 Business with minors.

All business transactions between dealers and minors are prohibited.

§ 169-10 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Fines. Any person and/or dealer who violates, fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any provision of this chapter shall pay a fine not exceeding $600 and costs and, in default of payment thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall be considered a separate offense.
B. 
Dealer's license suspension. In addition to the fines specified in Subsection A above, a dealer who violates any provisions of this section shall have his license(s) suspended.
(1) 
The dealer's license shall be suspended for 90 days for the first offense.
(2) 
The dealer's license shall be suspended for a period of one year upon each succeeding offense.
C. 
Suspension of pawnbroker's license.
(1) 
Pursuant to the Act of April 6, 1937, P.L. 200, 63 P.S. § 281, as amended, if a pawnbroker's license is suspended, the Township Manager shall provide written notice of the suspension to the Secretary of Banking for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Secretary of Banking shall then conduct a hearing to ascertain if the pawnbroker's license shall be revoked.
(2) 
No operating license shall be issued when any pawnbroker's license has been revoked by the Secretary of Banking for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where the pawnbroker retains a property interest in the location where the operating license was suspended or the pawnbroker retains a pecuniary interest in the corporation or any affiliated business entities therein.
D. 
Cease operations.
(1) 
During any period of license suspension, the dealer shall cease operation at each and every location of the dealer's business.
(2) 
Cease operations order.
(a) 
The Township Manager or his designee shall issue a cease operations order for each business location operated by the dealer whose license(s) has/have been suspended in accordance with the Township of Falls Code.
(b) 
The cease operations order shall identify the prohibited operations and shall state that the applicable license has been suspended for violation(s) of the Code.
(c) 
The cease operations order shall be in force for the full period of any license suspension and shall set forth this period in the order.
(d) 
The Township Manager or his designee shall not remove any posted cease operations order until he is satisfied that all suspended licenses have been restored, or the property interests in the location have changed so that neither the person or dealer under license suspension, nor any member of his immediate family, or, in the case of a corporation, the corporation or any affiliated business entities, retain a pecuniary interest therein.
E. 
License at cease operations, location. No person or dealer shall be issued a license for a business location that has been posted with a cease operation order, as long as any person under a license suspension or revocation, or any member of that person's immediate family, or, in the case of a corporation, the corporation or any affiliated business entities, retain a pecuniary interest in the property at that location.

§ 169-11 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are severable, and if any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of this chapter. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Falls Township Board of Supervisors that this chapter would have been adopted had such unconstitutional or invalid provisions not been included herein.