Town of Ontario, NY
Wayne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ontario 1-25-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board finds that the establishment of specific licensing and reporting requirements for personal property acquired by pawnbrokers will curtail the distribution and facilitate the recovery of stolen property and minimize additional criminal activity in the Town and that the establishment of such licensing and reporting requirements to monitor and track the transactions set forth in this chapter is necessary for the protection of the citizens of the Town and is reasonable and appropriate.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following definitions:
LICENSEE
A pawnbroker duly issued a valid pawnbroker's license, as well as his or her operators, officers, employees, agents and assigns.
PAWNBROKER
Any person or business establishment who holds goods as collateral on short-term, interest- or fee-based loans or a person who qualifies as a collateral loan broker pursuant to § 52 of the New York General Business Law.
PAWNBROKER'S LICENSE
A license issued by the Town Clerk to any pawnbroker pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for a pawnbroker to purchase any item from any person whom such pawnbroker knows to be or has reason to believe to be under the age of 18 years.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any pawnbroker to sell, dispose of, destroy, alter, or remove from such pawnbroker's premises any item until the expiration of 10 calendar days after the acquisition by such dealer of any such item.
C. 
If so demanded in writing by any bona fide law enforcement agency in connection with a police investigation, a pawnbroker shall not sell, dispose of, destroy, alter or remove from such pawnbroker's premises any articles, jewelry or precious metals until the expiration of 30 calendar days from the date of the request. Any bona fide law enforcement agency may demand in writing that the property shall be held for up for a total of three thirty-day periods.
D. 
No pawnbroker shall employ any person who has been convicted within the previous three years of any felony related to the operation of a pawnbroker business or who has had a dealer's license revoked or denied within the previous year.
E. 
No pawnbroker shall permit his or her place of business to remain open for the transaction of business at any time except the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
A. 
Every pawnbroker operating within the Town of Ontario shall obtain and maintain a pawnbroker's license and abide by the provisions of said license, this chapter, and any other applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations. The Town Clerk shall be the licensing authority authorized to issue pawnbroker's licenses.
B. 
Pawnbroker's licenses shall expire annually on December 31 of the year for which said license was issued. To ensure sufficient time to issue a pawnbroker's license for the subsequent year before the existing pawnbroker's license expires, applications for renewal of a pawnbroker's license for the succeeding calendar year shall be submitted to the Town Clerk no later than December 1.
C. 
The initial fee for the first issuance of a pawnbroker's license, as well as the annual fee thereafter and the fee for replacement of a lost pawnbroker's license shall be in the respective amounts established by resolution of the Town Board and on file with the Town Clerk.
D. 
An application for a pawnbroker's license shall be made by the owner or operator on forms provided by and filed with the Town Clerk. The application shall include the nature of the business to be conducted on the premises, and relevant information relative to the owner, operator, and/or employees, as follows:
(1) 
If a pawnbroker employs over five people at a location, the application shall provide the employees' names, dates of birth, and dates of employment and affirm that the same shall be kept and made available for inspection by any bona fide law enforcement agency for one year.
(2) 
Where the owner is not directly involved with the day-to-day operation of said business or the owner is a business entity rather than an individual, the application shall designate an operator who is involved in the day-to-day operation of the business and include the names, home addresses, and phone numbers of any business partners, officers or principals.
(3) 
The application shall also set forth the legal address of the premises where such business is to be carried out and whether the applicant or any officer or operator has previously been involved in the purchase or sale of secondhand goods and, if so, the name of said previous business, its location and the dates of the applicant's affiliation with said business. The application shall be signed and sworn to before a notary public or other official authorized to administer oaths in the State of New York.
(4) 
The application shall also set forth any and all e-commerce websites, including Internet storefronts, third-party sales outlets, as well as any and all written or electronic classified advertisements. The application shall further set forth any and all seller names or otherwise identifying names used by the applicant within those e-commerce sites.
E. 
Before the issuance of a pawnbroker's license, any bona fide law enforcement agency shall have the right to enter upon the applicant's proposed business premises during normal business hours for inspection. After a pawnbroker's license has been issued, any bona fide law enforcement agency shall have the right to enter upon such premises to ensure compliance with any applicable federal, state, or local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations relating to pawnbrokers required to be licensed under this chapter.
F. 
Any change in circumstances relative to any information required to be disclosed by the applicant on the pawnbroker's license application occurring after the application has been filed shall be reported by the applicant or licensee, in writing, to the Town Clerk within 10 days of the change.
G. 
All applications for a pawnbroker's license shall be issued or denied within 30 days after a complete and duly executed application has been received by the Town Clerk. The applicant shall be notified, in writing, of any delay due to an incomplete application, pending investigation, or other reasonable cause.
H. 
Except as provided in Article 23-A of the New York State Corrections Law, the Town Clerk reserves the right to deny a pawnbroker's license to any person convicted of any crime related to the operation of the business. No person or entity convicted of a felony (other than those defined by the Vehicle and Traffic Law) shall be eligible for a pawnbroker's license pursuant to this chapter regardless of whether said felony conviction is related to the operation of the business.
I. 
The Town Clerk shall be prohibited, for a period of one year, from issuing a pawnbroker's license to any applicant that has been found guilty of operating a business without a pawnbroker's license when required under this or any other federal, state, or local law.
J. 
Pawnbroker's licenses shall not be transferred. In the event of any change involving the owner or operator of the business or the business location, a new pawnbroker's license shall be required. A pawnbroker's license shall not be transferred to any person who holds power of attorney on behalf of an existing licensee.
K. 
The Town Clerk may deny or revoke any pawnbroker's license upon a finding that the pawnbroker has made a false statement in connection with an application or in the event that the pawnbroker revokes the consent to examine records and items or refuses to allow inspection of the pawnbroker's premises.
A. 
Every pawnbroker shall deliver a bond to the Town Clerk executed by the pawnbroker, as principal, with a surety company authorized to do business under the laws of the State of New York, as surety. The bond, to be approved by the Town 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 this chapter, as well as all local laws and ordinances of the Town in force or which may be adopted respecting the conduct of a pawnbroker business and conditioned also that the bond shall be and remain for the benefit of any person or persons who shall receive a judgment against the pawnbroker by reason of any damage sustained by any such person as a result of the operations of the pawnbroker business, which damage shall be established by a judgment of a court of proper jurisdiction.
B. 
Said bond shall contain the following language:
"The obligation of this bond shall, in addition to the Town of Ontario, inure be and remain for the benefit of any person who shall obtain a judgment against obligor as a result of damage sustained in the operation of the business pursuant to any license granted under Chapter 104 of the Town Code of the Town of Ontario."
C. 
Said bond shall be kept for a minimum of one year from the date of issuance of the license required by this chapter and must be renewed annually with the license required by this chapter.
A. 
All pawnbrokers shall comply with all provisions of federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, Article 5 of the New York State General Business Law, relating to the conduct of said businesses and occupation, use and maintenance of the premises and shall ensure that all of their employees and agents do also.
B. 
All pawnbrokers shall cause their pawnbroker's license to be posted in a conspicuous place immediately visible upon entering the business establishment.
C. 
If a pawnbroker has reason to believe that an item has been stolen or acquired by dishonest means, such pawnbroker shall immediately report the same to a bona fide law enforcement agency.
D. 
In the event any bona fide law enforcement agency confiscates property from a pawnbroker as evidence or safekeeping during an investigation, or to return to an owner, such law enforcement agency shall issue a receipt to the pawnbroker, setting forth a crime report number which references the investigation.
E. 
A pawnbroker who is required to relinquish an item pursuant to this section shall not be entitled to demand or condition the release upon any reimbursement from the law enforcement agency, the owner of the item, or the victim of the theft. A pawnbroker who is himself or herself a victim of a crime may seek restitution or reparation in accordance with the New York State Penal Law.
A. 
All pawnbrokers shall verify the identity of every person from whom each purchase or sale is made through acceptable photographic identification, as provided below, and make and keep a written record of the nature of the evidence submitted by such person to prove identity, together with a description of the item purchased or sold. All such records shall contain the signature of the individual responsible for processing and recording said transaction on behalf of the dealer.
(1) 
The only acceptable evidence of identity shall be an official document (except a social security account number card) issued by the United States government, any state, county, municipality or subdivision thereof, any public agency or department thereof, or any public or private employer, which requires and bears the signature of the person to whom issued.
B. 
All pawnbrokers shall require that every person from whom any article, jewelry or precious metal is purchased sign his/her name in the presence of said pawnbroker, and compare the signature on the identifying document, and retain on said premises the person's signature together with the number and description of the identifying document, if any.
C. 
If an individual executing a purchase or sale is acting as an agent for a principal, the pawnbroker shall require proof of the principal's true name, date of birth and residence address.
D. 
All pawnbrokers shall create and maintain a copy or digital photo of the identification required in this section.
E. 
All pawnbrokers shall create and maintain a digital photograph of each article, jewelry or precious metal received or purchased by the dealer or otherwise in his or her possession. The photograph must include the serial number and model number or product key if the item(s) contain those features.
A. 
Every pawnbroker shall keep a bound book of consecutively numbered transactions, in which shall be legibly written in English, at the time of every purchase and/or sale, the following information:
(1) 
The date of the transaction.
(2) 
The name, date of birth, address and descriptive information of the person from whom or to whom the purchase and/or sale is made.
(3) 
Proof of identity as required by § 104-7 of this chapter herein.
(4) 
A detailed description of the item(s) involved in the transaction, including distinguishing monograms, serial numbers (if any), make, model, condition or marks.
(5) 
The name of the clerk or employee of the pawnbroker making the transaction legibly set forth.
(6) 
The troy ounce weight of the item, if applicable.
B. 
Computerized records may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section, provided that such records include the information required herein and are available for inspection in printed format, upon request.
A. 
All pawnbrokers shall furnish to any bona fide law enforcement agency all information requested by such law enforcement agency relative to all records required to be kept under this chapter no later than 48 hours after receipt of any item covered by this chapter.
B. 
If any item shall be advertised in any newspaper printed in the County of Wayne as having been lost or stolen, and if any item matching such advertised description or any part thereof shall be in or come into possession of any pawnbroker upon receiving actual written or oral notice of the similarity of description of such item, such pawnbroker shall immediately report any information relating thereto to a bona fide law enforcement agency. No such items shall be disposed by the dealer until authorized by a bona fide law enforcement agency.
A. 
All pawnbrokers shall release to a bona fide law enforcement agency any item in their possession if:
(1) 
There is reasonable cause to believe that the item was stolen;
(2) 
The owner of the item or the victim of the theft has positively identified the item and provided an affidavit of ownership and made a report of the theft to a law enforcement agency;
(3) 
The stolen property report describes the item by one or more of the following: date, initials, an insurance record, a photograph, a sales receipt, a serial number, specific damage, a statement of facts that show the item is one of a kind or a unique engraving; and
(4) 
The pawnbroker is given a receipt for the item released.
B. 
When the law enforcement agency no longer needs an item for evidence, it shall promptly be returned to the owner.
A. 
Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute an offense punishable as follows:
(1) 
The first offense is a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.
(2) 
The second offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days and/or fine not to exceed $1,000.
(3) 
The third offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and/or fine not to exceed $3,000.
B. 
If the sentence is to be imposed on a corporation, the court shall have the discretion, pursuant to Penal Law 80.10(2)(b), to impose a fine in lieu of the amounts specified above, not exceeding double the amount of the corporation's gain from the commission of the offense.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such determination shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph or section thereof directly involved in the proceeding in which such adjudication shall have been rendered.