[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Lunenburg 11-16-2015 STM by Art. 10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Selectmen may license suitable persons to be pawnbrokers or buyers of goods pursuant to law. Licenses shall expire on the last day of December annually no matter when obtained during the preceding year. Such licenses shall not be valid to protect the holders thereof in a building or place other than that designated in the license, unless consent to removal is granted by the Board of Selectmen. Applications for new licenses under the rule may be filed at any time with the Board of Selectmen. Applications for the reissue of licenses already existing should be filed at least 30 days before the expiration of such licenses. Persons whose licenses have expired and have not been reissued will be liable to prosecution if carrying on business for which the license is required. Every person so licensed shall, at the time of receiving such license, file a bond as provided by MGL c. 140, § 77, as amended.
Persons who engage in or carry on the business of lending money on mortgages, deposits or pledges of wearing apparel, jewelry, ornaments, household goods or other personal property, or of purchasing such property on condition of selling the same back again at a stipulated price, when the property so mortgaged, pledged or purchased is deposited with the lender, must be licensed as pawnbrokers. This provision, however, does not apply to loans made on stocks, bonds, notes or other written or printed evidence of ownership of property or of indebtedness to the holder or owner of such securities. (MGL c. 140, §§ 70 through 85)
Licensed pawnbrokers may charge interest at the rate of 3% per month, and in no event may they charge more than the rate allowed by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks.
No such pawnbrokers shall charge or receive any greater rate of interest, and interest shall be determined on the precise sum advanced by the lender.
No pawnbroker shall make or receive any extra charge or fee for storage, care or safekeeping of any goods, articles or things pawned with him. (MGL c. 140, § 78)
Any officer of the Lunenburg Police may at any time enter upon any premises used by a licensed pawnbroker or buyer for the purposes of his or her business, ascertain how he or she conducts his or her business and examine all articles taken in pawn or bought, or kept or stored in or upon said premises; and all books and inventories shall be exhibited to any above named whenever a demand shall be made for such exhibition. (MGL c. 140, § 74) (Penalty for refusal, MGL c. 140, § 74)
Every licensed pawnbroker or buyer shall, at the time of making any loan, attach a number to the article taken in pawn or bought and shall make entry of such number in the book provided for in § 184-5 of this article.
Every licensed pawnbroker or buyer shall keep a book of a style and size in which shall be legibly written in ink in the English language at the time of making each loan, an account and description, including all distinguishing marks and numbers and serial numbers of the goods, articles or things pledged or pawned, the amount of money loaned or paid thereon, the day and hour when it was pawned, the rate of interest to be paid on such loan and the number of such article as same. No entry made in said book shall be erased, obliterated or defaced. Electronic recordkeeping by the pawnbroker or buyer is acceptable as long as the records meet all the bylaw requirements.
Every pawnbroker or buyer shall photograph any person pawning or pledging articles and keep such photographs with said books as part of his or her records. (MGL c. 140, § 79)
For all transactions, every pawnbroker or buyer shall also require positive identification and shall record the type of identification presented and record the date of birth from any person pawning, pledging or selling any article. Positive identification shall mean any picture identification card issued by a governmental agency.
Each pledger shall be required by the pawnbroker to sign his/her name and age and address on a card. In the event that the pledger is unable to write, the pawnbroker shall fill in the name, age and address on such card, together with a notation stating that the pledger was unable to do so. Such card shall be retained for seven years in an alphabetical index file by the licensed pawnbrokers.
Every pawnbroker or buyer shall at the time of making such loan deliver to the person who pawns or pledges any goods, articles or things, a memorandum or note signed by him, containing the substance of the entry required to be made in his book by the provisions of § 184-5, and no charge shall be made or required by any pawnbroker or buyer for any such entry, memorandum or note. (MGL c. 140, § 80)
Every licensed pawnbroker or buyer shall make out and deliver a report of transactions to the Lunenburg Police Chief or his designee every day before the hour of 10:00 a.m., a legible and correct list containing an accurate description, including all distinguishable marks, numbers and serial numbers of all articles taken in pawn or bought during the preceding business day, the respective numbers of such articles as provided by § 184-4 of this bylaw, the amount loaned or paid thereon and the time when such articles were pawned or bought. This report can be done electronically, via the internet, or faxed to the Lunenburg Police Chief or his designee. If during the preceding day no articles have been taken in by such pawnbroker or buyer, he or she is required to report affirmatively. This report can be done both electronically via the internet and by fax.
If any goods or articles pawned or pledged and in the possession of a pawnbroker or buyer are subsequently determined to be stolen property by a member of the Lunenburg Police Department or the Massachusetts State Police, or if the rightful owner identifies property in the possession of a pawnbroker or buyer and the property so identified is confirmed to be stolen goods by a member of the Lunenburg Police Department or Massachusetts State Police, said property shall be returned to the rightful owner at no cost to such owner.
Every licensed pawnbroker or buyer shall post in a conspicuous place in his or her shop or office a copy of the statutes, ordinances and police regulations relating to pawnbrokers/buyers, to be furnished by the Lunenburg Police Department's Police Chief or designee, and shall put in some suitable and conspicuous place in his shop a sign having his/her name and occupation legibly inscribed thereon in large lettering.
No pawnbroker or buyer shall place or maintain any signs or devices upon or in connection with his or her licensed premises indicating or tending to indicate that any form of business is conducted therein which he or she is not legally authorized to pursue.
A pawnbroker or buyer may have his/her shop open for transactions between sunrise and 10:00 p.m. in the evening of any weekday and weekend. Under no circumstances can a pawnbroker or buyer operate after the hour of 10:00 p.m. to sunrise.
Articles deposited in pawn with a licensed pawnbroker shall, unless redeemed, be retained by him/her on the premises occupied by him/her for his/her business for at least four months after the date of deposit.
After the expiration of the applicable period of time, he/she may sell the article by public auction, apply the proceeds thereof in satisfaction of the debt or demand and the expense of the notice and sale and pay any surplus to the person entitled thereto on demand.
No such sale of any article which is not of a perishable nature shall be made unless, not less than 10 days prior to the sale, a written notice of the intended sale shall have been sent by registered mail to the person entitled to the payment of any surplus as aforesaid, addressed to his residence as appearing in the records of such pawnbrokers. Proof of registered mail shall be kept on file for one year after the date of sale.
No article taken in pawn by such pawnbroker or buyer shall be disposed of otherwise than as above provided, any agreement or contract between the parties thereto to the contrary notwithstanding.
Articles of personal apparel shall not be deemed to be of a perishable nature within the meaning of this section. (MGL c. 140, § 71)
No pawnbroker or buyer shall make a loan, directly or indirectly, to a person under the age of 18, knowing or having reason to believe him or her to be such.
No pawnbroker or buyer shall loan money secured by deposit or pledge of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun. (MGL c. 140, § 131B)
No pawnbroker or buyer shall hold a license to sell, rent, or lease a firearm, rifle, shotgun, or machine gun.
Complaints concerning licensed pawnbrokers or buyers shall be investigated by the Lunenburg Police Department under the direction of the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police or his designee will provide a disciplinary request to the Board of Selectmen for actionable complaints lodged against licensees.
In the event the Chief of Police determines that disciplinary action should be instituted against a licensed pawnbroker or buyer, the Chief of Police shall cause to be served upon the licensed pawnbroker or buyer notice as to the time, date and place of hearing and of the charge, with a statement of the reasons for the proposed disciplinary action. Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with law.
The Board of Selectmen may suspend or revoke licenses provided for by this article for any cause which the Board of Selectmen deems sufficient. Offenses which may result in the suspension or revocation of a pawnbroker's or buyer's license include but are not limited to the following:
The Town of Lunenburg finds that there is a cognizable risk for stolen metals to end up in the possession of even legitimate businesses which trade in metals, including precious metals. Certain criminals bring stolen metals, including precious metals, to dealers in jewelry and scrap metal. The victims of theft have only small hope of recovering their property unless the people and entities who receive scrap metals and jewelry are regulated in a manner which identifies both the metal received by the dealers and the persons who deliver the metal to these dealers. There is an internet alert system used by the Lunenburg Police Department which reports stolen metals. Monitoring transactions within the Town and identifying both the metals and the persons selling or delivering these metals will serve both to deter theft and to enable the Lunenburg Police Department to trace and recover stolen property and return it to the rightful owners.
As used in this Article II, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any metal which is subject to Article II and is exchanged, sold, collected, bartered or received by a person dealing in metals.
- The Board of Selectmen.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of the Lunenburg Police Department or his designee.
- Receiving, purchasing, selling or bartering metals, including precious metals and industrial scrap metals.
- A chemical element that is malleable, opaque and ductile, usually solid, which has a characteristic luster, is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and can be melted or fused, hammered into thin sheets, or drawn into wires, e.g., copper, aluminum, gold, silver or iron or other metals.
- PRECIOUS METAL(S)
- Any metal which is considered valuable, such as silver, gold, platinum and copper, without regard to the form or amount of such precious metal.
No person shall collect, deal in, exchange, buy, or keep a shop or place for the exchange, purchase, sale or barter of metals, including precious metals and industrial metals, in any building or place within the limits of the Town without having a license issued by the Board of Selectman. The license requirement and the other requirements of this Article II shall not apply to commercial haulers having valid, current United States Department of Transportation stickers affixed to their vehicles.
The Board of Selectmen may, for a fee set by said Board and based upon an application devised by said Board, license suitable persons to be dealers in and keepers of shops or locations for the purchase, sale or barter of precious metals at such places within the Town as may be designated in such license. The Board of Selectmen may place reasonable conditions on such licenses, which shall be inscribed on the face of the license. A license shall be limited to a specific address stated thereon. Subject to the notice and appeal provisions contained in § 184-23E(2) and (3) of this Article II, the Board of Selectmen may deny a license to any person who in the exercise of his reasonable discretion is unsuitable.
All metal dealer licenses shall expire annually on the last day in December. The license holders shall be responsible for submitting an application for license renewal with the license fee to the Board of Selectmen at least 30 days prior to the last day in December. Upon receipt of an application for renewal, the Board shall consider the performance of the licensee during the previous year and shall determine whether the licensee had been found in violation of this Article II and other ordinances and regulations of the Town applicable to metal dealers.
The Board of Selectmen may promulgate reasonable regulations not inconsistent with this Article II which shall be binding upon all licensees. No regulation shall take effect until the expiration of 30 days from the date the regulation(s) is delivered or mailed to the person(s) then licensed. The Board of Selectmen shall deliver a complete set of regulations and any amendments thereto to the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk shall maintain the complete set of all regulations in a book available to the public.
The obligation to obtain a license as required by this section will take effect 45 days after it is finally enacted and the bylaw is approved by the Attorney General.
No licensee shall, directly or indirectly, exchange any metals with a person under the age of 18.
No article exchanged, purchased or received shall be sold, or altered in appearance, form or substance until a period of at least 21 days has elapsed from the date of its purchase or receipt. All articles exchanged, purchased or received must be made available to the Lunenburg Police Department upon request within 24 hours of such request, and the Police Department may investigate to determine if any article is or may be stolen property. This waiting period does not apply to scrap metal yards which are exempt from any waiting period.
Every licensee shall electronically create and send to the Police Chief or his designee on a form, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the Police Chief or his designee, a legible complete list containing an accurate description of all metal articles received by the licensee during the previous 24 hours. The description must include: the type of metal, the size and/or quantity, whether the article is or may be a precious metal, if applicable; whether the article is typically used by or associated with a male or female, the wording of any engraving, whether the article has any gems or precious stones, any identifying number and every other identifiable trait.
Every licensee shall, at the time of making any exchange or receipt of any article, assign and attach a number to each article received and shall make entry of such number in the book described in Subsection B.
Every licensee shall keep a book in which shall be legibly written in ink, in the English language, at the time the licensee receives any article, the following information:
An account and description, including all distinguishing or identifying marks and numbers of every article received by the licensee.
The amount of money, if any, paid for the article.
The date and hour when it was received.
The name, age, permanent address and telephone number of the person from whom purchased or received.
A copy of the document used to identify the person giving the article to the licensee.
Every licensee shall require positive identification from any person selling or exchanging any article. The licensee shall copy and record the type of identification presented and the date of birth from any person giving or exchanging any article. Positive identification means only a government-issued document with the person's name and photograph. The licensee shall photograph any person exchanging any article(s). A copy of the identification and the photograph shall be kept with the book required by this section as part of his records.
No entry made in the book required by this section shall be erased, obliterated or defaced in any manner whatsoever. The book shall at all times be open for the inspection by the Police Chief or any police officer. The licensee shall keep and maintain all the records required by this Article II for a period of three years from the date of the last entry in any book.
Every licensee shall post in some suitable and conspicuous place where he or she receives or exchanges articles, a sign having his/her full legal name, and his/her business name, if different, and his/her occupation legibly described thereon in large letters. The current license shall also be so posted. The location where transactions occur, the store or shop and all articles exchanged and/or kept therein or received therein and the book and documents required by this Article II may at all times be examined by the Police Chief or any police officer at their request.
Whoever, not having a valid license as required by this Article II, exchanges, collects, deals in or barters metals in any place or manner other than that designated in his license, or after notice to him that his license has been revoked, or whoever violates this Article II or any rule, regulation or restriction contained in his license, or any regulation promulgated by the Town of Lunenburg shall be subject to the fines and sanctions described in this section. Each day of such violation shall constitute a separate offense.
The fine for breach of the duty imposed by this Article II is $300. Each day on which the person continues in violation shall be considered as a separate violation.
This Article II may, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, be enforced by civil process or by noncriminal disposition as provided in MGL c. 40, § 21D. The Chief of Police or any Lunenburg police officer may issue tickets to enforce this Article II. If enforced civilly by ticket, each day on which a violation exists shall be deemed to be a separate offense and the violator shall be subject to the following fines:
In addition to the penalties set forth above, the enforcing authority may seek an injunction from an appropriate court to restrain any violation of this Article II, any regulation promulgated by the Town of Lunenburg or any condition inscribed on a license.
The Board of Selectmen may terminate any license or refuse to renew any license for violation of this Article II, a regulation promulgated by the Town of Lunenburg or any condition inscribed on the license. The Board of Selectmen shall use the procedure described in this section.
Notice of violation. Whenever it comes to the attention of the Board of Selectmen that a violation of this Article II, a regulation promulgated by the Town of Lunenburg or a condition inscribed on a license has occurred, the Board shall, by written notice, deliver personally or send by certified mail to the licensee notifying him of the violation and order the person to cease and desist. Depending on the severity of the violation as determined by it, the Board of Selectmen may terminate the license. The Board shall also provide notice described herein if it denies an application for a license, stating the reasons therefor.
Contents of notice. The written notice to the licensee shall contain a description of the violation(s) and the date(s) of occurrence and a citation to the section of the ordinance, regulation or license condition which the licensee is alleged to have violated. The notice will, if applicable, describe what the licensee must do to comply, whether the Board of Selectmen intends to terminate the license and the effective date of the termination, which shall afford the licensee at least seven days to file an appeal of the proposed termination with the Board. In the case of denial of a license, the notice shall state the reasons for the denial.
Appeal. Upon receipt of a notice of license termination, or denial, the licensee may, within seven days of receipt of the notice, file a written appeal by delivery or certified mail to the Board of Selectmen's office during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on days when Town Hall is open for business. When the Board of Selectmen receives an appeal, it shall appoint a neutral hearing officer who will take testimony from any persons with knowledge of the facts, including any police officer and the appellant. The appellant may be represented by counsel and any person so testifying will be subject to cross examination. The proceedings will be governed by the rules of evidence applicable to an informal administrative hearing. The hearing officer will assure that an appropriate record, including any documents submitted, is made and kept. The decision of the hearing officer will be written and final.
The Board of Selectmen, subject to the process described in this section, may refuse to renew any license. The Board shall not issue a license to any person convicted of a felony.