[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Agawam as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Pawnbrokers, Junk Dealers and Secondhand Dealers
Article II Secondhand Motor Vehicles
[Adopted 9-2-2014 by TOR-2014-3]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Junk, Old Metal and Secondhand Articles, adopted 12-21-1972 as § 9-2 of the Code of the Town of Agawam.
Definition. A pawnbroker is an individual or business that offers secured loans to individuals with items of personal property used as collateral.
If an item is pawned for a loan, within a certain contractual period of time, the pawnbroker may redeem it for the amount of the loan plus some agreed-upon amount of interest. The amount of time, and rate of interest, is governed by law or by the pawnbroker's policies. If the loan is not paid (or extended, if applicable) within the time period, the pawned item will be offered for sale by the pawnbroker. The pawnbroker does not report the defaulted loan on the customer's credit report, since the pawn broker has physical possession of the item and may recoup the loan value through an outright sale of the item.
The term "secondhand junk dealer" shall not apply to a pawnbroker.
Application referral. Upon receiving an application for a license to engage in business as a pawnbroker, the application shall be referred by the Town Council to the Chief of Police for investigation into the applicant's criminal record, which investigation shall include obtaining fingerprints, photograph and CORI check from the applicant.
Interview. The Chief of Police may, in his discretion, require a personal interview of the applicant and may request further relevant information.
Disqualification. No license shall be issued by the Town Council unless the Chief of Police has first issued his recommendation for its issuance. The Town Council may refuse to approve the issuance of such license on any of the following grounds:
That the applicant, based on his or her criminal record, would be an improper person in that particular business; or
That the applicant has had a previous license to engage in such business revoked or suspended by the Town of Agawam or some other jurisdiction; or
That the conduct of the business at the location in question would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.
Notification. The Chief of Police shall notify the Town Council and the applicant of his recommendation of said license, in writing, within 30 days of the date of application.
Fee. The fee for such a license shall be $200.
The Town Council shall be the issuing authority for all pawnbroker dealer's licenses.
No person, firm, or corporation shall engage in the business of operating a shop for the purchase, sale or barter of secondhand articles without obtaining a license therefor and complying with the terms of this section. The Town Council may license suitable persons to be collectors of, dealers in or keepers of shops for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metal or secondhand articles, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 140 of the General Laws.
Every keeper of a shop for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metal or secondhand articles and every pawnbroker within the limits of this Town shall keep an electronic record in which shall be written, at the time of every purchase or upon the receipt of any article, a description thereof, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, all distinguishing marks, etchings, engravings, model names, model numbers and serial numbers, and the full name (first and last), date of birth, license or state/government ID number and residence of the person from whom, and the day and hour when, such purchase or receipt was made, and such electronic record shall at all times be open to the inspection of officers of the Police Department and of any person authorized to make such inspection.
The license holder shall photograph any and all jewelry items pawned, sold, pledged, or otherwise deposited with the license holder. The required photo shall be clear and of such quality that the item(s) shall be clearly identified. The photographs shall be stored in a digitized format, and the image must be retrievable and a clear copy provided to police upon request. The above-described photos shall be maintained by the license holder for a minimum of three years.
Every license holder shall allow a representative of the New England State Police Information Network ("NESPIN") to enter his shop and install, on the shopkeeper's computing device, the software necessary to allow the shopkeeper to electronically transmit a record of his/her transactions. Before the first hour of every business day, post meridian, every shopkeeper shall transmit a record of his/her transactions from the prior day. The record transmitted must include the information included in § 114-3A and B of this article.
The license holder shall accurately describe all items pawned, sold, or pledged with the license holder. This description shall include, but shall not be limited to, all distinguishing marks, etchings, engravings, model names, model numbers and serial numbers. Any jewelry with an affiliation to any institution or organization shall include the name of said institution or organization, year, and inscribed initials if any. Any and all descriptions of items of jewelry shall include the material, size (if applicable), weight, length, shape, and color. Descriptions of coins, stamps, collectible cards, autographed items, figurines, or other collectible of any description shall include any identifying features, such as the name of the items, date, denomination, color, size, brand name, vintage or image represented. All items pledged, sold, or pawned with the license holder must remain intact (i.e., precious stones in jewelry or data on electronic devices) until such time that they may legally change ownership.
The license holder shall photograph the customer making the transaction with the license holder, along with a photograph of the required customer license or state/government issued ID. The required photographs shall be clear and of such quality that the customer and required license or state/government issued ID is clearly identifiable. This information shall be maintained according to § 114-7C.
Exception for dealers in secondhand books, clothing and furniture. Persons who do not buy or sell secondhand articles except books, clothing or furniture shall be exempt from the provisions of § 114-3D.
The Town Council shall be the issuing authority for all secondhand junk dealer's licenses.
Every keeper of a junk shop or pawnshop shall put in a suitable and conspicuous place on his shop a sign having his name and occupation legibly inscribed thereon in large letters.
All junk shops, and all articles of merchandise therein, may at all times be examined by officers of the Police Department or by any person by it authorized to make such examination.
No keeper of a junk shop, secondhand dealer, or pawnshop and no junk collector shall, directly or indirectly, either purchase or receive, by way of barter or exchange, any junk, old metal or secondhand articles of a minor, as defined by the General Laws, knowingly or having reason to believe him to be such.
Required holding period. No article purchased or received by the keeper of a pawn shop or a secondhand dealer shall be sold until at least 60 days from the date of its purchase or receipt have elapsed. The article shall be kept in an unaltered condition for the required time period. For the purposes of this section, "unaltered condition" means that the item or article shall be kept in the same condition it was in at the time it was brought into the shop by the seller.
Pawn shops and secondhand dealers shall be closed except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. of each weekday, and no keeper thereof and no junk collector shall purchase any junk, old metal or secondhand articles except during such hours. Any shop wishing to open on Saturday must receive written permission from the Police Chief or his designee. All pawn shops and secondhand dealers must maintain regular business hours.
Rags and wastepaper kept or collected by junk dealers or junk collectors shall not be kept or stored within the limits of any district, except in substantial brick or stone buildings.
A Class 3 license shall be required for used vehicle junk dealers.
No keeper of a pawnshop and no keeper of a shop for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metal or secondhand articles shall purchase or take in pawn any item if it appears that such item has had any serial numbers or identifying marks removed or apparently removed.
For the purpose of this section, "identifying mark" includes but is not limited to engravings, initials, or similar inscriptions on rings, watches or other jewelry or similar inscriptions on other items.
[Adopted 1-16-1987 by TOR-86-17]
[Amended 1-21-1999 by TOR-98-5]
Any applicant filing a new application for a Class 1 or Class 2 license or filing a renewal application which seeks to amend the maximum number of motor vehicles under Subsection B hereof or in any other way changes the plot plan currently on file in the Office of Inspection Services shall file a site plan of the proposed licensed premises with the Agawam Planning Board for approval pursuant to § 180-13. The site plan shall meet all the requirements of § 180-13 and it shall show the specific areas to be utilized for the car lot, motor vehicle display areas and all permanent buildings. The site plan shall also include required buffer areas, signs, lighting, driveways, the total square footage of the proposed licensed premises, indicate all abutters to the property and contain such other information and plans as may be necessary to determine the merits of the application. After receiving site plan approval from the Agawam Planning Board, the site plan shall be submitted to the Agawam Town Council as licensing authority for review under this article. Any applicant filing a renewal application which does not seek to amend the maximum number of motor vehicles under Subsection B hereof or in any other way change the plot plan currently on file in the Office of Inspection Services need not undergo site plan review. All licenses granted under this section shall expire on December 31 of each year following the date of issue unless sooner suspended or revoked by the licensing authority. Applications for current license holders, seeking to reapply, shall submit for consideration an application approved by the licensing authority no later than September 1 of each year. Licenses, granted in accordance with § 114-5 of the Code of the Town of Agawam and MGL c. 140 §§ 58 and 59, shall not be transferable.
[Amended 8-2-2004 by TOR-2004-3]
The maximum number of motor vehicles available to each licensee shall be calculated by dividing the net available square footage of the proposed licensed premises by 200. The number of motor vehicles available to each licensee as listed on his/her license shall determine the maximum number of unregistered motor vehicles allowed on the premises. The net available square footage of the proposed licensed premises shall be determined by subtracting the following items from the total square footage of the proposed licensed premises as shown on the site plan:
The total square footage of any and all buildings located on the proposed licensed premises;
The total square footage of required buffer zone areas;
The total square footage of driveways;
The total square footage of delineated wetland areas and required stormwater detention areas located on the proposed licensed premises; and
The total square footage of required customer parking spaces.
Every licensee shall provide a suitable place to conduct his/her business which shall include sufficient office space and a facility to provide repair services for not less than one motor vehicle. Every licensee shall provide a minimum of one customer parking space of at least 200 square feet in area for every 15 motor vehicles allowed by his/her license.
No motor vehicle offered for sale shall be parked within required buffer areas, which shall extend a minimum of five feet around the street line or sidewalk of the proposed licensed premises. Bumper guards shall be placed along any street line used as a display area, and appropriate screening shall be placed along abutting property lines. The licensing authority may require additional buffer areas, bumper guards and screening as it deems necessary.
All repairs must be performed indoors, and there shall be no outdoor storage of automobile parts or other related materials.
After a license is issued under this article, the licensee must obtain dealer license plates from the Registry of Motor Vehicles and shall not use repair plates for the vehicles offered for sale. The licensee must obtain the dealer license plates within 90 days of the issuance of the license and must retain these plates as a condition of holding his/her license. All license plate numbers must be recorded in the office of the Town Clerk upon receipt from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
No person shall be licensed to buy and sell secondhand motor vehicles unless he/she have filed with his/her application a statement certifying that the buying or selling of secondhand motor vehicles is his/her principal business.
No temporary office or repair space will be allowed, such as small buildings or trailers on wheels or blocks.
Failure of a licensee to conform to any provision of Chapter 180 (Zoning) shall be deemed cause to suspend, revoke or not renew his/her license.
The hours of operation shall be restricted to between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The licensing authority may place conditions and/or safety precautions on any license.
The licensing authority may approve an application for a Class 1 and Class 2 dealers license with the stipulation that all the above requirements must be met prior to the issuance of that license.
All applicants must comply with and meet the requirements of MGL c. 140 §§ 58 and 59.
[Added 8-2-2004 by TOR-2004-3]
[Amended 1-21-1999 by TOR-98-5]
The licensing authority is empowered to suspend, revoke or take any other action provided by this article or the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against any license issued under § 114-5 after hearing, if it finds that there has been a violation of law, ordinance or any duly imposed condition.
[Amended 1-21-1999 by TOR-98-5]
If the licensing authority finds after hearing that there has been a violation of law, ordinance or any duly imposed license condition, it may revoke, suspend or fine any licensee. Fines shall be established as follows:
Nothing herein shall prevent the licensing authority from imposing any of the above penalties in any combination.
[Amended 4-18-1989 by TOR-89-3; 5-18-1998 by TOR-98-3; 7-6-2004 by TOR-2004-4]
The total number of Class 2 dealer licenses issued under MGL, c. 140, §§ 58 and 59, at any one time shall be not more than 20, except this section shall not apply to premises lawfully in existence and lawfully used in accordance with said MGL, c. 140, §§ 58 and 59, at the time of enactment hereof, provided that any such premises has continuously and lawfully been used in accordance with said MGL, c. 140, §§ 58 and 59.
The annual fee for Class 1 and 2 licenses is $100.
[Amended 1-21-1999 by TOR-98-5]
The investigation of violations under this article shall be delegated to the Police Chief or his/her designees and the Inspector of Buildings or his/her designees, who may enter licensed premises at reasonable times to inspect and investigate in order to ensure compliance with § 114-5 and any duly imposed license conditions. Each licensed premises shall be inspected a minimum of two times per year.