[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Warren County 2-3-1981; amended in its entirety 1-28-2014. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed to them by this section:
- Any piece of gold, silver or other metal fashioned into a prescribed shape, weight and degree of fineness, stamped by authority of a government with certain marks and devices, and having a certain fixed value as money.
- Any person, firm, partnership or corporation engaged at any location in the County not located within the corporate limits of the Town of Front Royal in the business of the following: (i) purchasing precious metals or gems; (ii) removing in any manner precious metals or gems from manufactured articles not then owned by the person, firm, partnership or corporation; or (iii) buying, acquiring or selling precious metals or gems removed from manufactured articles; provided, however, that the definition of “dealer” shall not include persons engaged in the following: (i) purchases directly from other dealers, manufacturers or wholesalers of precious metals or gems for their inventories; (ii) purchases of precious metals or gems from a qualified fiduciary who is disposing of the assets of an estate being administered by the fiduciary; (iii) acceptance by a retail merchant of trade-in merchandise previously sold by the retail merchant to the person presenting that merchandise for trade-in; (iv) repairing, restoring or designing jewelry by a retail merchant, if such activities are within his normal course of business; (v) purchases of precious metals or gems by industrial refiners and manufacturers, insofar as such purchases are made directly from retail merchants, wholesalers, dealers, or by mail originating outside the commonwealth; (vi) persons regularly engaged in the business of purchasing and processing nonprecious scrap metals which incidentally may contain traces of precious metals recoverable as a by-product. "Dealer" shall include merchants whose business is itinerant in the County. As used herein, "dealer" includes employers and principals on whose behalf the purchase was made and all employees and agents who personally make such purchases. When any act is required of a corporation, it shall be performed by its president.
- Any item containing or having any precious or semiprecious stones customarily used in jewelry or ornamentation.
- PRECIOUS METALS
- Any item, except coins, containing as part of its composition in any degree gold, silver, platinum or pewter.
Beginning on February 3, 1981, no dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems or make loans for which precious metals or gems are received and held as security without first obtaining a permit from the Sheriff of the County as provided herein and without complying with all other provisions of this chapter. Possession of a permit issued in another locality shall not relieve a dealer of the obligation to obtain a permit from the Sheriff of the County.
The permit required herein shall be issued by the Sheriff or his designee upon payment to the County Treasurer of an application fee of $200 and satisfaction of the requirements herein. Upon such payment, the Treasurer shall issue a receipt which the applicant shall deliver to the Sheriff along with the application.
The applicant shall be issued a permit if he satisfies the Sheriff of his good character and he has not been convicted within the past seven years of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude.
Information required on the application shall include the applicant's full name, aliases, address, age, date of birth, sex and fingerprints and the name, address and telephone number of the applicant's employer, if any, and the location of the place of business of the dealer.
No license shall be valid for more than one year from the date of issuance but may be renewed for an annual permit fee of $200 in the same manner as the initial license is obtained.
If the dealer does not operate continuously from the date of obtaining his permit, then he shall notify the Sheriff of any ceasing or renewing of business or change in location. Failure to operate on weekends or holidays shall not be construed as a ceasing or disruption.
Before the permit is issued, the dealer must have all weighing devices approved by local or state weights and measures officials and present written evidence of the approval to the Sheriff or designee.
The license issued hereunder shall be a personal privilege and shall not be transferable nor shall there be any abatement of the fee for such license by reason of the fact that the dealer shall have exercised the privilege for any period of time less than for which it was granted.
The license shall at all times be displayed prominently by the dealer on his business premises.
Any false statement made on the application form voids the license ab initio.
Dealers shall ascertain the name, address and age of sellers of precious metals or gems and shall require the seller to verify the same by some form of identification issued by a governmental agency, which identification must show as a part of it the picture of the person so identified, and by at least one other corroborating means of identification. The dealer shall also obtain a statement of ownership from the seller.
Every dealer shall maintain adequate records to reflect the following information, which shall appear on bills of sale, the form of which shall be provided by the Sheriff, one copy of which is to be retained by the dealer, one copy to be mailed or delivered during regular County work hours to the Sheriff at his office within 24 hours of the time of purchase and one copy to be delivered to the seller of such precious metals or gems. The required information is as follows:
The name of the dealer and his employer or principal, if any.
A complete description of each item purchased, including weight of the precious metals or gems purchased by the dealer, such description to include all names, initials, serial numbers or other identifying marks or monograms appearing on the item in question, and the price paid for each item.
The full name, residential address, workplace, home and work telephone numbers, date of birth, sex, race, height, hair and eye color, and other identifying marks of the seller.
The date, time and place of receiving the items purchased.
The records herein required shall be made available by the dealer to the Sheriff upon his request therefor at any time, including any time prior to which said delivery to the Sheriff is required.
The dealer shall maintain the records for at least 24 months after providing the records to the Sheriff’s office.
No dealer shall purchase or make a loan of precious metals or gems from any seller who is under the age of 18.
No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems from anyone whom the dealer believes or has reason to believe is not the owner of such precious metals or gems, unless the seller has written and duly authenticated authorization from the owner permitting and directing the sale.
The dealer shall retain all precious metals or gems purchased for a minimum of 15 calendar days from the time of filing the bill of sale of their purchase with the Sheriff. During such period of time, no change shall be made to any item containing precious metals or gems.
Prior to receiving his application, every dealer shall enter a bond, to be secured by a corporate surety authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to be payable to the County in the penal sum of $10,000, conditioned upon due observance of the terms of this chapter. A dealer may also cause to be issued by a bank authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia a letter of credit in favor of the County of Warren for $10,000. The bond or letter of credit shall be held by the County Attorney’s office.
Any person aggrieved by the dealer's violation of the provisions of this chapter who shall recover a final judgment against him therefor may maintain an action in his own name upon the bond or letter of credit.
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor and, upon conviction therefor, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500 or a jail term of not more than 12 months, or both.