Chapter 043

2007 -- S 0366

Enacted 06/15/07






     Introduced By: Senator Stephen D. Alves

     Date Introduced: February 13, 2007


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Sections 6-11.1-1 and 6-11.1-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 6-11.1

entitled "Purchase and Sale of Precious Metals" are hereby amended to read as follows:


     6-11.1-1. License required -- "Person" defined. -- (a) No person, including a

pawnbroker, and consignment shop or second hand dealer, as defined in section 5-21-1, shall

engage in the business of buying or receiving for the purpose of selling gold, silver, platinum

group metals, or precious stones, or any articles containing those items, other than coins

purchased for their numismatic value rather than their metal content, referred to in this chapter as

"precious metals," from the general public for the purpose of reselling the precious metals in any

condition without first obtaining a license from the attorney general of the state of Rhode Island,

also called "the attorney general" in this chapter. The attorney general shall not issue any license

to a person who has not registered a permanent place of business within the state for the purchase

or sale of precious metals. The criteria for determining a person's permanent place of business

shall be formulated by the attorney general immediately on or after July 1, 1981.

      (b) The word "person," when used in this chapter, shall include individuals, partnerships,

associations, and corporations.

      (c) This chapter shall not apply to any financial institution which is covered by federal or

state deposit insurance, nor to jewelry and silverware manufacturers purchasing precious metals

directly from trade suppliers.


     6-11.1-5. Seven day holding period -- Recovery of stolen property -- Return to

rightful owner. Fourteen day holding period Recovery of stolen property Return to

rightful owner. -- (a) All persons licensed under this chapter shall retain in their possession in an

unaltered condition for a period of seven (7) fourteen (14) days all precious metals or articles

made from or containing a precious metal except items of bullion, including coins, bars, and

medallions, which do not contain serial numbers or other identifying marks. The seven (7)

fourteen (14) day holding period shall commence with the date the report of its acquisition was

delivered to or received through the mails by the chief of police or the attorney general,

whichever is later. The records so received by the chief of police and the attorney general shall be

available for inspection only by law enforcement officers for law enforcement purposes. If the

chief of police has probable cause that precious metals or an article made from or containing a

precious metal has been stolen, he or she may give notice, in writing, to the person licensed, to

retain the metal or article for an additional period of fifteen (15) days, and the person shall retain

the property for this additional fifteen (15) day period, unless the notice is recalled, in writing,

within the fifteen (15) day period; within the fifteen (15) day period the chief of police, or his or

her designee, shall designate, in writing, an officer to secure the property alleged to be stolen and

the persons in possession of the property shall deliver the property to the officer upon display of

the officer's written designation by the chief of police or his or her designee. Upon receipt of the

property from the officer, the clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property

for a police department shall enter into a book a description of every article of property alleged to

be stolen which was brought to the police department and shall attach a number to each article.

The clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property shall deliver the property to

the owner of the property upon satisfactory proof of ownership, without any cost to the owner,

provided that the following steps are followed:

      (1) A complete photographic record of the property is made;

      (2) A signed declaration of ownership under penalty of perjury is obtained from the

person to whom the property is delivered;

      (3) The person from whom the custody of the property was taken is served with written

notice of the claim of ownership and is given ten (10) days from the mailing of the notice to file a

petition in district court objecting to the delivery of the property to the person claiming

ownership. If a petition is filed in a timely manner, the district court shall at a hearing determine

by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was stolen and that the person claiming

ownership of the property is the true owner. The decision of the district court may only be

appealable by writ of certiorari to the supreme court.

      (b) The clerk or person in charge of the storage of alleged stolen property shall not be

liable for damages for any official act performed in good faith in the course of carrying out the

provisions of this section. The photographic record of the alleged stolen property shall be allowed

to be introduced as evidence in any court of this state in place of the actual alleged stolen

property; provided that the clerk in charge of the storage of the alleged stolen property shall take

photographs of the property, and those photographs shall be tagged and marked and remain in his

possession or control.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.