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Published on Friday, March 22, 2013

Metal theft bill scheduled for public hearing in Senate

HB 1552 is scheduled for a hearing at 1:30 pm on March 25 in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. AWC has been a strong supporter of this legislation throughout the session, working with many of our city officials and partners.

The original bill established the framework, increased criminal penalties for metal theft, and established a licensing scheme for scrap metal processors, recyclers, and suppliers. It also called for the creation of a no-buy list to identify those convicted of metal theft crimes. Additionally, it outlined criminal penalties and fines for theft and property damage.

The House has amended the bill as follows:

  • Requires that records of transactions be maintained for five years.
  • Narrows the scope of seizure and forfeiture provisions, and states that the no-buy database is only operable when there is sufficient funding appropriated.
  • Delays the implementation of the licensing program until January 2014.
  • Requires that law enforcement requests to scrap metal businesses to hold potentially stolen metal property or produce transaction records be in writing.
  • Provides that scrap metal businesses shall not be civilly liable for complying with law enforcement record requests.
  • Replaces the Washington Metal Theft Prevention Authority outlined in the original bill with a metal theft enforcement grant program, to be administered by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.
  • Revises cash transaction limits to allow up to $30 for aluminum cans exchange, or if the buyer is able to get a digital image of the seller’s ID and the material being sold, the seller could receive up to $30 in cash and the remainder in the form of a check.
Categories: Law & justice