NEW JERSEY – Legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman that imposes stricter penalties on jewelers who violate New Jersey’s secondhand jewelry and precious metals record keeping laws has been advanced by the Senate Commerce Committee.
“Under my legislation, jewelers who pawn off illegally obtained valuables on innocent consumers could no longer claim ignorance as a defense for buying and selling stolen goods,” Bateman (R-16) said. “Sellers who try and hide the fact that they received stolen property, and are putting it up for sale, must be held accountable for breaking the law.”
The bill, S-2202, would establish new penalties for a seller who fails to properly identify the individual selling jewelry to their business or claim knowledge of the receipt of stolen property. Individuals who violate the provision would face penalties between $500 and $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days.
The legislation would also increase penalties for sellers who violate record keeping laws pertaining to secondhand jewelry and precious metals transactions. A person purchasing secondhand jewelry who does not comply with certain requirements is presumed to have violated State law concerning receiving stolen property. S-2202 would double the penalty for subsequent offenses, subjecting repeat offenders to up to $2,500 in fines.
“New Jersey has strict jewelry and precious metal record keeping laws to track and recover stolen valuables,” Bateman said. “This legislation will further protect consumers and deter nefarious sellers from illegally buying and selling stolen goods.”