Current Law

LA R.S. 37:1961

CHAPTER 22.  SCRAP METAL RECYCLERS

 

§1961.  Short title

This Chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law.

Acts 2012, No. 827, §1, eff. June 14, 2012.

 

§1962.  Definitions

As used in this Chapter, the following words shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this Section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1)  ”Operator” means any person employed in responsible charge of operating all or any portion of a scrap metal recycling facility.

(2)  ”Railroad track materials” means steel in the form of railroad tracks or in the form of rail, switch components, spikes, angle bars, tie plates, or bolts of the type used in constructing railroads, or any combination of such materials.

(3)  ”Scrap metal” means metal materials which are purchased for resale to be recycled, including but not limited to ferrous materials, catalytic converters, auto hulks, copper, copper wire, copper alloy, bronze, zinc, aluminum other than in the form of cans, stainless steel, nickel alloys, or brass, whether in the form of bars, cable, ingots, rods, tubing, wire, wire scraps, clamps or connectors, railroad track materials, water utility materials, and used building components.  The term shall not include precious metals, including but not limited to gold, silver, and platinum.

(4)  ”Scrap metal recycling facility” means any physical entity that has the function of recycling scrap metal.

(5)  ”Used building component” means any object produced or shaped by human workmanship or tools that is an element of structural, architectural, archaeological, historical, ornamental, cultural, utilitarian, decorative, or sentimental significance or interest, which has been and may be used as an adjunct to or component or ornament of any building or structure, regardless of monetary worth, age, size, shape, or condition, that is immovable property, or fixtures or component parts of immovable property of any nature or kind whatsoever.

(6)  ”Water utility materials” shall include but not be limited to water meters, valves, pipes, and fittings.

 

§1963.  License required; application; bond

No person shall do business as a scrap metal recycler in this state without having first obtained the occupational license required by law.  Any person desiring a license as a scrap metal recycler shall make application in writing, specifying the street number and house number of the building where the business is to be carried on.  He shall also submit with his application a bond in favor of the city or parish, as the case may be, where the business is to be established in the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars with security conditioned for the due observance of all provisions of this Chapter.

 

§1964.  Exemptions

The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to:

(1)  Dealers in coins and currency, dealers in antiques, nor to gun and knife shows or other trade and hobby shows.

(2)  Persons solely engaged in the business of buying, selling, trading in, or otherwise acquiring or disposing of motor vehicles and used parts of motor vehicles, excluding tires and rims, nor wreckers or dismantlers of motor vehicles who are licensed pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 32:783 et seq.

(3)  Private residential sales commonly known as “garage sales” or “yard sales” as long as such sales take place at a residential address.

(4)  Any bona fide charity possessing a valid exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of  the Internal Revenue Code.

(5)  The operations of a company that has received a permit, registration, or other authorization from the Department of Environmental Quality for the collection, transportation, treatment, storage, processing of materials to be recycled or reused or disposal of solid waste as defined in R.S. 30:2153.

(6)  Persons operating as pawnbrokers pursuant to R.S. 37:1785.

(7)  The purchase of firearms for disposal from a law enforcement agency.

(8)  The purchase of materials from any manufacturing, industrial, or other commercial vendor that generates the materials as a byproduct or recyclable waste or sells such materials in the ordinary course of its business.

 

§1965.  Change in location to be noted on license

If after issuance and delivery of a license under the provisions of this Chapter any change is made in the location of the place of business designated therein, the business shall not be conducted at the new location or under such license, until the official issuing the license notes the change on the license, and the superintendent of police of the city or the sheriff of the parish in which the scrap metal recycling facility is doing business is notified in writing of the change.

 

§1966.  Hours of business

An operator shall not enter into any transactions for the purchase of scrap metal before the hour of 7:00 a.m. nor after the hour of 7:00 p.m. except on Saturdays and during the month of December, during which time the hour of 7:00 p.m. shall be extended to 10:00 p.m.

 

§1967.  Record of scrap metal purchased required; exceptions; retention period; inspections by law enforcement; violations; penalty

A.  Every operator shall either keep a register and file reports or electronically maintain data and be capable of readily providing reports, as specified in Subsection B of this Section, in the form prescribed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections which shall contain the following information:

(1)  The name and address of the residence or place of business of the person required to either keep the register and file reports or electronically maintain the data and generate the requested reports.

(2)  The date and place of each such purchase.

(3)  The name and address of the person or persons from whom the material was purchased, including the distinctive number of each person’s Louisiana driver’s license, driver’s license from another state, passport, military identification, or identification issued by a governmental agency or the United States Postal Service. If the person cannot produce any of the above forms of identification at the time of purchase, the purchaser shall not complete the transaction.

(4)  The motor vehicle license number of the vehicle or conveyance on which such material was delivered.

(5)  A full description of all such material purchased, including the weight of the material and whether it consists of bars, kegs, cable, ingots, rods, tubing wire, wire scraps, clamps, connectors, or other appurtenances or some combination thereof.

(6)  A full description of railroad track materials purchased, including the weight and whether it consists of rail, switch components, spikes, angle bars, tie plates, or bolts of the type used to construct railroads or other appurtenances or some combination thereof.

B.  Each operator shall keep either one copy of such completed form in a separate register or book or maintain the information in electronic format as provided in Subsection A of this Section which shall be kept for a period of three years at his place of business and shall be made available for inspection by any peace officer or law enforcement official at any time during the three-year period.

C.  Failure to maintain the information or the register or to produce a report requested by any peace officer or law enforcement official as required by this Section shall be prima facie evidence that the person receiving such material described in this Section that is not registered or reported, received it knowing it to be stolen, in violation of R.S. 14:69.

 

§1968.  Photographic and other records; exceptions

A.  In addition to the information required in R.S. 37:1967, every operator shall be required to obtain a photograph of a person selling or delivering scrap metal to the facility.  The quality of such photograph shall be sufficient to readily identify the person depicted.  In lieu of the photograph of the person selling or delivering the scrap metal, the operator may obtain either a thumbprint of such person, the quality of which thumbprint shall be sufficient to identify the person, or a photocopy of the person’s Louisiana driver’s license, driver’s license from another state, passport, military identification, or identification issued by a governmental agency or the United States Postal Service.  Each photograph, thumbprint, or photocopy, as the case may be, shall be cross-referenced with the ledger entry required by R.S. 37:1967.  The photograph, thumbprint, or photocopy shall be preserved for a period of at least a year.  Photographs shall be made available to the law enforcement agency within twenty-four hours after the request.

B.  In addition to the information required in R.S. 37:1967, every operator shall be required to obtain a photograph of all scrap metal purchased.  The quality of the photograph shall be sufficient to readily identify each type of scrap metal depicted.  The operator shall obtain multiple photographs if necessary to properly record the scrap metal purchased.  Each photograph shall be cross-referenced with the ledger entry required by R.S. 37:1967 and shall be preserved for a period of at least one year.  Photographs shall be made available to law enforcement within twenty-four hours after a request.

 

§1969.  Scrap metal; purchase when forbidden

A.  No operator shall willfully or knowingly purchase scrap metal unpaid for by the seller or not owned by the seller.

B.  No operator shall purchase scrap metal, other than aluminum in the form of cans, from a person under the age of eighteen.  Lack of knowledge of age shall not be a defense to a violation of this Subsection.

C.  No operator shall purchase precious metals.

 

§1970.  Statement by seller required; failure to exact statement evidence of fraudulent intent; exoneration from criminal knowledge

A.  Every operator shall obtain a signed statement from the seller that the scrap metal has been paid for or is owned by the seller, and a failure of the operator to exact a statement from the seller shall be prima facie evidence of the fraudulent intent and guilty knowledge on the part of the operator within the meaning of this Chapter, sufficient to warrant a conviction.

B.  In transactions involving railroad track materials, an operator shall require the party seeking to sell or dispose of the materials to furnish a signed statement from the appropriate railroad company consenting to the sale of the railroad track materials identified in the statement, which shall be retained by the operator.  The statement shall include the name of the railroad company consenting to the sale and the name, employee number, and phone number of the person signing the statement authorizing the sale.  The operator shall attempt to verify the authenticity of the statement authorizing the sale of the railroad track materials.

C.(1)  An operator shall not purchase any of the following materials without first receiving a signed statement from the company or governmental entity owning the materials and consenting to the sale of the materials identified in the statement:

(a)  Infrastructure grade regulated material that has been burned to remove insulation, unless the seller can produce written proof that the regulated material was lawfully burned.

(b)  Burnt wire.

(c)  Regulated material where the manufacturer’s make, model, serial or personal identification number, or other identifying marks engraved or etched upon the material have been conspicuously removed or altered.

(d)  Regulated material marked with the name, initials, or otherwise identified as the property of an electrical company, a telephone company, a cable company, a water company or other utility company, or a governmental entity.

(e)  A utility access cover.

(f)  A water meter cover.

(g)  A road or bridge guard rail.

(h)  A highway or street sign.

(i)  A traffic directional or control sign or signal.

(j)  A metal beer keg that is clearly marked as being the property of the beer manufacturer.

(k)  A catalytic converter that is not part of an entire motor vehicle.

(2)  The statement shall include the name of the company or governmental entity consenting to the sale and the name, employee number, and phone number of the person signing the statement authorizing the sale.  The operator shall attempt to verify the authenticity of the statement authorizing the sale of the materials.  The statement shall be retained by the operator.

D.  An operator who obtains the required statement from the seller shall be exonerated from any fraudulent, willful, or criminal knowledge within the meaning of this Chapter.

 

§1971.  Book to be open for inspection

The book containing the record of purchase as provided for in R.S. 37:1967 and the various articles purchased and referred to therein shall at all times be open to the inspection of law enforcement officers of the office of state police, or the superintendent of police or sheriff of the parish or anyone designated by them of the city, town, or parish in which the operator does business.

 

§1972.  Daily report of entries

A.(1)  Every operator licensed pursuant to this Chapter shall produce and deliver to the chief of police of the city or town or to the sheriff of the parish in which he is doing business, every day before the hour of twelve noon, a legible and correct copy of the entries in the book mentioned in R.S. 37:1967 during the previous day.  The means for providing the transactional information required under this Section shall be by electronic transmission.

(2)  The appropriate law enforcement official may, for purposes of an investigation of a crime relating to a particular scrap metal transaction, request the operator to mail or fax the official the personally identifiable information relating to the transaction under investigation.  The operator shall deliver the personally identifiable information relating to the identified transaction to the appropriate law enforcement official within twenty-four hours of the request.

B.  In addition to the daily report required in Subsection A of this Section, every operator licensed pursuant to this Chapter shall, every day before the hour of twelve noon, transmit the information contained in the entries in the book required by R.S. 37:1967(B) during the previous day to an electronic database accessible by law enforcement.

C.  The operator shall have the responsibility of tendering the information provided for in Subsections A and B of this Section regardless of its use or nonuse by the chief of police in the city or town in which he is doing business or, alternatively, to the sheriff of the parish in which he is doing business.  The tender of this information is a courtesy mandated by state law and which provides a benefit to the general public.  The chief of police or sheriff shall not be mandated to take any particular action concerning the information tendered.

§1973.  Payment by loadable payment card or check for copper, aluminum-copper air conditioning coils, or other metals required; check cashing prohibited

A.(1)  An operator shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils.  After five business days from the date of the transaction, payment for copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils shall be made in the form of a check made payable to the name and address of the seller of the copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils, or a loadable payment card and shall be tendered to the seller in any of the following manners:

(a)  By mail to the address recorded on the photo identification of the seller.

(b)  In person at the place of business of the operator.

(c)  By electronic transfer.

(2)  An operator shall not enter into any cash transactions in excess of three hundred dollars in payment for the purchase of metal property other than copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils. Payments in excess of three hundred dollars for metals other than copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils shall be made in the form of a check made payable to the name and address of the seller or a loadable payment card and may be tendered to the seller at the time of the transaction.  The operator, at his discretion, may make payment by either cash or other method for transactions of three hundred dollars or less for all metals other than copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils.

B.  All payments made by check shall be reported separately in the daily reports required by R.S. 37:1967.

C.  Pursuant to the provisions of this Section, if an operator makes a payment to the seller in the form of a check or loadable payment card, the operator shall require verification of the seller’s identification by a driver’s license or similar means and shall require verification of the seller’s address by a current utility bill.  The operator shall retain a copy of such utility bill.

D.(1)  No operator shall allow a seller to engage in multiple transactions within a twenty-four hour period totaling more than three hundred dollars for the purpose of circumventing this Section.

(2)  No operator shall cash, offer to cash, or provide the means for exchanging for cash a check issued to a seller pursuant to this Section on the premises of the operator’s place of business, including but not limited to the use of an automatic teller machine.

E.  Violations of this Section shall be subject to the penalties provided for in R.S. 37:1974 and 1975.

 

§1974.  Violations; penalty

A.  Any licensed operator who violates, neglects, or refuses to comply with any provision of this Chapter, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars, nor more than ten thousand dollars or be imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days, or both.

B.  For the second offense, his occupational license shall be suspended for a thirty-day period.  For a third offense, his occupational license shall be revoked and he shall not thereafter be permitted to engage in the business of scrap metal recycling in the state of Louisiana.

C.  Any operator convicted of selling stolen goods shall have his occupational license revoked.

D.  The occupational license tax collector is hereby vested with the authority, upon motion in a court of competent jurisdiction, to rule the noncomplying operator to show cause in not less than two nor more than ten days, exclusive of holidays, as to why the noncomplying operator’s retail occupational license should not be suspended or revoked as prescribed under this Chapter.  This rule may be tried out of term and in chambers and shall be tried with preference and priority.  If the rule is made absolute, the order rendered therein shall be considered a judgment in favor of the municipality or parish.

 

§1975.  Failure to comply; penalty

A.  Anyone acting as an unlicensed operator without complying with the provisions of this Chapter shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days, or both.

B.  For a second offense, the offender shall be fined not less than five thousand dollars or be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than two years, or both.

C.  For a third or subsequent offense, the offender shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars or be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.

 

§1976.  Preemption

No governing authority of a political subdivision shall enact an ordinance in conflict with the provisions of this Chapter.

 

§1977.  Expiration

The provisions of this Chapter shall expire on July 31, 2016.