Senate Regulated Industries Committee passes metal theft bill

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee, Chaired by Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) passed Senate Bill 321 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) and Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), to regulate the buying and selling of recyclable metal.

SB 321 requires metal buyers to collect photos of the material, a signed statement from the seller stating that they are the rightful owner of the material, copy of a valid id card, thumbprint, tag number and other information. Law enforcement may inspect recyclable materials bought for recycling and purchase records. Payment shall be by check mailed to the address on the seller’s identification.


    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Yeah, very serious as the theft of metals, especially copper, has grown out of control.

      • Engineer says:

        Yeah, here in south Georgia, we’ve had strings of metal thefts where the thief or thieves rip apart irrigation pivot systems, doing thousands of dollars in damage (sometimes for for less than $100 worth of copper wiring and tubing); the same thing with air conditioning units, unfortunately, churches have been the primary targets of these thefts.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          What’s been really bad in Gwinnett and thoroughout Metro Atlanta is the repeated theft of copper from the lights that tower over childrens’ baseball, softball and football fields, manhole covers (in which unsuspecting and innocent people have actually fallen into after the covers have been stolen) and the continued thefts of the air-conditioning units that you mentioned, not just from churches, but from various businesses as well.

    • Engineer says:

      Apparently not….

      Part I
      Section 1-1
      Article 14

      46 (7)(10) ‘Regulated metal property’ means any item composed primarily of any ferrous
      47 metals, nonferrous metals, aluminum property, copper property, or catalytic converter but
      48 shall not include aluminum beverage containers, used beverage containers, or similar
      49 beverage containers.

  1. racinwithrex says:

    Just more goverment regulations that try to cover law enforcement when they can’t seem to do their job. Next will we have to give fingerprints to shop at local stores to get rid of shoplifting?
    This much red tape will cost the little man a business and make it cost us more to be able to re-cycle. We have laws on the books for theft… Enforce them!

    • Engineer says:

      “Enforce them!” Contrary to what you may think in your imagination, law enforcement cannot read the minds of individuals and as such, cannot know where or when a criminal is going to strike.

      In many cases, lack of any paperwork by the dealers means that the cops don’t even get a starting list of suspects and/or what kind of metal they brought in to compare and sift through.

  2. racinwithrex says:

    Contrary to what you may think in your imagination, It just amazes me how many folks that need goverment to write new laws to enforce the laws we already have. Theft is theft. Amazing part of it is, that pawn shops have had this kind of policy for years and we see how it’s really cut out theft. So we can look for no more copper or converter theft from now on? O.K. who’s got the bigger imagination now? lol…lol…

    • Engineer says:

      Based on your initial post you implied that police should be stopping the thefts when they happen (while they do sometimes catch an individual, usually when somebody is stealing home or AC wiring, this is seldom the case in rural areas) in the same way that a loss prevention associate catches shoplifters at stores. In regards to fingerprints, many of these metal thefts are by 1st time offenders, so no previous record exists in the police database.

      PS: There is a reply button under individual posts for a reason, maybe next time you should use it.

    • benevolus says:

      OK racin, how would you enforce the existing laws of theft of metal?
      And yes, I think probably the pawn shop laws probably have helped. Not totally eliminated theft of course, but probably substantially reduced pawn shop involvement.
      I mean, just because somebody runs a red light every now and then doesn’t mean we should eliminate red lights, right?

  3. JediJD says:

    racinwithrex is actually spot on. The problem is not with current regulation. Every sale to every recycler includes a picture ID and usually a car tag. The problem is with enforcement and punishment. These regs will simply add to the regulatory burden of local businesses, won’t effect thefts at all, and move the sales to other states or home grown smelting. What part of “government isn’t the answer” do people not get?

    • racinwithrex says:

      I guess some people will never get that “government isn’t the answer” … They are to busy trying to be SMART about a reply button and not reading what is written. My whole point is that we have two “local” scrap businesses who will not be able to maintain in business with this new law. They are just ole county boys who have been in the business for years, that now the state has put such a burden on them, they will just have to loose more money or even close. It’s not their fault that theives have taken advantage of their business and now law enforcement wants new laws put on THEM! Not to the THEIVES but to the BUSINESS. But I guess most folks want to see the overhaul wearing, hard working man CONFORM to more goverment regulations.

      • racinwithrex says:

        And Yea, I want to be fingerprinted, a picture of me and my tag, a full sheet of info and maybe a credit report and let’s go ahead with a pee sample and a good DNA swab and wait 10 days for my little money on scrap metal. Anyone else got any other requirements they want to see???

      • benevolus says:

        Every other competitor has to follow the same rules, so they should not be any less competitive… unless they make most of their money dealing in stolen goods.

        • objective says:

          that’s right. the original theft of metal may be one issue, but the dealing in stolen goods is another. that’s a good reason for some extra protection for our taxpayers.
          the affidavit by the seller adds no real burden to the business, but does add another layer of criminal offense to aid enforcement.
          personally, i’m not a fan of the thumb print submission, but it does seem to be a way to address a compund crime of theft and fraud.
          overall, this should help our officers, reduce the market for stolen metal goods, and benefit taxpayers at a de minimis cost.
          those shops that rely on stolen goods will bear the highest burden, and will either be unable to compete, or be able to compete lawfully. this is about market fairness for those not breaking the law, and a proper way for government to protect citizens and businesses.

          • racinwithrex says:

            I can assure you that the two local businesses I speak of are not dealing in stolen goods. And we wonder why Amercian businesses are leaving this country and going elsewhere. I guess all them are crooks also…

            The bill has passed and will become law…. I just happen to not agree with it, and I don’t deal in stolen goods. But I don’t always wear my seatbelt either, and I guess that helps law enforcement also.

  4. racinwithrex says:

    Whhooppsss, before I am corrected…

    folks want to see the overhaul wearing, hard working man CONFORM to more goverment regulations.

    Should be “overall” wearing, hard working man……. SORRY, but I did use the reply button!…

  5. csizemore says:

    Why don’t we enforce the laws on drugs then they want sell copper to buy drugs. police sould do their jobs and not ask us to do it for them.I don’t like drugs in our school but maybe if I don’t buy any scrap from a good person it will stop the drugs from there lol. Lets all agree that bad people are bad so I think we sould all do the rite thing.

  6. csizemore says:

    We turn them in the law turns them lose most of the time if you turn in a theft the criminal beats the police home people in gov have no idea to the real world.I challenge anyone of you to bring stolen copper to my place with out proper id and I wright checks and call the law. AMERICUS

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