[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Bedford 3-25-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
By authority of New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated Chapters 322 and 398, all as amended, the Town of Bedford adopts the following provision for the purpose of regulating the transaction of items which have commonly been subject to theft and illicit transfer. The purpose of this chapter is to discourage the transaction of stolen goods, assist in the investigation of any illicit transfer and associated criminal activity, and the recovery of stolen property to the rightful owner.
As used in this chapter, the following words or phrases shall have the meanings set forth below unless expressly indicated.
- Any person, firm, partnership or corporation engaged in the lending of money secured by taking possession of jewelry, apparel, tools, electronics, household goods, or any other personal property, with interest charged thereon, with the right to sell the personal property if it is not redeemed. A person, firm, partnership, or corporation shall be deemed a pawnbroker whether the transaction takes the form of a loan by the pawnbroker secured by the property, or a sale to the pawnbroker with the right to repurchase within a specified amount of time.
- SECONDHAND DEALER
- Any person, firm, partnership or corporation whose business is in the retail buying, selling, buyback, exchanging, dealing in or dealing with secondhand articles, including, but not limited to, jewelry, watches, diamonds, precious stones, gems, gold, silver, platinum, precious metals, coins, stamps, musical instruments and equipment, cameras, furs, home and audio stereo equipment, televisions, VCRs, DVD players, multimedia devices, digital equipment, video game systems, equipment and accessories, tools, computers and computer equipment, firearms, electronic navigation systems, automobile accessories and collectables, excepting furniture and books. "Secondhand dealer" does not mean purchases made from private residences by citizens not engaged in a secondhand-dealer-type business.
The Town of Bedford may license such persons as it deems suitable to be pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers within the Town. All licenses so granted shall contain a clause that the person so licensed agrees to abide by and be subject to all provisions of this chapter as it may be from time to time amended.
No person, firm, partnership or corporation shall operate, conduct or engage in business as a pawnbroker or secondhand dealer unless such person, firm, partnership or corporation obtains a license from the Town of Bedford, in accordance with New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated Chapters 47, 322 and 398, respectively.
Application for such licenses shall be made to the Town Clerk who may submit them to the Chief of Police and who may cause an investigation to be made into the fitness of the applicant to engage in the business of a pawnbroker or secondhand dealer, and report his findings to the Town Clerk before such license is acted upon.
The license shall be issued for a specific location and is not transferable to any other person, firm, partnership or corporation.
Upon approval by the Town Council, a fee of $50 shall be paid by the applicant to the Town Clerk prior to the issuance of the license.
Licensees shall display their current license in a conspicuous place within the business where it may readily be viewed by the general public.
A numbered license shall be issued and continue in full force until April 1 of each year unless revoked prior to this date by the Town Council at any time after notice to the licensee and hearing on the charges preferred.
Every pawnbroker or secondhand dealer shall keep and maintain a complete written record of each such purchase. This record, which must be kept on file for seven years, shall be in the English language and include a full and accurate detailed description, including serial numbers of the item or items purchased, pawned or pledged; or in the case of any jewelry, watches, diamonds, precious stones, gems, gold, silver, platinum, precious metals, coins, or stamps, a clear color photographic image must be taken of the article to accompany the record; the date and time of such transaction; the amount of money loaned, the rate of interest to be paid on said loans; and the full name and address of the seller or the pledger. Every secondhand dealer shall keep and maintain written records, including the names and addresses of purchasers, for sales of items purchased by the secondhand dealer less than 30 days before the date of sale.
Every pawnbroker and secondhand dealer shall require every seller or pledger of items to produce a positive photographic identification, and the type of identification used shall be noted on the transaction records. At no time shall a pawnbroker or secondhand dealer accept another person's photographic identification for any transaction. The pawnbroker or secondhand dealer shall attach a photocopy of the identification shown to the transaction record. No pawnbroker or secondhand dealer shall transact business with anyone under 18 years of age, except when said minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who shall sign the transaction record with an accompanying copy of his or her positive photographic identification.
Pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers shall prepare and deliver photocopies of all transaction records to the Chief of Police, or his designee, within 48 hours of the end of said dealer's business day on which the transaction occurred. If during any week a pawnbroker or secondhand dealer has not purchased any items, he or she shall make a report of such fact to the Chief of Police, or his designee, on or before 10:00 a.m. of the first business day of the following week.
Pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers shall retain the original transaction records in their possession, which, together with any article which is kept or stored in or upon such premises, may be inspected at any time by a duly authorized police officer.
Pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers will not sell, encumber by sales contract, or otherwise dispose of or alter an article in its appearance within 14 days of purchase, unless granted permission, in writing, from the Chief of Police, but in any case not within 48 hours of time of purchase. Pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers shall retain on premises all items purchased or pawned during the waiting period and not place such items on the sales floor until the waiting period has expired unless the item is clearly marked as to the sales release date based on the time frames outlined in this section. Pawnbrokers or secondhand dealers shall clearly mark the transaction records of any pawn item repurchased by the original seller and shall submit a copy of the record to the Chief of Police, or his designee, within 48 hours of the transaction.
If the Chief of Police, or his designee, determines that an article is needed for evidence in a criminal investigation, the Police Department shall seize the evidence pursuant to applicable criminal procedures. The pawnbroker or secondhand dealer shall be issued a receipt for the article. Pursuant to RSA 595-A:6, the Police Department shall keep seized articles under the court's direction as long as necessary to permit the article to be used as evidence. At the conclusion of all court proceedings or closure of the police investigation, the Police Department shall notify the original owner, the pawnbroker/secondhand dealer, and any person who may have a lawful interest that the property will be released in 30 calendar days to the original owner if no other claim is placed on the property.
Any violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 per day.
The Town Council may, independently or upon recommendation from the Chief of Police, suspend or revoke said license for any violation of this chapter, or reasons it deems to be in the best interest of the Town of Bedford, following a hearing. Offenses which may result in the suspension or revocation of said license include, but are not limited to, the following:
Notice of the suspension or revocation will be made, in writing, to the owner(s) of the business within five business days of said hearing.
The provisions of this chapter shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of these regulations shall, for any reason, be held invalid or unconstitutional, the validity of the remainder of these regulations shall not be affected thereby.