NEW YORK A proposed national scrap metals theft law
that would impose federal penalties on those found guilty of
stealing metals for scrap has been called encouraging by
players in the industry.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced Thursday that his
proposed new legislation would make "stealing metal from
critical infrastructure" a federal crime and would introduce
strict documentation requirements for sellers.
The proposed legislation would also mandate basic
recordkeeping by scrap metals buyers and prohibit them from
paying more than $100 in cash for scrap.
"Above $100, scrap metal sellers will have to be paid by
check, aside from established commercial transactions," the
senators office said.
The bill is the latest attempt by Schumer and Sen. Amy
Klobuchar (D., Minn.) to introduce scrap metals theft
legislation at a federal level. A bill the two senators
submitted, along with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), in 2009
hasnt seen any movement since it was referred to the
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (
amm.com, Dec. 10, 2009).
Scott Horne, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
(ISRI)s general counsel and vice president of government
affairs, told AMM that although he has not yet seen
the text of the proposed legislation, the organization is
encouraged by Schumers apparent determination to target
scrap metals thieves instead of recyclers.
"This is something weve said needs to be done time and
time again. What is not necessary is the imposition of
additional requirements of scrap recyclers, because youve
got 48 statessoon to be 49that have recordkeeping
provisions in their laws. Unless the law preempts state and
local laws that place a host of requirements on scrap
recyclers, you dont need a federal law to overlay those
state and local laws," he said.
Horne also noted that a national bill could help prevent
scrap metals thieves from traveling across state lines in order
to sell stolen material.
Representatives for the two senators couldnt be
reached for further details on the legislation.
However, one scrap dealer told AMM that he thinks
"the bar is too low" at a $100 cash limit. "It needs to be at
least $500, because there are a lot of scrappers out there who
clean out garages that will have $200 to $250 of material that
theyre willing to do for cash," the
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly
stated that the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries had
given "tentative support" to the bill. ISRI has not taken a
position on the proposed bill.