TRENTON, NJ - Jewelers who violate New Jersey’s secondhand jewelry and precious metals record keeping laws would face much stricter penalties under legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and approved by the New Jersey Senate.

Sign Up for E-News

Bateman’s bill would increase penalties for sellers who violate New Jersey’s strict record keeping laws pertaining to jewelry and precious metals.

“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 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.”

In order to prevent the sale of stolen valuables, the bill 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. Specific penalties for committing these crimes do not exist under current law. Under Bateman's bill, first-time offenders would face penalties of between $500 and $1,000 and/or 30 days in prison. A second offense would result in a fine of at least $1,000 and up to six months in prison.

Bateman’s bill 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. The bill would double the penalty for subsequent offenses, subjecting repeat offenders to up to $2,500 in fines.

“New Jersey has very strict jewelry and precious metal record keeping laws to track and recover stolen valuables,” Bateman said. “The punishment for violating these requirements must fit the crime. This legislation will protect consumers and deter nefarious sellers from illegally buying and selling stolen goods.”