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Back to Scrap Laws Louisiana Metal Scrap Statute
Current as of April 28, 2016

The State Metals Theft Laws summaries are not intended to provide or be relied as a legal advice. This material is provided to serve as a reasonable compilation of the most current state scrap laws and is intended to be a resource or supplement to, and provide ideas for, compliance with all applicable laws. The ISRI State Scrap Laws are subject to change and readers should visit http://www.isri.org/metalstheftdb to make certain they are reading the most recent version of ISRI's summaries of the State Metals Theft Laws

Please Note: 2015 Louisiana SB 30 amends Section 14:69. Illegal Possession of Stolen Things as noted in the Penalties provision.

Materials Covered and Other Definitions

"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.

"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.

"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.

"Water Utility Materials" includes but is not limited to water meters, valves, pipes, and fittings.

Specified Materials, as used in this summary, refers to the items listed in Section 37:1970.C.(1):

  • Infrastructure grade regulated material that has been burned to remove insulation, unless the Seller can produce written proof that the material was lawfully burned.
  • Burnt wire
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A utility access cover.
  • A water meter cover.
  • A road or bridge guard rail.
  • A highway or street sign.
  • A traffic directional or control sign or signal.
  • A metal beer keg that is clearly marked as the property of the beer manufacturer.
  • A catalytic converter that is not part of an entire motor vehicle.

"Operator" means any person employed in responsible charge of operating all or any portion of a scrap metal recycling facility.

Exemptions

Does not apply to:

  • Dealers in coins and currency, dealers in antiques, nor to gun and knife shows or other trade and hobby shows.
  • 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 § 32:783 et seq.
  • Private residential garage sales or yard sales taking place at a residential address.
  • Any bona fide charity possessing a Section 501(c)(3) exemption.
  • A company with a permit, registration, or other authorization from the Dept. of Environmental Quality for collection, transport, treatment, storage, or processing of materials to be recycled or reused or disposal of solid waste as defined in Section 30:2153.
  • Persons operating as pawnbrokers pursuant to Section  37:1785.
  • The purchase of firearms for disposal from a law enforcement agency.
  • 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.
License and Bond

A Recycler shall apply for an occupational license, specifying the address of the business location. A Recycler shall also submit a Section 2,500 bond in favor of the city or parish where the business is to be established as a surety for compliance with the Chapter. If the location of the business is changed after a license is issued, business shall not be conducted at the new location or under the license until the issuing official notes the change on the license and the superintendent of police of the city or sheriff of the perish is notified in writing.

 

Recordkeeping

An Operator shall maintain a written or electronic register of Scrap Metal purchases in the form prescribed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections with the following:

  • The name and residential or business address of the person required to keep the records and send reports;
  • The Date and Place of the purchase;
  • The name and address of each Seller;
  • The distinctive number of each Seller's driver's license, passport, military ID, or ID issued by a governmental agency or the US Postal Service;
  • The license number of the motor vehicle delivering the Scrap Metal;
  • 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;
  • The Seller's signed statement that the Seller paid for or owns the Scrap Metal;
  • A photograph of all Scrap Metal purchased, or multiple photos if necessary, crossreferenced with the record.
  • For payments by check or loadable payment card, a copy of the Seller's current utility bill used to verify the Seller's address (see Payment Restrictions).

One of the following from the Seller, cross-referenced with the record:

  • A photo of the person selling or delivering Scrap Metal,
  • A thumbprint of the person selling or delivering Scrap Metal, or
  • A copy of one of the identifications listed above;
Railroad Track Materials - Additional Recordkeeping

For Railroad Track Materials, an Operator must additionally record the following and attempt to verify the authenticity of the statement provided:

  • A full description 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 a combination thereof; and

A signed statement of consent from the appropriate railroad company with:

  • An identification of the materials offered for sale,
  • The name of the company consenting to the sale, and
  • The name, employee number, and phone number of the signer.
Specified Materials - Additional Recordkeeping

For Specified Materials as listed in Section 37:1970.C.(1), an Operator must additionally record a signed statement from the company or governmental entity owning the materials containing the following, and attempt to verify the authenticity of the statement:

  • An identification of the materials offered for sale;
  • The name of the company or government entity consenting to the sale;
  • The name, employee number, and phone number of the signer.
Retention

Records shall be retained for 3 years at the place of business, except photos of Scrap Metal and a Seller's photos, thumbprints, or copy of a Seller's ID need only be retained for 1 year.

Inspection

Records and purchased articles must be at all times open for inspection by any peace officer or 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. Photographs shall be made available to a law enforcement agency within 24 hours after a request.

 

Reporting

Every day before 12 PM, Operators must transmit an electronic report of the previous day's records to an electronic database accessible by law enforcement as well as to the chief of police of the city or sheriff of the county where they do business. Payments made by check must be reported separately in the daily reports.

The appropriate law enforcement official may, for an investigation of a crime relating to a particular Scrap Metal transaction, request the Operator to mail or fax them the personally identifiable information relating to the transaction within 24 hours of the request.

 

Hours of Operation

An Operator may only purchase Scrap Metal between 7AM and 7PM, except on Saturdays and during December the purchase hours are extended to between 7AM and 10 PM.

 

Purchase Restrictions

Operators shall not:

  • Willfully or knowingly purchase Scrap Metal unpaid for or not owned by the Seller;
  • Purchase Scrap Metal other than aluminum cans from a Seller under 18 years old. Lack of knowledge of age is not a defense to a violation;
  • Purchase precious metals.
Payment Restrictions

No cash payments for copper or for aluminum copper air-conditioning coils. Payment for such must be made 5 business days after the transaction in the form of a check made payable to the name and address of the Seller or a loadable payment card and tendered in any of the following ways:

  • By mail to the address recorded on the Seller's photo ID;
  • In person at the place of business of the Operator; or
  • By electronic transfer

No cash payments in excess of $300 for metal other than copper or aluminum-copper air conditioning coils. Sellers may not engage in multiple transactions within 24 hours totaling more than $300 to avoid payment restrictions. Payments in excess of $300 shall be made either by check payable to the name and address of the Seller or a loadable payment card. Payment may be tendered at the time of the transaction.

For payments by check or loadable payment card, the Operator must verify the Seller's identification by a driver's license or similar and verify the Seller's address by a current utility bill. The Operator must retain a copy of the utility bill.

Payments made by check must be reported separately in the daily reports. Operators may not cash, offer to cash, or provide the means for exchanging for cash a check issued to the Seller at their place of business. This includes an automated teller machine.

Penalties

(Added by SB 30) No person is exempt from prosecution under Section 14:69. Illegal Possession of Stolen Things, for any act committed with fraudulent, willful, or criminal knowledge regardless of any other statutory presumption or exemption, including any signed statement of ownership executed by a purported owner of property.

Failure to obtain the Seller's signed statement of ownership is prima facie evidence of the fraudulent intent and guilty knowledge on the part of the Operator.

An Operator who obtains the required statement from a Seller of Railroad Track or Specified Materials shall be exonerated from any fraudulent, willful, or criminal knowledge.

A licensed Operator who violates, neglects, or refuses to comply with any provision shall be subject to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and/or 30 to 60 days imprisonment. Additionally, for a:

  • 2nd offense: occupational license suspended for 30 days;
  • 3rd offense: occupational license revoked and banned from engaging as a Scrap Metal recycler in Louisiana.

An Operator convicted of selling stolen goods shall have their occupational license revoked.

Upon motion in a court of competent jurisdiction, the Occupational License Tax Collector may rule a noncomplying Operator to show cause in 2 to 10 days, exclusive of holidays, for why the Operator's license should not be suspended or revoked.

A person operating as an unlicensed Operator shall be fined at least $1,000 and/or imprisoned 30 to 60 days. Additionally, for a:

  • 2nd offense: fined at least $5,000 and/or imprisoned with or without hard labor for at most 2 years;
  • 3rd or subsequent: fined at least $10,000 and/or imprisoned with or without hard labor for at most 5 years,

Theft of Copper or Other Metals is defined under Section 14:67.28 as any taking of copper, copper wire, copper alloy, bronze, brass, zinc, aluminum other than in the form of cans, stainless steel, or nickel alloys, whether in the form of bars, cable, ingots, rods, tubing, wire, wire scraps, clamps, connectors, or Railroad Track Materials, either without the consent of the owner or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the copper or other metal. The value of the copper or other metals is determined as the aggregate of the fair market value of the copper or other metals, the cost of replacement, and the cost of replacing and repairing property that was damaged as a result of the theft. Violations are punishable by:

  • For a second or subsequent conviction, not more than a $5,000 fine and/or not more than 10 years imprisonment with or without hard labor.

For a first conviction, if the value is:

  • Less than $500, not more than a $1,000 fine and/or not less than 1 year imprisonment;
  • $500 or more but less than $1,000, not more than a $2,000 fine and/or 2 to 5 years imprisonment with or without hard labor;
  • $1,000 or more, not more than a $5,000 fine and/or 5 to 10 years imprisonment with or without hard labor.

Theft of a Utility Property valued in excess of $100 is defined under Section 14:67.24 as the misappropriation or taking of any component which is reasonably necessary to provide utility services, or any other building or structure or part of a structure that a utility uses in the production or use of its services, belonging to another without the consent of the owner to the misappropriation or taking. An intent to deprive the owner permanently of whatever may have been the subject of the misappropriation or taking is an essential element of this offense. Violations are punishable by not more than a $10,000 fine and/or 2 to 10 years imprisonment with or without hard labor.

Preemption

No governing authority of a political subdivision shall enact an ordinance in conflict.

 

Sunset

The provisions of the Louisiana law shall expire on July 31, 2016

©2016. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

This summary of State Metals Theft Laws is being viewed on this website under license and is owned and copyrighted by Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. ("ISRI"),1615 L Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.