Albany County bill that regulates secondhand jewelry sales fails to pass

Posted at: 10/09/2012 11:30 PM
Updated at: 10/10/2012 12:21 AM
By: Dan Bazile

ALBANY -- For Albany County Legislator Gary Domalewicz, the bill that regulates secondhand jewelry sales is designed to protect would-be victims of jewelry thieves.

"It's a good law. It's a good law to recover stolen merchandise of the 47,000 victims of property crime here in Albany County," Domalewicz said.

The bill requires digital pictures or written descriptions of all items, along with the names and detailed personal information on every individual who brings in a piece of jewelry for sale in a pawn shop or jewelry store. The information would then be shared with the Albany Police department after the creation of a new database.

"We don't believe that's an effective solution and we don't believe it recovers property," said Jason Pierce, president of the Dealers Association, a group that represents precious metal and jewelry dealers.

Pierce said the compromise from a previous legislation that was vetoed by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, is the new measure would require police to report robberies in the Capital Region to the coin and precious metal dealers so they can watch for stolen items.

"We believe that type of reverse reporting is an effective means of stopping the trafficking of stolen property," Pierce said.

Pierce added that while this legislation is important, even the second version needs more work because of its possible negative impact on businesses. He did get his wish. After a lengthy lively discussion, Albany County lawmakers sent the bill back to committee for more tweaks.