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Calif. Governor Vetoes Metal Theft Bill

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Oct. 10, 2013—California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed Assembly Bill 841 (AB 841), which would require a scrap metal recycler to pay for the purchase of scrap metal by a check mailed to the seller. The bill was designed to help prevent theft.

Brown explained his decision in a public letter acknowledging that theft of nonferrous metals is a problem throughout the U.S. but current laws should be enough to reduce the problem, including four bills he has signed in the last year on the topic.

“Existing law requires that a seller wait three days before receiving payment for metal materials, a written record of the transaction, the name, driver’s license number, license plate number, thumbprint of the seller and a photograph or video of the seller and the material being sold. How much more do you need?” said Brown.

Brown said the state should focus more attention on enforcing current laws before implementing new ones, a statement that received praise from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in Washington, D.C.

“Gov. Brown correctly pointed out that the problem is not a lack of metals theft laws, but a lack of enforcement,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Scrap recyclers across the country are working on a daily basis with law enforcement, prosecutors and legislators on ways to reduce thefts. We will continue our efforts to curb these thefts that are harming communities.”

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