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State of Wisconsin Statute




134.71 Pawnbrokers and secondhand article and jewelry dealers.

(1) DEFINITIONS. In this section:

(a) “Article” means any of the following articles except jewelry:

1. Audiovisual equipment.
2. Bicycles.
3. China.
4. Computers, printers, software and computer supplies.
5. Computer toys and games.
6. Crystal.
7. Electronic equipment.
8.Fur coats and other fur clothing.
9. Ammunition and knives.
10.Microwave ovens.
11. Office equipment.
12. Pianos, organs, guitars and other musical instruments.
12m. Video tapes or discs, audio tapes or discs, and other optical media.
13. Silverware and flatware.
14. Small electrical appliances.
15. Telephones.

(ag) “Auctioneer” means an individual who is registered as an auctioneer under ch. 480 and who sells secondhand articles or sec­ondhand jewelry at an auction, as defined in s. 480.01 (1). (am) “Charitable organization” means a corporation, trust or community chest, fund or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educa­tional purposes or for the prevention of cruelty to children or ani­mals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

(b) “Customer” means a person with whom a pawnbroker, sec­ondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer or an agent thereof engages in a transaction of purchase, sale, receipt or exchange of any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry.

(c) “Jewelry” means any tangible personal property ordinarily wearable on the person and consisting in whole or in part of any metal, mineral or gem customarily regarded as precious or semi­precious.

(d) “Municipality” means a city, village or town.

(e) “Pawnbroker” means any person who engages in the busi­ness of lending money on the deposit or pledge of any article or jewelry, or purchasing any article or jewelry with an expressed or implied agreement or understanding to sell it back at a subsequent time at a stipulated price.

(f) “Secondhand” means owned by any person, except a wholesaler, retailer or secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer licensed under this section, immediately before the transaction at hand.

(g) “Secondhand article dealer” means any person, other than an auctioneer, who primarily engages in the business of purchas­ing or selling secondhand articles, except when engaging in any of the following:

1. Any transaction at an occasional garage or yard sale, an estate sale, a gun, knife, gem or antique show or a convention.
2. Any transaction entered into by a person while engaged in a business for which the person is licensed under sub. (2) or (4) or while engaged in the business of junk collector, junk dealer or scrap processor as described in s. 70.995 (2) (x).
3. Any transaction while operating as a charitable organiza­tion or conducting a sale the proceeds of which are donated to a charitable organization.
4. Any transaction between a buyer of a new article and the person who sold the article when new which involves any of the following:
    a. The return of the article.
    b. The exchange of the article for a different, new article.
5. Any transaction as a purchaser of a secondhand article from a charitable organization if the secondhand article was a gift to the charitable organization.
6. Any transaction as a seller of a secondhand article which the person bought from a charitable organization if the second­hand article was a gift to the charitable organization.

(h) “Secondhand jewelry dealer” means any person, other than an auctioneer, who engages in the business of any transaction con­sisting of purchasing, selling, receiving or exchanging second­hand jewelry, except for the following:

1. Any transaction at an occasional garage or yard sale, an estate sale, a gun, knife, gem or antique show or a convention. 2. Any transaction with a licensed secondhand jewelry dealer. 3. Any transaction entered into by a person while engaged in a business of smelting, refining, assaying or manufacturing pre­cious metals, gems or valuable articles if the person has no retail operation open to the public. 4. Any transaction between a buyer of new jewelry and the person who sold the jewelry when new which involves any of the following: a. The return of the jewelry. b. The exchange of the jewelry for different, new jewelry. 5. Any transaction as a purchaser of secondhand jewelry from a charitable organization if the secondhand jewelry was a gift to the charitable organization. 6. Any transaction as a seller of secondhand jewelry which the person bought from a charitable organization if the secondhand jewelry was a gift to the charitable organization.

(2)LICENSE FOR PAWNBROKER. No person may operate as a pawnbroker unless the person first obtains a pawnbroker’s license under this section. A license issued to a pawnbroker by the gov­erning body of a municipality authorizes the licensee to operate as a pawnbroker in that municipality.

(3) LICENSE FOR SECONDHAND ARTICLE DEALER. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), no person may operate as a secondhand article dealer unless the person first obtains a secondhand article dealer’s license under this section. A license issued to a secondhand article dealer authorizes the licensee to operate as a secondhand article dealer anywhere in the state.

(b) A person who operates as a secondhand article dealer only on premises or land owned by a person having a secondhand dealer mall or flea market license under sub. (9) need not obtain a secondhand article dealer’s license.

(4) LICENSE FOR SECONDHAND JEWELRY DEALER. No person may operate as a secondhand jewelry dealer unless the person first obtains a secondhand jewelry dealer’s license under this section. A license issued to a secondhand jewelry dealer authorizes the licensee to operate as a secondhand jewelry dealer anywhere in the state.

(5) LICENSE APPLICATION. A person wishing to operate as a secondhand article dealer or a secondhand jewelry dealer and have a principal place of business in a municipality shall apply for a license to the clerk of that municipality. A person wishing to operate as a pawnbroker in a municipality shall apply for a license to the clerk of the municipality. The clerk shall furnish application forms under sub. (12) that shall require all of the following:

(a) The applicant’s name, place and date of birth, residence address, and all states where the applicant has previously resided.

(b) The names and addresses of the business and of the owner of the business premises.

(c) A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted within the preceding 10 years of a felony or within the preceding 10 years of a misdemeanor, statutory violation punishable by for­feiture or county or municipal ordinance violation in which the circumstances of the felony, misdemeanor or other offense sub­stantially relate to the circumstances of the licensed activity and, if so, the nature and date of the offense and the penalty assessed.

(d) Whether the applicant is a natural person, corporation, lim­ited liability company or partnership, and:

1. If the applicant is a corporation, the state where incorpo­rated and the names and addresses of all officers and directors.

2. If the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of all partners.

2L. If the applicant is a limited liability company, the names and addresses of all members.

(e) The name of the manager or proprietor of the business.

(f) Any other information that the county or municipal clerk may reasonably require.

(6) INVESTIGATION OF LICENSE APPLICANT. The law enforce­ment agency of the county or municipality shall investigate each applicant for a pawnbroker’s, secondhand article dealer’s or sec­ondhand jewelry dealer’s license to determine whether the appli­cant has been convicted within the preceding 10 years of a felony or within the preceding 10 years of a misdemeanor, statutory violation punishable by forfeiture or county or municipal ordi­nance violation described under sub. (5) (c) and, if so, the nature and date of the offense and the penalty assessed. The law enforce­ment agency shall furnish the information derived from that inves­tigation in writing to the clerk of the municipality or county.

(7) LICENSE ISSUANCE.

(a) The governing body of the county or municipality shall grant the license if all of the following apply:

1. The applicant, including an individual, a partner, a member of a limited liability company or an officer, director or agent of any corporate applicant, has not been convicted within the preceding 10 years of a felony or within the preceding 10 years of a misde­meanor, statutory violation punishable by forfeiture or county or municipal ordinance violation in which the circumstances of the felony, misdemeanor or other offense substantially relate to the circumstances of being a pawnbroker, secondhand jewelry dealer, secondhand article dealer or secondhand article dealer mall or flea market owner.

2. With respect to an applicant for a pawnbroker’s license, the applicant provides to the governing body a bond of $500, with not less than 2 sureties, for the observation of all municipal ordinances relating to pawnbrokers.

(b) No license issued under this subsection may be transferred.

(c) 1. Each license for a pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer is valid from January 1 until the fol­lowing December 31.

2. Each license for a secondhand article dealer mall or flea market is valid for 2 years, from May 1 of an odd-numbered year until April 30 of the next odd-numbered year.

(8) PAWNBROKER AND DEALER REQUIREMENTS. (a) Identifica­tion. No pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer may engage in a transaction of purchase, receipt or exchange of any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry from a customer without first securing adequate identification from the customer. At the time of the transaction, the pawnbroker, second­hand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer shall require the customer to present one of the following types of identification:

1. A county identification card.
2. A state identification card.
3. A valid Wisconsin motor vehicle operator’s license.
4. A valid motor vehicle operator’s license, containing a pic­ture, issued by another state.
5. A military identification card.
6. A valid passport.
7. An alien registration card.
8. A senior citizen’s identification card containing a photograph.
9. Any identification document issued by a state or federal government, whether or not containing a picture, if the pawnbro­ker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer obtains a clear imprint of the customer’s right index finger.

(b) Transactions with minors. 1. Except as provided in subd. 2., no pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jew­elry dealer may engage in a transaction of purchase, receipt or exchange of any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry from any minor.

2. A pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer may engage in a transaction described under subd.

1. if the minor is accompanied by his or her parent or guardian atthe time of the transaction or if the minor provides the pawnbro­ker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer with the parent’s or guardian’s written consent to engage in the particu­lar transaction.

(c) Records. 1. Except as provided in subd. 2., for each trans­action of purchase, receipt or exchange of any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry from a customer, a pawnbroker, second­hand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer shall require the customer to complete and sign, in ink, the appropriate form pro­vided under sub. (12). No entry on such a form may be erased, mutilated or changed. The pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer shall retain an original and a dupli­cate of each form for not less than one year after the date of the transaction except as provided in par. (e), and during that period shall make the duplicate available to any law enforcement officer for inspection at any time that the pawnbroker’s, secondhand arti­cle dealer’s, or secondhand jewelry dealer’s principal place of business is open to the public or at any other reasonable time.

2. For every secondhand article purchased, received or exchanged by a secondhand article dealer from a customer off the secondhand article dealer’s premises or consigned to the second­hand article dealer for sale on the secondhand article dealer’s premises, the secondhand article dealer shall keep a written inven­tory. In this inventory the secondhand article dealer shall record the name and address of each customer, the date, time and place of the transaction and a detailed description of the article which is the subject of the transaction, including the article’s serial num­ber and model number, if any. The customer shall sign his or her name on a declaration of ownership of the secondhand article identified in the inventory and shall state that he or she owns the secondhand article. The secondhand article dealer shall retain an original and a duplicate of each entry and declaration of owner­ship relating to the purchase, receipt or exchange of any second­hand article for not less than one year after th e date of the transac­tion except as provided in par. (e), and shall make duplicates of the inventory and declarations of ownership available to any law enforcement officer for inspection at any time that the secondhand article dealer’s principal place of business is open to the public or at any other reasonable time.

3. Every secondhand article dealer shall on a weekly basis prepare a list that contains the name and address of each customer of the secondhand article dealer during the week for which the list was prepared, the date, time, and place of each transaction with each of those customers, and a detailed description of the second­hand article, including the secondhand article’s serial number and model number, if any. The secondhand article dealer shall retain the list for not less than one year after the date on which the list was prepared. The secondhand article dealer shall make the list avail­able to any law enforcement officer for inspection at any time that the secondhand article dealer’s principal place of business is open to the public or at any other reasonable time.

(d) Holding period. 1. Except as provided in subd. 5., any sec­ondhand article or secondhand jewelry purchased or received by a pawnbroker shall be kept on the pawnbroker’s premises or other place for safekeeping for not less than 30 days after the date of pur­chase or receipt, unless the person known by the pawnbroker to be the lawful owner of the secondhand article or secondhand jew­elry recovers it.

2. Except as provided in subd. 5., any secondhand article pur­chased or received by a secondhand article dealer shall be kept on the secondhand article dealer’s premises or other place for safe­keeping for not less than 21 days after the date of purchase or receipt.

3. Except as provided in subd. 5., any secondhand jewelry purchased or received by a secondhand jewelry dealer shall be kept on the secondhand jewelry dealer’s premises or other place for safekeeping for not less than 21 days after the date of purchase or receipt.

4. During the period set forth in subd. 1., 2. or 3. the second­hand article or secondhand jewelry shall be held separate and apart and may not be altered in any manner. The pawnbroker, sec­ondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer shall permit any law enforcement officer to inspect the secondhand article or secondhand jewelry during this period. Within 24 hours after a written request of a law enforcement officer during this period, a pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer shall make available for inspection any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry which is kept off the premises for safe­keeping. Any law enforcement officer who has reason to believe any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry was not sold or exchanged by the lawful owner may direct a pawnbroker, second­hand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer to hold that sec­ondhand article or secondhand jewelry for a reasonable length of time which the law enforcement officer considers necessary to ide ntify it.

5. Subdivisions 1. to 4. do not apply to any of the following:

a. A coin of the United States, any gold or silver coin or gold or silver bullion.

b. A secondhand article or secondhand jewelry consigned to a pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer.

(e) Report to law enforcement agency. Within 24 hours after purchasing or receiving a secondhand article or secondhand jew­elry, a pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer or secondhand jew­elry dealer shall make available, for inspection by a law enforce­ment officer, the original form completed under par. (c) 1. or the inventory under par. (c) 2., whichever is appropriate. Notwith­standing s. 19.35 (1), a law enforcement agency receiving the original form or inventory or a declaration of ownership may dis­close it only to another law enforcement agency.

(f) Exception for customer return or exchange. Nothing in this subsection applies to the return or exchange, from a customer to a secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer, of any secondhand article or secondhand jewelry purchased from the secondhand article dealer or secondhand jewelry dealer.

(9) SECONDHAND ARTICLE DEALER MALL OR FLEA MARKET.

(a) The owner of any premises or land upon which 2 or more persons operate as secondhand article dealers may obtain a secondhand article dealer mall or flea market license for the premises or land if the following conditions are met:

1. Each secondhand article dealer occupies a separate sales location and identifies himself or herself to the public as a separate secondhand article dealer.

2. The secondhand article dealer mall or flea market is oper­ated under one name and at one address, and is under the control of the secondhand article dealer mall or flea market license holder.

4. Each secondhand article dealer delivers to the secondhand article dealer mall or flea market license holder, at the close of business on each day that the secondhand article dealer conducts business, a record of his or her sales that includes the location at which each sale was made.

(b) The secondhand article dealer license holder and each sec­ondhand article dealer operating upon the premises or land shall comply with sub. (8).

(10) LICENSE REVOCATION. A governing body of a county or municipality may revoke any license issued by it under this sec­tion for fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for a license or for any violation of this section or s. 943.34, 948.62 or 948.63.

(11) FEES. The license fees under this section are:

(a) For a pawnbroker’s license, $210.

(b) For a secondhand article dealer’s license, $27.50.

(c) For a secondhand jewelry dealer’s license, $30.

(d) For a secondhand article dealer mall or flea market license, $165.

(12)APPLICATIONS AND FORMS. The department of agricul­ture, trade and consumer protection shall develop applications and other forms required under subs. (5) (intro.) and (8) (c). The department shall print a sufficient number of applications and forms to provide to counties and municipalities for distribution to pawnbrokers, secondhand article dealers and secondhand jewelry dealers at no cost.

(13) PENALTY. (a) Upon conviction for a first offense under this section, a person shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $1,000.

(b) Upon conviction for a 2nd or subsequent offense under this section, a person shall forfeit not less than $500 nor more than $2,000.

(14) ORDINANCE. A county or municipality may enact an ordi­nance governing pawnbrokers, secondhand article dealers or sec­ondhand jewelry dealers if that ordinance is at least as stringent as this section.

History: 1989 a. 257; 1991 a. 269; 1993 a. 102, 112, 246; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 252; 2005 a. 58.

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