The Baltimore City Council recently passed a bill through second reader to regulate scrap metal dealers. The effort would be substantially similar to a bill already passed in Baltimore County.
MACo has advocated for sensible regulation of scrap metal dealers, to help to curb an “easy money” environment that has led to numerous incidents of property theft and destruction. MACo supported statewide legislation each of the last two years to address this issue (see SB32-ECM from 2009), but each time the bills have failed in the waning hours of the legislative session.
With two large jurisdictions making gains in this area, MACo remains hopeful that the General Assembly will be able to create a statewide law to govern these transactions — to assist law enforcement in pursuing property crimes, as well as to limit the potential for stolen goods to so easily enter the scrap metal stream. It will also remain a MACo priority to retain the effects of local legislation — and to avoid any new statewide bill (especially one with weaker standards than these local bills) from preempting local authority.