Kansas Scrap Metal Laws Change

Scrap metal laws in Kansas have changed.

According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, significant portions of the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act have been suspended by the Kansas Legislature. But some of the law remains in effect.

“People buying and selling scrap metal should be aware that the Legislature has suspended part of the law but not all of it,” Schmidt said. “Some of the requirements have been set aside, at least temporarily, but others remain in effect, and I encourage scrap metal dealers to remain mindful of their ongoing obligations so they do not run afoul of the law.”

In 2015, the Legislature enacted the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act in response to a wave of scrap metal thefts throughout the state. In general, the act sought to make it harder for thieves to profit from selling stolen scrap metal by requiring scrap metal dealers to register with the attorney general’s office and to carefully document every individual purchase of regulated scrap metals. The bill also strengthened various criminal provisions related to the theft of scrap metal.

Some scrap metal dealers objected to the new registration and tracking requirements as being too onerous, and in response the Legislature earlier this year temporarily suspended some of the act’s requirements. This year’s amendments to the act, which now are in effect, are as follows:

  • The office of the attorney general is not required to establish and maintain a database collecting information on the sale of regulated scrap metal until January 1, 2019.
  • The previous requirement that every scrap metal dealer shall forward information required for the database to the attorney general is suspended until after January 1, 2019.
  • The requirement for the attorney general to prescribe or collect a registration or renewal fee is suspended until after January 1, 2019.
  • The previous requirement that a person filing a scrap metal dealer registration be subject to a criminal history records check or fingerprinting is suspended until January 1, 2019.

However, some requirements of the act remain in effect. In particular, the attorney general may continue to assess a civil penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, until January 1, 2019, for each failure of a scrap metal dealer, employee, or agent:

  • to obtain a copy of an identification card or document containing such identifying number from any person selling regulated scrap metal;
  • to photograph the item or lot of items being sold at the time of purchase or receipt of any item for which such information is required to be presented and to maintain such record; and
  • to comply with the provisions of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 50-6,111, which imposes various specific restrictions on scrap metal dealers such as prohibiting the purchase of certain items, imposing requirements on the purchase of junk vehicles, and setting obligations for keeping records.

Persons who have done business with a scrap metal dealer and believe these requirements may have been violated can file a complaint on the attorney general’s website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.