A new bill has been proposed by Rhode Island state Rep. Joe Solomon to tighten restrictions on scrap metal businesses that purchase stolen catalytic converters, following a spike in thefts across the region. Last year, Solomon’s previous legislation was enacted to introduce regulations and create a paper trail to discourage businesses from buying stolen converters. However, the new bill would remove the business-to-business exception and add more requirements for sellers, including the provision of a bill of sale proving ownership. It also increases penalties for violating the law and requires businesses to purchase converters using a check rather than cash to increase the traceability of transactions. Car insurance companies submitted testimony in favor of the bill due to the high cost of replacing the stolen parts. An additional bill has also been proposed to regulate converter sales on a regional basis via an interstate compact.

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