A Rhode Island state lawmaker, Rep. Joe Solomon, has proposed a new bill aimed at tightening restrictions on scrap metal businesses that buy stolen catalytic converters. Following reports of thefts of the car parts, which contain valuable precious metals, the legislation would increase regulations placed on businesses and add greater accountability. Solomon’s previous law from 2022 required scrap metal businesses to collect certain documentation from sellers including a VIN or registration with their photo ID and signature in order to make the transaction. However, the legislation still contained an exception for business-to-business sales and was less strict than a Providence city ordinance regarding proof of ownership. Solomon’s new proposal would enforce tougher repercussions against violators of the law including the requirement for sellers to provide a bill of sale proving ownership and an increase in penalties for those in violation. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, which represents scrap businesses in Rhode Island, opposes the legislation, whilst car insurance companies have expressed support for the new measures. Solomon has also introduced a separate bill that would create an interstate compact to regulate converter sales.

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