CA6: Precious metals dealers are “closely regulated business” for administrative inspection of records of purchases

The Ohio Precious Metals Dealers Act (PMDA) authorized warrantless records searches to locate stolen property, and the court finds that the limitations in the statute served as constitutionally adequate warrant substitutes. They applied only to licensed precious metals dealers, and together they carefully limited the scope of the warrantless searches to only a narrow subset of information – purchasing records and the precious metals themselves, and ensured that searches would take place only at the licensed location. The used precious metals business is closely regulated under Ohio law, and it has been regulated longer than the junk car business was at the time of New York v. Burger. The language in other parts of the PDMA purporting to authorize warrantless searches was facially unconstitutional because the search provisions were not necessary to furthering the state’s interest in recovering stolen jewelry and coins, and were overly broad. Liberty Coins, LLC v. Goodman, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1370 (6th Cir. Jan. 22, 2018).

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