The Indiana House on Thursday approved a bill regulating cash-for-gold stores, which have proliferated since gold prices shot up in 2008.
House Bill 1188 tries to eliminate fly-by-night gold-buying operations by requiring precious metals dealers to have at least a 12-month lease and register with the Secretary of State.
Some stores melt down gold on the spot, but if the bill becomes law, they would have to hold everything for 10 days and document the goods and the sellers, giving police more time to find stolen goods.
"Most likely that precious metal is being melted before you get out the door," said the bill's author, Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte. The holding period mirrors one that currently applies to pawn shops, he said.
Co-author Gail Riecken, D-Evansville, said the bill had support from a large gold-buying operation in her district, where the owner was concerned about the image portrayed by pop-up stores.
Many jewelry stores also buy gold, but the bill exempts those who have at least $20,000 in annual revenue.
The House voted 96-1 in favor, and the bill will go to the Senate with bipartisan support. Sponsors are Ed Charbonneau, a Republican, and Jim Arnold, a Democrat.