BILL NUMBER: S39
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the general business law, in relation to itinerant
To clarify which products may not be sold pursuant to § 38 of the
General Business Law, so as to make its provisions more enforceable.
Specifically, the bill establishes that no itinerant vendor, except
for a manufacturer, an authorized manufacturer's representative, or an
authorized distributor, shall offer for sale baby food,
non-prescription drugs, cosmetics, or batteries.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
§ 1-Amends § 38 of the General Business Law to specifically define the
following items -- baby food, non-prescription drugs, cosmetics, and
batteries -- as products that may not be sold in flea markets unless
sold by a manufacturer, an authorized manufacturer's representative,
or an authorized distributor.
§ 2-Effective date.
The itinerant vendor statute, which was adopted as Chapter 282, Laws
of 1995, was originally enacted to curtail the sale of certain
perishable, high-theft items through flea markets. The 1995 law
focused on baby foods and over-the-counter drugs, as these were items
that professional thieves were targeting to resell through flea
markets and were products that were compromised when exposed to
sunlight and heat. The need to tighten the definitions in General
Business Law § 38 were brought to light when law enforcement officials
in central New York encountered difficulties in halting the sale of
stolen, non-prescription drugs because of the ambiguous definitions
contained in the current law. The proposed bill will tighten the
current statute by redefining baby foods and nonprescription drugs. It
will further expand the statute to prevent the sale of cosmetics and
batteries by itinerant vendors, as these products have become
high-theft items among those engaged in organized retail theft and
because many cosmetics are similarly affected by exposure to sunlight
and heat and thereby pose a health risk. The illegal activity this
bill aims to thwart differs from shoplifting in that shoplifters
typically steal single items for their own use, whereas this bill
addresses the multiple theft of products by career criminals who steal
primarily to sell the stolen goods. These crimes are often committed
to support other illegal activity involving drug use. Baby foods,
non-prescription drugs, cosmetics and batteries are attractive to
these criminals because they are small, easily concealed, and
relatively expensive items. Prohibiting the sale of these products in
flea markets will close an important outlet to these criminals,
thereby making their theft less desirable. The public health concerns
addressed by this bill and the need to support law enforcement efforts
warrant passage of this measure.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2005-2006: A.5670/S.3174; 2003-2004: A.10822A/S.7138-A.
2007-2008: Passed the Senate (S.4442/A.6462-a)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None to state.
EFFECTIVE DATE :
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