RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) -- A new state law impacting anyone selling copper to a recycler goes into effect next Tuesday.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says copper theft is one of the biggest problems plaguing his department, so much so that a new unit was created. Lott held a conference Monday to discuss what kind of impact the new law will have on residents.
Lott says the law will prohibit businesses that buy non-ferrous metals from paying cash to its customers.Related Stories... Cops: Teen loses part of hand during copper theft SC lawmakers approve bill to curb copper thefts AC theft becoming a hot crime in Richland County
While this limits the number of thieves who turn in stolen copper, it also impacts those who are legally selling the metals to be recycled.
Lott says a permit can be purchased to be able to legally sell the metals that do not contain any iron.
Officials say there are two permits available. They include 48 hour permits and annual permits, both of which are free through the sheriff's department.
Metal recyclers will be required to record information on the sale, including the seller's photograph, a copy of the permit and the license plate number.
Lawmakers approved the bill, that also requires buyers to have permits, in June.
Do you think the new law will cut down on crime or create more of a problem for those legally selling copper? Leave your comment below.