OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, today won passage of the Sgt. Craig Johnson Metal Theft Act in the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee.
House Bill 1001 is named after Johnson, a Tulsa Police officer who had served as the lead on a statewide coalition developing this legislation before he was killed in a shooting while on duty last June.
“Sergeant Johnson was a key to this important legislation that would help us curb scrap metal theft in our state,” Bush said. “This crime costs state home and business owners hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and has even resulted in loss of life, something Sergeant Johnson was passionate about stopping. It’s an honor to name this legislation after him even as it is heartbreaking to no longer have him here to see its passage.”
Bush filed similar legislation last year but it was sidelined because of COVID.
HB 1001 seeks to clarify the data required to be maintained by a scrap metal dealer. Any federally recognized identification card could be used, and a vehicle identification number must recorded if no license plate is affixed. The measure also requires a digital image of the items purchased and of the seller. Records must be maintained for no less than two years from the date of the transaction.
The bill removes separate requirements for recording data about purchases of scrap metal under 35 pounds and of purchases 35 pounds and over. Requirements that a seller prove their ownership of a used motor vehicle, trailer or recreational vehicle when selling to a scrap metal dealer are clarified. The person selling must provide either a certificate of title, a notarized power of attorney from the individual on the title authorizing the seller to dispose of the vehicle on their behalf, or a statement of ownership from the seller accompanied by a bill of sale from the lawful owner.
Finally, HB 1001 places any copper wire that is four gauge or larger and any copper wire from which the insulation or coating has been burned or melted, as well as remote storage batteries, under the provisions of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act.
HB 1001 passed the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee with a vote of 9-0. It now is eligible to be considered by the full House.