OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has given it’s approval to a bill strengthening Oklahoma statutes on scrap metal theft. Sen. Chuck Hall, R-Perry, is the author of Senate Bill 1, the Sgt. Craig Johnson Oklahoma Scrap Metal Dealers Act, in memory of the Tulsa police officer who helped create the bill but was later killed during a traffic stop.
“Sergeant Johnson was actively involved in helping us craft this legislation—he even came to visit me in my hometown of Perry. I was devastated when I heard he’d been killed in the line of duty,” Hall said. “It was a privilege to refile the bill for the 58th Legislature and honor Sergeant Johnson’s life and service by naming the legislation for him.”
Hall described SB 1 as a comprehensive approach to ensure all relevant laws are in one place in the statutes, making it easier for scrap metal dealers and other buyers to see exactly what is required to comply. The measure also tightens requirements for seller identification and adds remote storage batteries to the list of regulated materials.
Hall had originally introduced the bill for the 2020 session, but it was one of several measures that didn’t make it through the process after the session was paused because of the pandemic. Hall said he’d been working with members of the scrap metal industry, municipalities and law enforcement prior to the session, and that Johnson had been instrumental in drafting the legislation.
“Sergeant Johnson was passionate about public safety and helping the working group better understand this particular crime,” Hall said. “The bill was on track last session to become law until the Capitol was shut down because of COVID-19. But I’m thankful we can use this as an opportunity to pay tribute to a true Oklahoma hero.”
The bill will next move to the House of Representatives where it will be carried by House principal author, Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa. Likewise, Hall is principal Senate author of Bush’s companion legislation, House Bill 1001. For more information, contact Sen. Chuck Hall, 405-521-5628, or email Chuck.Hall@oksenate.gov