HBA-KDB S.B. 966 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 966 By: Staples Criminal Jurisprudence 4/8/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE There is concern that the number of retail thefts committed in mercantile establishments is on the rise. In response to this increase in retail thefts, many retailers have installed electronic article surveillance systems. However, some of these thefts may be committed by thieves who have homemade tools and devices for retail theft including metal or foil-lined shopping bags that override and evade these surveillance systems. Senate Bill 966 provides that a person commits a Class A misdemeanor if the person possesses, sells, manufactures, or distributes a device intended to shield merchandise from detection by a retail theft detector. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 966 amends the Penal Code to provide that a person commits a Class A misdemeanor if, with the intent to use the instrument to commit theft, the person possesses a shielding or deactivation instrument that evades a retail theft detector or knowingly manufactures, sells, offers for sale, or otherwise distributes such an instrument. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.