2021 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt: Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act covers catalytic converters

Release Date: May 27, 2021

TOPEKA – (May 27, 2021) – Catalytic converters are covered by the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act, so transactions involving their purchase by scrap metal dealers are regulated and must be reported to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation database, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has concluded in a formal legal opinion published yesterday.

The Act was enacted by the Kansas Legislature in 2015, but because of numerous amendments in subsequent years and lack of funding, the transactional database only became operational in 2020. It is designed to help law enforcement prevent the theft of metals by tracking the sales of potentially stolen metals to scrap metal dealers.

A wave of catalytic converter thefts has increased interest in using the Act, but questions had arisen about whether catalytic converters, which are not specifically mentioned in the Act, are covered. Schmidt concluded they are because they contain certain metals that are specifically covered.

The opinion is available at http://ag.ks.gov/opinions.

As provided by law, the attorney general’s office researches and prepares formal legal opinions in response to requests from elected officials or government agencies seeking interpretation of state laws. The attorney general represents the State of Kansas and its public officials in legal matters and cannot provide legal advice or represent individuals in personal legal matters.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.