Felony to Steal an Aluminum Can — or a Penny — in Texas

That’s what it looks like, given a newly enacted state statute. Until recently, Texas Penal Code § 31.03 provided that theft is “a state jail felony if,” among other things, “the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is insulated or noninsulated tubing, rods, water gate stems, wire, or cable that consists of at least 50 percent: (i) aluminum; (ii) bronze; or (iii) copper.” But the new statute deletes the text from “insulated” to “50 percent,” so that the new version now makes theft a felony when “the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is … (i) aluminum; (ii) bronze; (iii) copper; or (iv) brass.”

According to Wikipedia, most pre-1982 pennies would qualify, being copper, bronze, or brass, but probably more recent pennies would as well, if “brass” is just read as being a “metal alloy[] consisting mainly of copper and zinc.” In any case, an aluminum can would pretty clearly qualify — and, again, we’re talking about the theft being treated as a felony. And, of course, that means you’ll lose your right to keep and bear arms as well as facing a longer sentence. Or am I missing something? Thanks to Charles Blevins for the pointer.