2023 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Hines
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN RETAILERS AND RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS FROM USING EMBEDDED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS IN SELF-CHECKOUT TERMINALS OR SELF-SERVICE CHECKOUTS TO SCAN INFORMATION ON A CONSUMER'S DRIVER'S LICENSE TO VERIFY THE AGE OF CONSUMER ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE CERTAIN ITEMS; TO REQUIRE THE AGE VERIFICATION BE PERFORMED BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT WHEN AGE VERIFICATION IS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE A PURCHASE; TO LIMIT THE USE OF SUCH TECHNOLOGY TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, ITS EMPLOYEES AND OFFICERS OF THE COURT WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT DUTIES; TO PROVIDE FOR A $1,000.00 FINE FOR VIOLATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. For the purpose of this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed in the section, unless context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "General merchandise" means a tangible personal property, which is not considered real property, that, when sold at retail, may be taxed at a higher rate than certain types of food, drugs, and medical appliances.
(b) "Grocery items" means supply items, non-food items, foodstuffs and drinks sold solely for off-premises consumption, including without limitation, any or all of the following:
(i) Dairy products, including without limitation, milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese and any other items commonly found in the dairy section of a grocery store, retail food establishment or supermarket;
(ii) Produce, including without limitation, vegetables, fruits and any other items commonly found in the produce section of a grocery store retail food establishment or supermarket;
(iii) Coffee, including without limitation, whole bean, ground and by the cup; tea and candies, including without limitation, packaged, bulk and full service chocolates, confections and other items commonly found in a grocery store, retail food establishment or supermarket;
(iv) Nuts, snack mixes and other bulk food items;
(v) Bakery products, including without limitation, fresh breads, desserts and any other items commonly found in the bakery section of a grocery store, retail food establishment or supermarket;
(vi) Meat, including without limitation, beef, pork and poultry;
(vii) Seafood, including without limitations fish, shellfish and crustaceans;
(viii) Liquor, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages;
(ix) Sandwich, deli and convenient meal solution items, including without limitation, sushi, deli meats and deli cheeses; and
(x) Vitamins, herbs and supplements.
(c) "Retail food establishment" shall have the same meaning ascribed in Section 69-1-18.
(d) "Retail Establishment" means any commercial business facility, whether for- profit or not-for-profit, that sells goods directly to consumers, including but not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, convenience stores, retail stores and vendors selling clothing, food and personal items, dry cleaning services, theaters and all other food service establishments.
(e) "Retailer" means any person who sells, supplies or offers consumer products for sale directly to consumers.
(f) "Self-checkout terminals" or "self-service checkouts" are machines that provide a mechanism for customers to complete their own transaction from a retailer without the direct aid of a checkout clerk.
SECTION 2. (1) (a) It shall be unlawful for any retail establish, retail food establishment or retailer engaged in the business of selling groceries or general merchandise, which employs the use of self-checkout terminals or self-service checkouts as a means of completing purchase transactions at the final point of sale to consumers, to use any form of technology programming embedded within the self-checkout terminals or self-service checkouts or equipped with bar code readers to scan the detailed identifying information or encrypted bar code on a consumer's driver's license or personal identification card to verify his or her age at the time purchases are made within the retail establishment.
(b) Use of such technology shall be limited to law enforcement agencies and officers of the court and the employees of such entities who are engaged in the authorized performance of their official employment obligations while acting on behalf of the law enforcement agency or court.
(2) At any time during a purchase transaction the self-checkout terminal or self-service checkout indicates to an employee of a business that the consumer's age needs to be verified before a particular item may be purchased by the consumer, the employee shall manually inspect the consumer's driver's license or personal identification card to verify his or her age meets the legal minimum age requirement for the purchase of such items, as indicated by the "Born on or before" date prompted on the self-checkout terminal or self-service checkout that initiates the age-verification process before the consumer is able to complete the purchase transaction.
(3) Any retailer, retail establishment or retail food establishment found to be in violation of this section shall be subject to a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per violation.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.