AUSTIN -- A tire deflation bill, SB 1416, sponsored by state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen), was voted out of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice today.

This legislation outlaws the creation, manufacture, and possession of homemade tire deflation devices that criminals often use to thwart off law enforcement authorities in South Texas.

Hinojosa, the only committee member with a border district in the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement.

"The intent of this legislation is to hand down proper punishment to those who put innocent motorists and law enforcement officers in harm's way. This issue needed a solution, and I am glad to have the unanimous support of my colleagues in the Criminal Justice Committee.

"Criminals are endangering the lives of our law enforcement agents and creating a hazardous condition for other motorists with these homemade caltrops. With today's vote, we are one-step closer to outlawing these weapons in Texas.

"This effort has the support of our local law enforcement, and in working together with my colleagues, we are able to address the security issues affecting South Texas by increasing our border security and law enforcement efforts."