These thieves may be unaffected by the law because they are selling either to fly-by-night operations who don't follow the law or to out-of-state buyers.
Lawmakers wondered what they could do about the roaming thieves.
Chris Bowen, a railroad detective with CSX, said metal thieves are like fleas - "you can't get rid of them."
Bowen told the committee some less reputable metal dealers were buying illegally obtained metal.
"It's not your established scrap yards that are buying this stuff," he said. "It's your mom-and-pop backyard operations."
Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, wondered if Fisher's group was doing enough to police its own members.
Copper theft rose in 2006 when the price of scrap began to rise. It has remained a problem for utility companies, with the severity fluctuating with prices.