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New criminal laws prohibit revenge porn, limit license plate readers, change gun rules

Posted November 30, 2015

— New laws aimed at curbing the abuse of mentally disabled patients, making certain acts of graffiti vandalism a felony and making it a felony to assault a hospital worker who is on the job are among dozens that go into effect in December.

High spirits: Distillery business booming nationwide New tanning, liquor, abortion, other laws in effect Generally, Oct. 1, Nov. 1, Dec. 1 and Jan. 1 are the dates on which most new laws take effect if they didn't do so immediately. The delays give law enforcement, state and local governments and those affected time to adjust their policies and procedures.

Dec. 1 is typically the date that new criminal laws go into effect.

Among the new crimes going on this books Tuesday are:

Gov McCrory hugs victim Governor signs 'Burt's Law' BURT'S LAW: Senate Bill 445 is named "Burt's Law" after Burt Powell, a young man with developmental disabilities who was sexually abused over the course of a year by a manager in a Conover nursing home. The measure makes it a crime for any staffer or volunteer in an adult care home for those with mental illness or developmental disabilities to fail to report abuse or physical harm to a resident. Covered individuals must now notify the Division of Social Services, local law enforcement or the local district attorney's office within 24 hours of the incident. The legislation also increases the penalties for intentionally injuring residents and for taking their personal property.

SEX ABUSE: House Bill 113 makes it a felony for teachers, coaches and other school personnel who are less than four years older than a victim to engage in sex acts with a student. The bill also requires the sheriffs in a county where a college or university is based to "provide a report containing sex offender registry information for any registrant that has stated that they are a student or employee, or expected to become such, of that higher education institution."

e-cigarettes Bill would require child-proof caps on e-cigarette liquid E-LIQUID CONTAINERS: Senate Bill 286 requires that the small vials of fluid that are used in vapor products or electronic cigarettes must have child-proof caps if they contain nicotine. Violating the statute is a Class A1 misdemeanor and makes the violator subject to damages to someone harmed by an improper container. Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, brought the measure forward after children in other states were harmed by drinking the flavored liquid.

Vortex Bill filed in response to State Fair accident STATE FAIR RIDES: A 2013 accident during the North Carolina State Fair has led to a new law creating penalties for those who tamper with the safety devices on amusement rides. Two years ago, a ride called the Vortex sent five people to WakeMed after, investigators said, the operators of the machine bypassed automatic shutoff switches. The new bill makes ride operators liable for fines and criminal penalties if they are caught doing something similar. Those fines and penalties increase if someone is injured as a result.

NC Flag Lawmakers take aim at designer drugs DESIGNER DRUGS: House Bill 341 adds 12 "NBOMe" compounds, which are synthetic hallucinogens that mimic the effects of LSD, to North Carolina's schedule of Schedule 1 controlled substances. Certain variants of Ritalin, a stimulant, would be added to a list of drugs subject to lesser restrictions.

LICENSE PLATE READERS: Senate Bill 182 regulates the use of automatic license plate readers by police, sheriff's departments and other law enforcement agencies. The law prohibits law enforcement from keeping records of when a car passed by a particular location for more than 90 days. The exception would be cases where a law enforcement agencies ask in writing that a particular set of information be retained if they are able to show "reasonable grounds to believe that the captured plate data is relevant and material to an ongoing criminal or missing persons investigation."

Handgun Lawmakers pass bill to standardize state gun permit process NEW GUN LAWS: House Bill 562 limits the background checks sheriffs can conduct on those applying for a pistol purchase permit, the paperwork needed to buy a handgun for those who don't have a concealed handgun permit. Under the bill, sheriffs will be allowed to look at only five years of a person's history when deciding if they meet the "good moral character" provisions laid out for obtaining a permit to buy a handgun. As passed, the bill did not include controversial provisions that would have eliminated the state's pistol purchase permit system entirely.

North Carolina state flag Senate OKs 'revenge porn,' EPA bills REVENGE PORN: House Bill 792 would make it a felony to post explicit photos or video of anyone without his or her consent if the posting is intended to harass, extort or intimidate the victim. It would also give victims the right to sue perpetrators for damages. The common term for these offenses is "revenge porn" because it is often committed by people who have broken up by those whose pictures and videos they are posting.

DOCTORS AND MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD: Two separate bills create new crimes for felony assault. House Bill 691 makes it a felony to assault a member of the National Guard who is discharging his or her official duties. House Bill 560 makes it a felony to assault a doctor or other licensed health care provider who is discharging his or her duties at a hospital.

Black box for GPS tracking of teen drivers House votes to criminalize most GPS tracking CYBERSTALKING: Senate Bill 238 adds GPS tracking to to the definition of "cyberstalking," which is a Class 2 misdemeanor under state law. Parents would also still be allowed to use GPS devices to track their children's locations, and people can still put GPS devices on their own vehicles, as long as their intent is not to track another adult. But it would be illegal to use a GPS tracker or similar technology to keep tabs on an adult.

11 Comments

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  • Mark Cline Dec 1, 2015
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    The only gun law going into effect today is the one regarding reducing carrying past the "no weapons" sign to an infraction with up to a $500 fine.

    All of the other stuff in HB562 (now, Session Law 2015-195) went into effect with the governor's signature on 8/5, including modifications to campus carry which was retroactive to 7/1, and modifications to CCHP/PPP which went into effect 10/1.

    One of the provisions, which went into effect on 8/5, allows non-citizens with permanent residence status (Green Card) to apply for a CCHP. Also, a provision requiring sheriffs to approve ATF Form 4s within 15 days of receipt of the application. This reduces the necessity of the trust formation Cullen Browder was reporting last week.

    There were 4 effective dates in HB 562 (Session Law 2015-195), so this "Generally, Oct. 1, Nov. 1, Dec. 1 and Jan. 1" thing did not apply in the case of that bill. That caused a lot of confusion among those of us who care.

  • Ronnie Reams Dec 1, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    PPPS were established around the turn of the 20th Century to keep Sheriffs in
    charge of which colored folks could have handguns, usually none. With all the changes in the law now they are kind of useless for, among other reasons, the one mentioned below. Also, the Sheriff is expected to decide, but can only use certain info in his/her decision process, not the totality of his/her knowledge.

  • John Malcholm Nov 30, 2015
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    It's a misprint.

  • Larry Wiandt Nov 30, 2015
    user avatar

    "Guess we should be thankful that the whole pistol purchase permit process wasn't entirely eliminated. As it was, getting a permit to purchase a pistol was one of the easiest things I have ever done. Frighteningly easy."

    Interesting that no one understood the original law. If the permits went away then the dealers would have used the NICS system which is a real time current check. THe current pistol permit is good for 5 years so a person could commit a felony, server jail time, and be our in time to still use their permit to purchase a handgun. While I don't like National databases, I do find it amusing that the "anti-defense" crowd fought to keep an antiquated and virtually useless procedure in place.

  • Jon Jones Nov 30, 2015
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    You really should not drink this early.

  • Jon Jones Nov 30, 2015
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    You must be frightened very easily. Why should it be hard for a law abiding citizen to get a pistol permit?

  • Matthew Freling Nov 30, 2015
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    Please elaborate on how this is relatable to segregation, because I am unable to make the correlation.

  • Tom Edmiston Nov 30, 2015
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    Jim Crow alive and well , thats what Frightening.

  • Matthew Freling Nov 30, 2015
    user avatar

    The only items in this list that seem good for the public AND enforceable are the anti-revenge porn, cyberstalking being more clearly defined, and protecting those who protect and help us (Doctors and National Guard).

    The rest seem like smoke and mirrors at best (protecting those in care facilities), reiterations of existing laws or borderline common sense (teachers and coaches), and some poor judgment at worst (the gun laws).
    Guess we should be thankful that the whole pistol purchase permit process wasn't entirely eliminated. As it was, getting a permit to purchase a pistol was one of the easiest things I have ever done. Frighteningly easy.

  • Bobby Caudle Nov 30, 2015
    user avatar

    House Bill 113 makes it a felony for teachers, coaches and other school personnel who are less than four years older than a victim to engage in sex acts with a student. WHAT? so if they are older than than that, it's ok? makes no sense

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