New laws on firearms, welfare recipients go into effect Oct. 1

Posted September 28, 2013
Updated October 1, 2013

— Laws dealing with firearms rights, health care rates, abortion, motorcycle safety and carbon monoxide detectors in hotels go into effect Tuesday. 

When the General Assembly passes a bill and the governor signs it, some measures will go into effect right away. The rest take effect in clumps, typically on the first day of every month from September through January. 

The General Assembly produces a list of the effective date of each bill. Among the measures that take effect Oct. 1:

Abortion (Senate Bill 353): Two sections of the bill – broadening the number of health care workers who can opt out of participating in abortion procedures and preventing any health plan offered on a federal Affordable Care Act exchange from offering abortion coverage – have already gone into effect.

On Oct. 1, new prohibitions on sex-selective abortions and new requirements for abortion clinic standards begin. The standards have been controversial because many clinics say they will be forced to make unnecessary, costly upgrades or close. 

Motorcycle safety (Senate Bill 353): Due to the curious and controversial legislative history, the same bill carrying new abortion regulations also increases the fines and other penalties for drivers who cause an accident involving a motorcycle. Those new motorcycle safety provisions also go into effect Oct. 1. 

Guns (House Bill 937): The bulk of a sweeping bill adjusting the state's firearms laws goes into effect this month.

The highest profile provision in the bill expands the number of places where those with concealed handgun permits may carry guns, including bars and restaurants that serve alcohol (although those who carry a weapon are prohibited from drinking), and playgrounds.

The measure places more restrictions on when sheriffs may reject a pistol purchase permit and removes the records of concealed handgun permit holders and pistol purchase permit holders from public view. The measure also allows concealed handgun permit holders to bring firearms onto college campuses and public school campuses, as long as the guns are locked in a vehicle. More information on state gun laws is available in a revised Q+A

Big Gulps and fat suits (House Bill 683): Restaurants and food manufacturers will have immunity from lawsuits over the nutritional content of their food under what was known as the Common Sense Consumption Act. Specifically, the law will not allow claims "arising from weight gain, obesity, associated health conditions, or long-term consumption of food." A separate part of the same bill prohibits local governments from restricting the size of fountain sodas that can be sold in stores and restaurants, but that part went into effect this summer. 

Drug screening for welfare (House Bill 392):  A measure that will require applicants for federal welfare payments that are paid in cash to undergo drug testing survived a gubernatorial veto and goes into effect Oct. 1.

The same measure requires county social services offices to share information with law enforcement regarding those fleeing arrest who might apply for welfare programs. 

Health care costs (House Bill 834 and Senate Bill 473): Hospitals will have to make public the costs of their most common medical procedures under a health care transparency bill that passed this summer. The measure aims to make consumers more aware of the costs associated with health services.

Carbon monoxide detectors (House Bill 74): Hotels and motels that use certain kinds of fuel-burning appliances will be required to install carbon monoxide detectors starting Oct. 1. That measure, part of a broader regulatory reform package, was inspired by the deaths of three people at a Boone hotel this summer. The same measure will allow bed-and-breakfast inns to serve three meals a day.

Pertussis education and awareness (Senate Bill 486): Hospitals are now required to give new parents "free, medically accurate educational information about pertussis disease and the availability of the tetanus-diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine to protect against pertussis disease" soon after their child is born. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, can be deadly for very young children

Cell tower deployment (House Bill 664): This new law limits when and why local governments can reject requests to erect new towers and antennae for mobile devices, such as cell phones.


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  • jpd9930 Oct 2, 2013

    but again, criminals don't follow laws -- so why have them?

    because not everyone is a criminal.... Laws are for people that are not inclined to break them.

    with that said... so far how many people have brought a gun into a bar, got drunk, got angry, and shot someone since the law went into effect? how about prior? where is the rampant gun slinging we were going to see on the magic day? You know the press would have been all over the story if anyone even approached breaking the law....

    another case of false hope on the part of the anti-gunners....

  • jpd9930 Oct 2, 2013

    "not paranoid, prepared. Are you?"

    Yup, my bunker is fully stocked and my tinfoil hat is a tri-corn!:P


    OK we will knock on the door when its safe for you to come out..

  • wjcspanteach Oct 2, 2013

    Criminals do not pay attention to gun laws, this new law helps us protect ourselves better.

    Criminals don't pay attention to ANY laws (otherwise, they wouldn't be criminals). So, should we just get rid of all laws. I mean, let's get rid of the speed limits on the interstate because speeders are going to speed no matter what. Let's no longer ticket someone for running a red light, cause criminal is going to break that law too. Why bother have laws against murder and larceny? I mean, Criminals are going to break those laws anyway. (All of those arguments make JUST as much sense).
    In addition to protecting yourself, this law also allows someone to bring a gun to a bar, get drunk, get angry, and shoot someone (an maybe even innocent bystanders). Now, I know the law says that you can only bring in a gun if you're not drinking...but again, criminals don't follow laws -- so why have them?

  • Nope Oct 2, 2013

    "not paranoid, prepared. Are you?"

    Yup, my bunker is fully stocked and my tinfoil hat is a tri-corn!:P

  • Maxxx Oct 1, 2013

    These laws look good to me!

  • jpd9930 Oct 1, 2013

    I am always surprised at the number of totally paranoid people around here.


    not paranoid, prepared. Are you?

  • Lightfoot3 Oct 1, 2013

    "rider as protected class, than the idiotic hate crime laws." - Harrison Bergeron

    I kind of see them as similar. With the hate laws, somehow an assault is supposed to be worse if you're racist. Assault is assault, no matter the race. Failure to yield is still failure to yield, regardless of whether it's to a car, motorcycle, or truck.

    I guess I don't see the point in creating a law that makes motorcycle riders a "protected class" when the law will have no effect on them. I think a better solution would be to make motorcycle awareness training part of getting a driver's license, or even part of the renewal process, if lawmakers are really concerned about motorcycle safety.

  • scott38 Oct 1, 2013

    The people on here clamoring about concealed carry permit holders pulling their guns at the drop of the hat, are probably the same people that expect me to refrain from expelling gas because of global warming. Logic apparently was a recessive gene in their families.

  • Nope Oct 1, 2013

    "This allows the honest family man to take his family out to dinner and protect them."

    "and rearm if I need to stop at a convenience store on the way home."

    " It allows me to stay safely armed while eating at the sushi bar that serves sake and beer."
    "Another scenerio, you are at a park and have a concealed weapon and someone is shooting at your family, you pull out your gun and stop him"

    I am always surprised at the number of totally paranoid people around here.

  • jpd9930 Oct 1, 2013

    In honor of the expanded carry law I'm going to eat out tomorrow night. For all of you who are refusing to go anywhere that allows carry in the establishment, I'm not going to tell you where I'm going. You might be sitting next to me........


    you are not the only scvmcdoc! If you see anyone's eyes darting around you will know they are the anti-gunners trying to figure out who has a gun... I hope it ruins their dinner.

    For the joy of it I may go to my favorite restaurant and sit at the bar with a plate of wings....(be advised anti-gunners...LOL)