Starting October 1, 2019, hundreds of new laws will take effect in Maryland covering a wide array of topics and areas. Here are just a few examples of these new laws, some of which may affect you.
- Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco Products:The minimum age for purchasing or being sold tobacco products will be raised from 18 to 21. As defined in the new law, tobacco products includes cigarettes, cigars, electronic smoking devices or “vapes”, and any related paraphernalia. The new law, however, does not apply to active duty military members 18 or older with valid military identification. Stores and retailers are required to display signs with the substance of the new law and are subject to inspection and/or civil fines if they are deemed to be in violation.
- “Laura and Reid’s Law”:Maryland now imposes harsher penalties, including additional imprisonment of up to 10 years, on someone who commits a crime of violence against a woman with the knowledge that she is pregnant. The new law is named after Lara Wallen, a Howard County teacher who was 14 weeks pregnant when she was killed and who had chosen the name Reid for her unborn son.
- Lending Firearms: Owners of handguns and/or other regulated firearms may now be prosecuted for lending those weapons to individuals who they have reason to believe are legally barred from possessing them. This also applies when there is cause to believe that someone may use the weapon to cause harm to themselves or others.
- Bump Stock Ban: The transportation, possession, sale, manufacture, receipt or purchase of “rapid fire trigger activators” is prohibited. Otherwise referred to as “bump stocks,” these activators increase the rate at which ammunition is discharged from a firearm. Penalties include a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or three years incarceration.
- Online Event Ticket Sales: The purpose of this law is to protect consumers from buying event tickets on the resale market (such as Ticketmaster or Stubhub) that have not yet been purchased and/or secured by the seller. Under the new law, sellers will have to disclose the status of any “speculative” or unsecured tickets listed online and are required to refund buyers within 10 days of the event if the ticket is not secured.
- Minimum Tanning Age: This law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning facility. Prior to October 1, 2019, minors could utilize such facilities with written consent from a legal guardian, but such consent is no longer permissible. This restriction however, does not apply to phototherapy administered by a health-care provider.
- Mandatory Diaper-Changing Stations: Any public buildings that are either constructed or having its bathrooms renovated on or subsequent to October 1, 2019, will be required to install a diaper-changing facility in at least one public restroom in the building.
- Sex Designation on Licenses, Permits or Other IDs: Beginning October 1, 2019, any driver’s license and/or identification card applicant Applicants will be permitted to designate their gender as unspecified. In such situation, the MVA will use an “X” in that location of the license, card or permit.
This is just a summary. If you have any questions about these new laws or think you may have a personal injury or malpractice claim, contact Dubo Law at (443) 275-6345. We can schedule a free consultation and help determine whether you have a personal injury case and work to make sure you are compensated fairly for your personal injury, lost wages, and pain and suffering.