New Year, New Laws: Phones, Guns, Sodas All Saw Legal Changes in the US | NBC Southern California
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New Year, New Laws: Phones, Guns, Sodas All Saw Legal Changes in the US

In Missouri, anyone 19 or older may carry their own concealed gun in public without a permit or training



    Getty Images, File
    A driver uses a phone while behind the wheel of a car on April 30, 2016, in New York City. As accidents involving drivers using phones or other personal devices mount across the country, New York lawmakers have proposed a new test called the Textalyzer to help curb mobile phone usage behind the wheel. Similar to a Breathalyzer test, the Textalyzer would allow police to request phones from drivers involved in accidents and then determine if the phone had been used while the drivers operated their vehicles. The controversial bill is currently in the early committee stage. According to statistics, In 2014 431,000 people were injured and 3,179 were killed in car accidents involving distracted drivers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    A host of new laws went into effect in states across the country Sunday, staking new ground in how people can use cell phones while driving, who is able to carry a gun in public and more, NBC News reported.

    In 2017, it's illegal for drivers in California to hold their phones behind the wheel. Only functions that require a single tap or swipe can be done, like answering a call, and the devices must be mounted at the time.

    Philadelphia is the first major American city with a tax on sugary sodas, joining Berkeley, California. The industry is challenging the law, adding a one-and-a-half cent tax per ounce, in court.

    In Missouri, anyone 19 or older may carry a concealed gun they own in public, even without training or a permit. And there are painkiller prescription restrictions in Maine, a big bicycle right-of-way change in Illinois and more.