New Laws Go Into Effect Next Month For Mid-South States

(Memphis) Beginning July 1st, several new laws go into effect in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.

In Tennessee, one new law is considered another tool to prevent tragedy in Tennessee. It’ll force first-time DUI offenders to install ignition in their cars in order to use their suspended licenses.

Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville says it’ll help make a difference.

“It’s a great law. It’s something we’ve worked toward for several years because it’s going to save lives,” Norris said.

Another new law cracks down on uninsured drivers in Tennessee.

It’ll increase the penalty for violation of the state`s financial responsibility law when the driver at fault is uninsured and bodily injury or death occurs in an accident.

Kevin Kirkpatrick is a Memphis driver who said the measure is needed.

“I think they should have to have insurance. Well, if they wreck with somebody else why should I have to pay for it? The other person should be responsible for the accident,” Kirkpatrick said.

“It’s a problem everywhere and it’s to try and mandate in a responsible fashion that folks who drive have adequate coverage,” Norris said.

The Tennessee General Assembly is also targeting criminal gang activity to help police curb gun-related violence.

“The statistics are pretty bad in Tennessee as it relates to gang violence. That’s why law enforcement came to us and asked us to give them they tools to do the job correctly,” Norris said.

There are also new laws in Mississippi.

Starting July 1st, a physician must be present when a woman takes abortion-inducing drugs, and the woman must have a follow-up physical examination two weeks later.

The Magnolia State will allow people to openly carry guns, although they can still be prohibited on private property and in courthouses, and they’re forbidden at schools.

In Arkansas, the state could be moving closer to allowing people to carry a handgun openly almost anywhere, depending with whom you speak.

The measure is already sparking a lot of debate between gun rights supporters and those opposed as to how the law should be interpreted.

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