Johnson City Press: Phones in cars, high school civics test among new laws effective July 1

Phones in cars, high school civics test among new laws effective July 1

David Floyd • Updated Jun 29, 2019 at 8:29 PM

A spate of new Tennessee laws will go into effect Monday.

These include new restrictions on using cell phones and electronic devices while driving, a civics test requirement for students who are getting ready to graduate high school and protections for the owners of shooting ranges.

Here are some brief descriptions of the changes coming to state laws:

If you are the owner of a sport shooting range, local government entities will be prohibited from imposing greater restrictions or requirements on your business than would be applicable for another range located in the same jurisdiction or one that is owned or operated by a government entity.

If you are an individual who has been judicially committed or has been deemed “a mental defective,” court clerks will be required to report your race, sex and Social Security number, if available, to the FBI’s NCIS index and the Department of Safety for use in determining your eligibility to purchase a firearm.

If you’re a former law enforcement officer who served at least 10 years and left your agency in good standing, your fee for obtaining a lifetime handgun carry permit will be waived.

If you operate a charitable organization in Tennessee, the amount of contributions that will trigger the requirement that you register with the secretary of state has been increased from more than $30,000 to more than $50,000.

If you are 65 years old or older and are applying for a driver’s license, you will now have the option of asking for an ID that doesn’t expire rather than automatically receiving one.

If you are a student incarcerated in a juvenile detention center, the Department of Education will be required to develop a procedure that allows you to receive at least four hours of instruction per instructional day.

If you are a student taking a family life class in public school, your instruction will now include lessons on the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of children who have been victims of human trafficking. The local board of education will also require that teachers receive one-time in-service training on the detection, intervention, prevention and treatment of child trafficking.

If you are a student getting ready to graduate from high school, you will now be required to pass a civics test to receive a full diploma upon graduation.

If you are a student, faculty member or staff member at a state institution of higher education, the school you attend will now be required to develop a suicide prevention plan and distribute the plan to you once each semester.

If you are a student attending an eligible public high school, your local education agency will now be authorized to provide you with free feminine hygiene products.

If you are an individual who offers services or facilities “for the development or preservation of physical fitness through exercise” or other forms of physical conditioning, dues, fees and other charges paid to you will be exempt from tax admission.

If you are a firefighter or police officer who has completed 40 hours of in-service training, your pay supplement will increase from $600 to $800.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, personally identifying information collected in your motor vehicle accident report will be treated as confidential information and restricted from public disclosure with some exceptions.

If you are younger than 18 and operate a business on private property that earns $3,000 or less in a calendar year, your local government institution will not be allowed to require a license, fee or permit for your business.

If you are a landlord, you will now have a way to verify whether your tenants or prospective tenants need a service or support animal.

If you are licensed to drive in the state of Tennessee, you will be prohibited from holding or supporting with any part of your body a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.

If you are a member of the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, your political activity will now be restricted to just the duration of your term on the registry and not your term plus one year following that.

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