After a bill gets passed by the legislature and then signed into law by the governor it almost always takes effect on August 28th unless a different start date is specified. Well, three new laws will go into effect today.
A new law allows an additional fine for violations that occur close to where law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical personnel or tow-truck operators are responding to a roadside issue. Speeding or passing when an emergency responder is present will carry a $250 fine for the first offense. There also will be a new offense for endangerment of an emergency responder that includes penalties for speeding by at least 15 mph, passing, using a lane not designated for traffic or intentionally hitting barrels while in an emergency zone.
Another new law taking effect today is intended to help police combat metal thieves. Scrap metal dealers already have been required to keep records for transactions involving copper and aluminum. That now will apply to catalytic converters. Dealers also will keep track of the license plate numbers of sellers and will be barred from buying metal identified as belonging to telecommunications or cable providers.
Finally, the Missouri Sheriffs' Association will take responsibility for concealed gun permits. The change is part of the fallout from a dispute over the Department of Revenue's practice of scanning of documents needed for driver's licenses. Sheriffs previously received permit applications, checked backgrounds and issued paper permits taken to license offices overseen by the Department of Revenue. Permits issued under the law will be valid for five years instead of three years, and those issued previously will be valid until their expiration date.