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New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

Duane Paul Murphy

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2019 is finally here. Starting this month in January and beyond for the rest of the new year, new laws and regulations are now or will be in effect across the United States. From pushing for gun safety to combating sexual assault, a wide variety of new rules will be in place.

As a result of grassroots activism, especially in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting massacre, many states are imposing new as well as tough gun control and safety laws and regulations. In California, the most populous state raised the minimum age to buy rifles and shotguns from 18 years old to 21 years old with exceptions for official members of public law enforcement, the national military, or those individuals who have an official  hunting license and imposed a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone convicted of certain domestic violence charges or committed to a mental institution twice in one single year. Furthermore, any California resident who wants to carry a concealed gun weapon must undergo mandatory safety training for 8 hours. 

States across the country such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington will start raising or continue to increase their minimum wages at a higher rate. Major cities such as New York City, Seattle, and Palo Alto, California will raise their minimum wages to at $15 an hour. While wages go up to combat inequality, new regulations and laws to combat sexual harassment in the workplace in the MeToo and TimesUp era will be in place including mandatory sexual harassment prevention and awareness training in New York, Virginia, and Delaware.

Overall, these new laws and regulations in effect or about to be in effect will drastically change the country economically and socially in the long run. Other states could follow in the near future.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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