It’s July 1 in Indiana which means many new laws take effect here in the state today. Most notably, the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act or “RFRA” restricts government from “substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion.” Governor Mike Pence took heat for signing it into law a few short months ago. We’ll see it in practice as the First Church of Cannabis holds services today.
Other new laws taking effect include:
1. Sawed-off or short-barreled shotguns are now legal. So Indiana’s law on manufacturing, selling or owning one is now more in line with the federal law, but there are stiffer penalties that come along with crime committed with one of these weapons. Sawed-off shotguns include any shotgun that has a barrel less than 18 inches long. You can’t saw off your own though.
2. Today, it becomes illegal for the state to tax Internet access. You’d still have to pay your Internet provider but there can’t be an Indiana tax line item in the bill.
3. The statute of limitations is lifted in certain circumstances on rape now in Indiana. Some of those circumstances include when DNA evidence is found after the fact, or someone confesses in person or on a discovered recording. In those cases, then they can be prosecuted regardless of how much time has passed. It’s now known as Jenny’s Law.
5. You can report wrong-doing or governmental malfeasance of a public officer or official today anonymously and it will stay that way, unless a court decides otherwise.
6. You’ll now get immunity for financial obligations for rescuing a child beginning today. This law stems from a rash of incidents where children are left in hot cars. If you have to rescue a child, then you don’t have any obligation to pay the car’s owner for the window you broke or other damage to the vehicle to do that rescue. The caveat is, you have to call 911 and stay on the scene with the child you rescued until responders arrive.