From shark fins to drones: New laws in 2014

January 2

State legislatures passed thousands of new laws in 2013, many of which go into effect this week. These laws address a variety of issues: from guns and voting to drones and tanning. Here's a look at some of the most interesting and noteworthy new laws going into effect across the country in 2014.


A sign celebrates the day at the Botana Care marijuana store just before opening the doors to customers for the first time in Northglenn, Colo., Jan. 1, 2014. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

1. In Connecticut, under a new law which was passed in response to the massacre in Sandy Hook Elementary school, all assault weapons and large-capacity magazines bought before April 2013 must now be registered with state authorities. 

2. Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use -- perhaps the most talked-about new law of 2014 -- starting on Jan. 1. While Colorado stores have already begun selling marijuana, it isn't the only state with new drug laws. Washington has also legalized recreational marijuana use, and Illinois has legalized medical marijuana.

3. Illinois passed a law that prohibits drone-use that interferes with hunters or fisherman. This law was passed after PETA called for the use of "Air Angel" drones to monitor "hunters engaging in illegal activity." Another new law in the state prohibits state law enforcement from using drones to gather information without a warrant. 

4. There's now a bigger fine for planning violent flash mobs on social media in Illinois.

5. In Oregon, it's now legal for mothers to take their placentas home from the hospital after childbirth

6. It's now illegal to sell, distribute or possess shark fins in Delaware.

7. Tanning beds are now off limits for teens under the age of 18, even if they have parental permission, in Illinois.

8. In California, the paparazzi will face tougher penalties for harassing celebrities and their children. The new law was backed by actresses Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry.

9. A new California law requires schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and play on sports teams according to the gender they identify with.

10. Arkansas now requires voters to show photo ids at polling places.

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Sean Sullivan · January 2