New Laws in Maryland – Beginning Tuesday, October 1st

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Many new laws will take effect on Tuesday in Maryland – this is just a sampling of what changes residents in the Free State will have to adapt to.

On Tuesday the legal age to purchase all tobacco products in Maryland – cigars, cigarettes, chewless tobacco and electronic smoking devices – is 21.  Only active-duty military personnel aged 18 to 20, who can present valid military ID are excluded.  Maryland lawmakers passed the new legislation in May.  Click here for more information

Beginning Tuesday – Maryland will require tougher background checks on teachers in an effort to better protect students from sex abuse. 

All MD institutes of higher education must adopt a policy that allows students to express concerns about athletic programs and activities – this measure came about after the death of Terps football player Jordan McNair. 

Also, food service businesses and schools can no longer provide food or drinks in foam food containers – while the law takes effect Tuesday – must be in full effect by July 1, 2020. 

Ban on bump stocks from being sold or transferred went into effect last year in MD – however a ban on ownership without authorization from the federal ATF takes effect on Tuesday.

Gender neutral driver’s licenses & IDs – Marylanders will now have the option to choose “X” for their gender on driver’s licenses and state identification cards, in addition to the choices of “M” for male and “F” for female. The change is meant to be inclusive of residents who are transgender or nonbinary, meaning they don’t identify strictly as male or female.

Tanning beds for teens – previously teens could use commercial tanning beds with written parental permission. That exception is now eliminated, making tanning beds completely off-limits to anyone younger than 18.