New Missouri laws that took effect Sunday include expanded gun rights, changes in the way crimes are prosecuted and stiffer penalties for some motorists convicted of drunken driving.
Most gun owners in the Show-Me State are now able to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
In separate legislation, the first overhaul of the state’s criminal code in 38 years features a variety of reforms, including the elimination of jail time for first-time offenders convicted of possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana.
Here’s a breakdown of the new rules in Missouri:
- A new concealed carry measure allows gun owners to avoid a state-approved training course previously required in obtaining a permit to carry.
- A new criminal code creates new classes of felonies and misdemeanors — including four levels of felony child molestation, with increased punishment for incest — and streamlines existing criminal statutes. By adding a fifth felony class, Class E, courts will have more sentencing options.
- The Missouri Department of Social Services will begin this week to contract with a private company to check welfare recipients’ eligibility for benefits, including food stamps, child care, Medicaid and cash welfare payments.
- Health insurers will be required to cover “medically necessary” mental and physical treatment of eating disorders provided by licensed experts under another new law.
- Another law adds “bubble boy disease” to a list of conditions infants are screened for in Missouri. Severe combined immunodeficiency affects about one in 50,000 live births.
Read more: Kansas City Star