Nearly 700 New Texas Laws Go Into Effect Sept. 1 - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Nearly 700 New Texas Laws Go Into Effect Sept. 1

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    More than 600 bills become law on Sept. 1, from drones and guns at airports to advanced placement scores and money for police body cameras, NBC 5's Julie Fine highlights a few. (Published Monday, Aug. 31, 2015)

    From the classroom to the airspace, Texans have nearly 700 new laws going into effect Tuesday.

    There are new laws involving drones, including expanding allowances for when drone pilots can take pictures to include academic, engineering and surveying purposes. Drones must also stay above an altitude of 400 feet around buildings deemed critical infrastructure, such as power and gas processing plants. Finally, a third law allows the Texas Department of Public Safety to enact a "no-fly zone" around the Texas capitol complex.

    In the classroom, there are big changes when it comes to high school Advanced Placement exam scores. To obtain college credit at many public universities, students now need only an AP score of 3 or above to gain credit -- previously, a score of 4 was required for college credit.

    In law enforcement, Texas will likely have more body cameras for police officers. A bill from State Sen. Royce West, (D-Dallas), makes $10 million in grants available to local police departments.

    New Law Protects Gun Owners at Texas Airports

    [DFW] New Law Protects Gun Owners at Texas Airports
    Among the more than 600 new laws that go into effect on Sept. 1 is one concerning guns at airports. The law is aimed at people who may have mistakenly left their weapon in their carry-on bags.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 31, 2015)

    There is also a change when it comes to airport security. A person who accidentally carries his or her handgun through security will get a break if he or she has the proper concealed handgun license. Once the traveler is deemed OK by police, he or she will be allowed to take the gun back out of the secured area.

    "People are not wanting to commit a crime. They are not trying to sneak a gun into the airport. They just forgot," said David Prince, the owner of the Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville.

    Prince said he hears these stories more frequently. And, according to the Transportation Security Administration, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport lead the nation's airports in 2014 with 120 weapons discovered at security checkpoints. Dallas Love Field came in 18th, with 43 weapons.

    Those with CHLs will also be allowed to use that license as a valid form of identification.

    A measure allowing some epilepsy patients to get low-THC cannabis oil, Texas' first concession on medical marijuana, is now allowed. Also kicking in are laws strengthening restrictions on synthetic marijuana.

    So are laws scrapping criminal penalties for skipping school and ending the "pick-a-pal" grand jury system, which critics said created conflicts of interest.

    New Law Intends to Make Motorcycles Easier to See

    [DFW] New Law Intends to Make Motorcycles Easier to See
    Hundreds of new state laws go into effect Tuesday in Texas, including one intended to make motorcycles easier to see after dark.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 31, 2015)

    Elected officials accused of ethics crimes will now be tried in their home counties and "revenge porn," or posting explicit pictures of ex-lovers online, becomes a crime.

    The Texas Legislature website allows you to look up any bill on the books in the state.

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