New Arkansas laws to take effect January 1st

by Stan Morris e-mail | Twitter

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A wide-ranging set of laws goes into effect January 1 in Arkansas. The laws affect everything from rabies vaccines to cigarette sales, and many are letting their opinions be known.

Here is a breakdown of the new laws:

  • Fire-Safe Cigarettes

Act 697, the Arkansas Cigarette Fire Safety Standard Act, requires all cigarettes sold in Arkansas must be fire-safe. Remaining stocks of non-fire-safe cigarettes can be sold but all new stock must be of the fire-safe type.

Fire-safe cigarettes put themselves out because two bands of a certain type of paper, called "speed bumps," that cause the cigarette to burn out.

The law joins Arkansas with its surrounding states that each have similar laws.

  • Toy Gun Ban

Act 1494 bans the sale of a number of toy goods made to look real. The act stems from the shooting death of 12-year-old DeAuntae Farrow of West Memphis, killed by a police officer who said Farrow was holding a toy gun that appeared real.

All toy guns sold in the state must have orange markings on the barrels, be in colors not commonly used for real guns or be sold for use in a theatrical production, a sports event, a school sponsored display or a military or civil defense activity.

BB and paintball guns are exempt from the law.

  • Mold Inspector Certification

Act 1467 requires all mold inspectors to be regulated by the state government and hold a license. The requirement include certification by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or the American Indoor Air Quality Council. Alternatively, the individual can complete at least 20 hours of college level microbiology.

Realtors in Region 8 say they think this is a good idea. At Century 21 Indian Realty in Jonesboro, Principle Broker Kenny Gardner says having a certification ensures these people are legitimate and will have less false alarms as well as better detection of possible mold.

  • Rabies Shots

Act 159 changes the requirements for rabies vaccinations for animals. It outlines that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated after four months of age or older (there was no age limit before). A booster is required one year later.

Afterward, pet owners and veterinarians can vaccinate the animal every year or every three years. Currently, pets need an annual vaccination.

  • Watercraft Safety

Act 693 mandates anyone born on or after January 1, 1986 riding a personal watercraft on Arkansas lakes must complete a safety course through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

The law was created in honor of 15-year-old Rachel Rutherford, who died in a 2007 watercraft accident on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs.

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