RALEIGH — All or portions of nearly 50 laws passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory during this year’s legislative session took effect Thursday. Here’s a look at some of the most significant or interesting changes:
— Abortion wait: The waiting period before a woman can get an abortion has expanded from 24 hours after receiving required information from a doctor or medical professional to 72 hours. There remains an exception for medical emergencies. The 24-hour waiting period was put into law in 2011. North Carolina is now one of four states with a 72-hour period. Oklahoma joins the other states Nov. 1.
—Tanning beds: Everyone under 18 is now prohibited from using tanning beds. Children previously had been able to enter the devices with parental permission or a doctor’s written prescription. Lawmakers decided the threat of increased risks for skin cancer outweighed the ability for kids to use the beds.
—National Guard and guns: North Carolina Guard members will be able to carry concealed weapons while in uniform and on duty. The state’s top guard general will decide which service members can be armed. It was within a measure that also creates a civil legal action for people injured by terrorists or those who fund them.
—Pistol permits: Backers of a firearms law wanted the pistol permit process through local sheriffs streamlined. The new provisions say permit applications should be provided electronically and that sheriffs should be quick about seeking information about an applicant’s mental health history before deciding whether to grant the permit.
—Drive to church: People who’ve had their driver’s licenses revoked due to past impaired driving or multiple traffic convictions already can get limited driving privileges to go to work, college or for emergency medical care. Lawmakers have now extended that to attending church or traveling for religious worship.
—Move over law: For years, motorists have had to change lanes or slow down when police cruisers or first-responder vehicles with lights flashing are on the roadside. Now add garbage and recycling trucks with flashing lights to the list in the “move over” law.
—Autocycles: Three-wheel motorcycles that have steering wheels, enclosed seats and seat belts that make them look like cars are called “autocycles.” A person now must have a driver’s license to operate one but doesn’t need a motorcycle endorsement. The vehicles are subject to motorcycle inspection and registration standards.