New Year, New Laws: Phones, Guns, Sodas All Saw Legal Changes in the US

In Missouri, anyone 19 or older may carry their own concealed gun in public without a permit or training

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Getty Images, File

A host of new laws went into effect in states across the country Sunday, staking new ground in how people can use cell phones while driving, who is able to carry a gun in public and more, NBC News reported.

In 2017, it's illegal for drivers in California to hold their phones behind the wheel. Only functions that require a single tap or swipe can be done, like answering a call, and the devices must be mounted at the time.

Philadelphia is the first major American city with a tax on sugary sodas, joining Berkeley, California. The industry is challenging the law, adding a one-and-a-half cent tax per ounce, in court.

In Missouri, anyone 19 or older may carry a concealed gun they own in public, even without training or a permit. And there are painkiller prescription restrictions in Maine, a big bicycle right-of-way change in Illinois and more.

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