New California Laws Starting July 1 Could Affect Gun Sales, Teens, Even Your Fridge

Bars will have to offer drug testing kits, hotels will have to drop ‘junk fees,’ and renters won’t be paying huge security deposits.
New California Laws Starting July 1 Could Affect Gun Sales, Teens, Even Your Fridge
A state law taking effect on July 1 will slap an 11 percent tax on firearms sales. Above, a California-legal AR-15 style rifle for sale at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Costa Mesa, Calif., on June 5, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
Sophie Li
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Several new laws affecting a broad spectrum of Californians, from consumers and businesses to health care workers and students, took effect on July 1.

These measures are part of a larger batch of bills signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom during his last legislative session, many of which took effect in January.

Here are some of the new laws.

Hidden Fees (SB 478)

Marked as a price transparency bill, SB 478 makes it illegal for businesses to advertise or list a price for a product or service that does not include all required fees or charges, excluding certain government taxes, optional features, or shipping costs.
According to a FAQs sheet from the California Department of Justice, the law applies to event tickets, short-term rentals such as Airbnb, hotels, restaurants, food delivery, and most sales or leases of goods and services for personal use, aiming to eliminate “junk fees” in these businesses.

Drug Testing Kits in Bars (AB 1013)

Certain bars and nightclubs that exclusively sell beer, wine, and liquor must offer drug testing kits, including strips, stickers, or straws, for sale or at no cost. These kits can detect common date rape drugs such as rohypnol and ketamine, also known as “roofies.”

The business must display a sign letting patrons know that the kits are available.

This law applies to about 2,400 bars and nightclubs across the state, where minors are not allowed, and whether or not the business serves food.

Gun Tax (AB 28)

An 11 percent state excise tax will be added to firearms and ammunition sold in the state, in addition to existing taxes. Revenue, estimated at $160 million annually, will fund school safety and violence prevention programs.

Keep Students in School (SB 274)

It will be illegal for California public schools to suspend transitional kindergarten through 12th grade students for disrupting class or defying teachers—a practice known as willful defiance suspensions.

Teachers can remove a student from class for unruly behavior, but the youth would not be suspended. Instead, school administrators would be responsible for implementing suitable in-school interventions or support for the student.

Traditionally, willful defiance suspensions have been imposed on students for disruptive school activities, including wearing hats backward, nodding off in class, using bad language, or arguing with teachers.

The law also includes a 2029 sunset for sixth through 12th grades to allow reevaluation of the policy’s impact.

Menstrual Products  (AB 230)

The new law expands the existing requirement for public schools to provide free menstrual products in restrooms, now including third through fifth grades, as well as sixth through 12th grades, community colleges, and the California State University System.
Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles on Sept. 10, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles on Sept. 10, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Right to Repair (SB 244)

Manufacturers of electronics priced at $50 or higher must provide documentation and spare parts or tools for repair for three years after the product’s last manufacturing date. For products priced at $100 or more, this requirement extends to seven years.

Previously, landlords could ask for deposits equivalent to two months’ rent for unfurnished units or three months’ rent for furnished units.

Workplace Violence (SB 553)

The law requires employers to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans. This includes mandatory training, incident logging, and procedures for responding to workplace violence reports.

Companies must also adopt procedures for handling these reports and are prohibited from retaliating against employees who make such reports.

Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.