Here's a Look at New Virginia Laws Going Into Effect Friday 

New rules for dogs, marijuana oils and smoking in cars.

The Virginia State Capitol

The Virginia State Capitol

New state laws and changes to the law passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor go into effect Friday.

A look at some of the new laws and changes:

State law now requires that both parties to a marriage be at least age 18 unless permission is granted from a juvenile court. The new law removes previous exceptions allowing marriage for those 16 and older with consent of a parent and for those younger than 16 who are pregnant and have consent of a parent.

Stalking: State law now makes a second stalking offense within five years of the first a Class 6 felony. Previous law required a person to also be convicted of assault or violating a protective order before it qualified as a Class 6 felony.

Death Penalty
A new law allows the Department of Corrections director to contract with pharmacies for the compounding of drugs to carry out lethal injections. The pharmacies from which the drugs are obtained will be confidential.

Domestic Abuse
The law now makes it a Class 6 felony for a person subject to a permanent protective order for domestic abuse to possess a firearm. Previous law made it a Class 1 misdemeanor for such a person to purchase or transport a firearm but allowed possession.

Dogs: The law allows a district court to order that any dog that has been found to have injured or killed poultry have a microchip inserted and be either confined or transferred to another owner. Under previous law, a dog in these circumstances had to be killed immediately or moved to another state.

Service Dogs: The law now makes it a Class 4 misdemeanor to fraudulently portray a dog as a service dog, by using a harness, collar, vest, sign or identification card, for the purpose of bringing the dog to a public place.

Concealed Handguns: State law now authorizes holders of out-of-state concealed handgun permits to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia. Previous law recognized only permits from states that had permit requirements equal to Virginia’s.

Gun Shows: The law now requires the Virginia State Police to be available to perform background checks for nondealer sales at gun shows if requested by a party involved in a transaction.

Marijuana Oil
The law now authorizes a pharmaceutical processor to manufacture and provide cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil to be used for treatment of epilepsy.

Freedom of Information Act
State public bodies, counties, cities and towns of more than 250 people must now designate and identify a local FOIA officer and provide information about FOIA on their websites.

Hunting With a Slingshot
The law now allows the hunting of wild birds and wild animals, except deer, bear, elk and turkeys, with a slingshot unless shooting is expressly prohibited.

Assisted Living Centers
The new law prohibits assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, licensed and registered child welfare agencies, and family day homes approved by family day systems from continuing to employ people who have been convicted of specific offenses that are barriers to employment.

Smoking in Cars
The law creates a civil fine of $100 for people who smoke in a car with a child under age 8 in the car. But it’s a secondary offense, meaning police can cite someone only if they stop a car for another violation.

The law now requires motorists to wait for a reasonable opportunity to open vehicle doors on the side adjacent to moving traffic. A violation constitutes a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $50. The law is designed to establish liability if motorists open doors into the path of oncoming bicyclists and other vehicles.

– Compiled from the Virginia Division of Legislative Services

This article originally appeared on


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