MEMPHIS, TN— More than 150 new laws went into effect today, Sunday July 1 in Tennessee including things like no more saggy pants or hand holding in school. Many people told abc24 news they had no idea so many new laws were on the books and believe they're both ridiculous and a waste of money.
"They need to come up with better laws than what they're doing,” said a Memphian Anita Brown who is against some of the new laws.
Brown and a few others we spoke with disagree with a law called the "gateway sexual activity." That will punish students who hold hands or kiss in school. Teachers could be fined up to $500 for promoting or condoning "gateway sexual activities." Lawmakers believe if that's avoided it will curb behavior that lead to sex, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Memphians think otherwise.
"It's kind of ridiculous and I would imagine ineffective,” said a Memphian Brett Cantrell. “It doesn't fix the problem they're hoping to fix."
“Kids are going to do what they want to do in school regardless of a law,” Brown stated.
Another law people thought was strange: "wild appearing swine." It is now illegal to release "wild appearing swine" without proper documentation. The governor has stated that will prevent the spread of diseases.
"The legislature we have now is kind of embarrassing to the state and I certainly hope people get out in November and change that,” said Cantrell.
Anita Brown likes the new saggy pants law to an extent. She says the more freedoms that are taken away from kids the more they'll rebel.
"They're taking away lots of things that these kids are doing and they're wondering why they are out here just wild because of stuff like that,” said Brown.
Students can be fined up to $250 for wearing saggy pants. But not everyone bashed the new laws some told abc24 news they're looking forward to the lower grocery tax. It's now at 5.25 percent. Other laws hitting the books: mandatory jail time for repeat domestic abuse offenders, and heftier fines for drunk drivers with minors in their cars.
If you want to see the complete list of new laws go to our website at www.abc24.com and click on the "Find It" section.