RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — July 1 marks the beginning of a long list of new laws going into effect in Virginia. 8News spoke with members of the Richmond community to hear their thoughts on some of these new laws and to gauge which ones held the most weight on the minds of Virginians in the area.
Walking around Carytown, Elyza Reinhart talked with 8News about a new law that punishes people who knowingly send intimate photos to another party without their consent. The law essentially considers this act trespassing and holds the sender liable to a $500 fine — or higher — if the damages inflicted upon the recipient are deemed more extensive.
“It can definitely empower women,” Reinhart said. She notes receiving unsolicited images of this nature is a more common problem than many realize.
“If I asked anyone I knew — like any of my friends — whether recently or in high school, if they were sent an unwanted pic that was explicit, they would all be like, ‘oh yeah,’” Reinhart said.
While anyone can be vulnerable to these unwanted messages, Reinhart noted the particularly strong toll this invasive act can have on women.
“Our [women’s] rights are going down more and more as the days go by,” Reinhart said. “I guess [the new law] is one thing we have. It’s like power against men, if they want to send us weird pictures.”
The state of Virginia’s long-term ban on switchblades also comes to an end on July 1. People can purchase and carry the weapon, but it must be visible.
Five new alcohol laws also go into effect. These affect various facets of the liquor industry, but in terms of tangible impacts the new laws would have on everyday Virginians, the law notably allows people to order to-go cocktails and alcoholic beverages from licensed third-parties. Deliverers must complete training courses set to ensure lawful practices in alcoholic delivery and consumption.
A full list detailing the specifics of these new laws can be found here.