The start of October ushered in a number of new laws taking effect in Connecticut.
Starting Monday, it will be a class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine, for anyone to sell, purchase, possess or manufacture a so-called bump stock, a device that enables a gun to fire like an automatic weapon. The new law includes some exceptions, such as for certain military personnel.
The law stems from the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead. Massachusetts and Rhode Island have also banned bump stocks.
Another new law requires e-cigarette retailers to sell electronic nicotine delivery systems or vapor products only with an employee’s assistance. However, establishments that expressly prohibit minors may sell e-cigarettes through self-service displays.
A third new law bans the shackling of pregnant women prisoners during childbirth and requires female inmates be provided with menstrual supplies. The state must also create family-friendly visitation policies for female inmates.
And a new Good Samaritan law aimed at protecting animals left in vehicles in hot weather allows for a civilian to forcibly enter or break-in to a vehicle if they believe an animal inside is in imminent danger.
Captain Brian Wright with the New London Police Department, however, warns too many things can go wrong during an animal rescue.
“If a person attempts to rescue a dog they believe is in distress and the dog bites the individual, then who is liable? Or the dog escapes, runs to the street and gets hit, those are all those things that kind of domino effect may come as a result. We highly recommend that people contact the police department and let us respond.”
The new law brings Connecticut in line with Vermont and Massachusetts. However, in New York State only law enforcement can legally break in to a vehicle to rescue an animal.