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Scores of new laws went into effect Friday, the first day of the new year.

Many of them are firsts for the nation, including a raised legal smoking age, and locked pill bottles. Some gun owners will also have an easier time carrying their firearms, while others will have a harder time. Here’s a roundup of some of the new legislations:

  • People in Hawaii now must be 21 in order to smoke tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, etc.) and electronic cigarettes. Hawaii is the first state to raise the legal smoking age.
  • Texas will put a new open carry law into effect. People with proper permits will no longer have to conceal their handguns in shoulder or belt holsters. Backers of open carry laws say they will deter mass shootings.
  • Concealed weapons are no longer permitted on school campuses in California. A new law states it’s illegal for even those with a concealed carry permit to bring handguns to educational facilities.
  • Illinois has instituted a new law that allows pharmacies to dispense pill bottles with locks on them. The hope is that a lock will deter a person’s family members from accessing and abusing medication containing hydrocodone.
  • Tennessee is launching the United States’ first online registry of animal abusers Friday.
  • D.C. joined New York City in passing a law to ban styrofoam containers at food establishments. They will be replaced with more environmentally-friendly receptacles.

But it wasn’t just the U.S. seeing big legislative changes. China’s one-child policy officially ended on the last day of 2015. The copyright also expired on Hitler’s Mein Kampf — meaning it will be available for sale in Germany for the first time in decades.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at

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