Highlights of Legislation Taking Effect on January 1, 2014

As mentioned in a previous post, there are a number of new laws taking effect on January 1, 2014. Some highlights:

Declaration of Large Capacity Magazines and Certain Firearms Designated Assault Weapons

There have been a number of news stories about long lines at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) during the last few days of 2013. This is the result of portions of Public Act 13-3 that ban large capacity magazines and certain firearms classified as assault weapons. The law requires owners of the soon-to-be-banned items to declare them to DESPP by January 1, 2014.

DESPP’s website contains a great deal of helpful information about this law, including Frequently Asked Questions about PA 13-3, and Firearms and Permit Related Forms and Information.

The full law can be seen here.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Residential Buildings

If you are buying or selling your house, take note of Public Act 13-272, which requires the seller of a one or two occupancy dwelling to provide the buyer with an affidavit certifying that the building is equipped with smoke detectors. Additionally, the affidavit must certify either that the building is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, or that the building does not pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because it does not have a fireplace, a garage, or a fuel-burning appliance. The affidavit is not required for buildings that were issued new occupancy permits prior to October 1, 1985, or after October 1, 2005.

If the seller does not provide an affidavit as required by this act, he must credit the buyer $250 at closing. The act also sets forth requirements for the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and exceptions to the requirement.

Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogation

Public Act 11-174 makes a statement made by a person being investigated for or accused of a capital felony or a Class A or B felony inadmissible against him in a criminal proceeding, unless there is an audiovisual recording of the interrogation, and the recording is substantially accurate and not intentionally altered.

There are several exceptions listed in the act, such as where making a recording is not feasible, and for a spontaneous statement that was not made in response to a question. Additionally, a statement made during a custodial interrogation that was not recorded may still be admissible for impeachment purposes.