New laws to take effect Sept. 1

The state of Texas will get a black eye from some and heaps of praise from others regarding new laws that come into effect in a few days.Switchblade knives? They’ll be legal in Texas beginning Sept. 1.Concealed Handgun Licenses? It will only take four hours of training — plus range time — to get a license now, not 10 as in the past.Those are just two of many laws which go into effect the first day in September.Here’s a look at just a few of them:Cellphone assistanceYou know that feeling that crawls over you when you are scrambling through the glove box, console and floorboard of your vehicle as a cop with cold steel eyes waits for you to produce your insurance card? Here’s some relief. Senate Bill 181 allows motorists to pull up proof of insurance on their cell phones and show it to officers. No more paper copy needed. Plus, it helps bring Texas up with the times.Online predatorsVictims of online harassment in Texas will have more protection. State lawmakers passed a law that allows police to prosecute suspects in the county where the victim lives — even if the crime wasn’t committed in that county or state. According to Charley Wilkison, director of public affairs for CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the law is “more than necessary.” “An (injury) can take place now through long distance. In the early days of telephones, there had to be telephone harassment laws passed, so this is just catching Texas up to the world in which we live.”Wilkison said it will make it “easier to prosecute so we’re not having to chase down the perpetrator into the state, a different country or wherever they are.”