TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Laws taking effect at the start of the new year show states diverging on some hot-button issues.
Restrictions on carrying guns will ease in Texas, for example, but will get tighter in California. It will be easier to register to vote in Oregon, but there will be another step to take at the polls in North Carolina.
The opposing directions in the states reflect a nation with increasingly polarized politics.
In the debate over gun control, both sides say their arguments are strengthened by a string of mass shootings this year. That includes the December attack at a county health department gathering in San Bernardino, California, when a couple who investigators say pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group killed 14 people.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a group backed by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is seeking to be a counterweight to the National Rifle Association’s lobbying of state lawmakers. Both groups are expected to be active in legislatures in the coming year.