Minnesota Video Game Bill Signed Into Law – ESA to Fight It
Minnesota’s new video game law provides a twist, in that it fines those under 17, $25 for purchasing or renting Mature and Adults Only rated games. Unlike laws from other States that failed to pass Constitutional-muster, it doesn’t punish retailers for selling or renting to minors, but it does require retailers to post a sign notifying customers of the fine. The law goes into effect on August 1, 2006. As usual, the ink wasn’t dry before the ESA vowed to fight it.
ESA to Fight:
A bill for an act relating to crime prevention; prohibiting children under the age of 17 from renting or purchasing certain video games; providing penalties; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 325I.BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:Section 1. RESTRICTED VIDEO GAMES; PROHIBITIONS.
Subd. 1. Definition. As used in this section, “restricted video game” means a video game rated AO or M by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Subd. 2.Prohibited acts; penalty. A person under the age of 17 may not knowingly rent or purchase a restricted video game. A person who violates this subdivision is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25.
Subd. 3. Posted sign required. A person or entity engaged in the retail business of selling or renting video games from a location or structure with access to the public shall post a sign in a location that is clearly visible to consumers. The sign must display the following language in 30-point font or larger: “A person under the age of 17 is prohibited from renting or purchasing a video game rated AO or M. Violators may be subject to a $25 penalty.”
EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective August 1, 2006, and applies to violations committed on or after that date.
Dale’s Comment: Imagine a police officer writing-up a ticket to a 13-year-old violator? “May I see your library card and hall-pass please?” Or better yet, an eight-year-old in night court challenging the fine!? Please Mr. Judge, I thought the video game “Hot Coffee” was a beverage preparation tutorial. How would a child go about paying the fine, with their credit card or check book? Perhaps the police will garnish their allowance for the next 6 months.