46 Weird Laws Still on the Books
You go about your day trying to be a good citizen, but you have no idea how many laws you're probably breaking. Maybe you're throwing snowballs, yelling at an umpire, or using high-tech equipment to make sure your shoes fit right. You know, everyday stuff.
Just to be safe, check out this list of 46 weird laws so you know what not to do.
1. Vermont banned banning clotheslines.
You read that right. In 2009, Vermont made it illegal for groups like neighborhood associations to ban clotheslines.
2. You can't throw rocks at trains in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin has a law that you cannot "propel any stone, brick, or other missile at any railroad train." I think this means that you can technically drop a brick onto a railroad train, but no one's ever tested it.
3. You can't make fake drugs in Arizona.
In Arizona, you can not manufacture or distribute "imitation controlled substances," which I guess is why they didn't film Breaking Bad there.
4. Blasphemy is still illegal in Michigan.
Blasphemy laws used to be very common in the United States, but there are still some in existence, including in Michigan, where cursing God is a G**-d*** misdemeanor.
5. Dogs can't hunt big game mammals in California.
Allowing dogs to pursue big game [PDF] mammals, such as bears or bobcats, is illegal in California. We were surprised to learn that this was an issue, because our office dog runs away from squirrels - although to be fair, they are larger than her.
6. Don't bite while boxing in Utah.
Bad news for Damon Salvatore and Mike Tyson, boxing in Utah cannot feature any biting.
7. Swearing at sports events is illegal in Massachusetts.
If you're over 16, it's against to law to swear at players or officials during sporting events in Massachusetts, so I guess at the end of every Red Sox game, 37,000 people are taken into custody.
8. You can't use a false name at a hotel in New Hampshire.
In New Hampshire, it is illegal to check into a hotel using a false name.
9. Pretending to be a religious figure is illegal in Alabama.
And speaking of false identities, at public places in Alabama, you cannot pretend to be a minister, nun, priest, or rabbi if you aren't one, thereby making productions of The Sound of Music technically illegal. Unless the nuns are played by nuns, that is.
10. You couldn't throw snowballs in Severance, Colorado until 2019.
This one isn't technically still on the books, but it juuuuuuuuust got changed. Thanks to a precocious 9-year-old boy, it's finally legal to throw snow balls in a Colorado town known for its snow.
11. You have to believe in something in order to hold public office in Texas.
In Texas, officials aren't allowed to be, "excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being." So, if someone doesn't believe in a Supreme Being...exclude away?
12. Bingo games can't last more than five hours in North Carolina.
That's great news if, like me, you find Bingo boring after four minutes.
13. You can't sniff glue with the intent to get high from it in Indiana.
In Indiana, you're not allowed to sniff toxic vapors of any kind (including glue) with, "intent to cause a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulling of the senses." So if you're doing it for other reasons, that's fine.
14. Adultery is still a crime in New York.
Spitzer. Giuliani. Weiner. Paterson. FDR. They all did something punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
15. Biting someone's arm off is illegal in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island has a law against biting off the limbs of another person. It's a shame you have to legislate things like that, but I, you know, guess it will be good for when the zombies come...
16. Teachers can't talk to students about hand-holding in Tennessee.
The Gateway Sexual Behavior Law in Tennessee prevents teachers from discussing anything that might be considered a "gateway" to sex. That includes kissing and hand-holding.
17. You can't sell your eyes in Texas.
When they sang, "The eyes of Texas are upon you," they meant that the state already has a pair and doesn't need to buy yours. It's not just eyes, either. It's illegal to sell any of your bodily organs.
18. Dance halls can't be close to cemeteries in South Carolina.
In South Carolina, dance halls are not allowed to be within a quarter-mile of a rural church or cemetery.
19. They also can't be open on Sundays.
South Carolina also requires their dance halls to be closed on Sundays. It's almost like they don't like dancing.
20. Florida passed a law in 1974 allowing the state to ban alcohol sales during hurricanes.
As a matter of public safety, the state wanted to curb people's ability to throw "hurricane parties," which are apparently a thing in Florida.
21. Utah doesn't have happy hour.
It's illegal to discount booze or do anything that might promote overindulgence, so Happy Hour is right out.
22. You can't use X-rays for shoe fittings in Washington.
Don't worry Dorothy, they fit.
23. You can't wound a fish with a firearm in Wyoming.
You literally cannot shoot fish in a barrel in Wyoming, where they have a law against fishing with firearms that specifically says you cannot "wound" the fish with a gun, either.
24. Delaware doesn't like r-rated movies at drive-ins.
The state has a ban on playing R-rated movies specifically at drive-in theaters (because they're outside, maybe?), but it's probably unconstitutional and no one enforces it.
25. Don't try to corrupt public morals in Florida.
Attempting to "corrupt public morals" makes you guilty of a misdemeanor in Florida. How high is the bar here, exactly?
26. You can't live on a boat for more than 30 days in Georgia.
That's during a calendar year, which presumably means you could spend 59 legal days crashing on your boat from December to January.
27. Silly string has been banned in Southington, Connecticut since 1996.
No word on whether Serious String is still allowed. Selling or using the silly stuff in public places comes with a $99 fine.
28. Hitting a vending machine is a no-no in Derby, Kansas.
Even if you're really frustrated because you paid for those Cool Ranch Doritos, and you desperately need those Cool Ranch Doritos and... GIMME MY DORITOS!
29. You can't make someone get a microchip in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, "no person may require an individual to undergo the implanting of a microchip." ONLY IN WISCONSIN? Can we take this thing nationally?
30. Billboards are illegal in Hawaii.
This is probably the best idea.
31. You've gotta keep your hypnotizing indoors in Everett, Washington.
Planning to mesmerize people? Absolutely do not do it with your storefront signage or out on the street or at your theater's ticket booth.
32. Avoid hunting in cemeteries in Enfield, New Hampshire.
You also can't hop the fence to get in [PDF].
33. People with sexually transmitted diseases can't get married in Nebraska.
The law says, "No person who is afflicted with a venereal disease shall marry in this state." As you're probably guessing, that's a tough one to enforce, so if you get a marriage license without being detected, the marriage license still counts.
34. Every tanning bed in Iowa needs a warning sign.
The hazards of using tanning beds must be posted conspicuously next to every single tanning bed.
35. Doors to public buildings in Florida must open outward.
Which makes sense. If you're running away from an alligator in the library, you don't want to have to stop to pull a door open.
36. Reno, Nevada, doesn't allow people to lie down on sidewalks.
So what's even the point of visiting?
37. you can be fined for leaving your car door open too long in Oregon.
Sounds silly, but cyclists get why.
38. You also can't throw your urine out of your car there.
Oregon also has a law preventing improper disposal of human waste while you're on the road, so if you're traveling with containers of urine through Oregon, don't toss them out.
39. It's illegal to play dominoes in Alabama on a sunday.
You also aren't supposed to hunt, shoot, play cards, or race that day. You also can't promote or engage in a bear wrestling match (any day).
40. Do not molest butterflies in Pacific Grove, California.
When the monarch butterflies make their annual pilgrimage to town, give them a wide berth. Look with your eyes, not with your hands, people.
41. Emergency medical technicians aren't allowed to help dogs in Massachusetts.
A bill was put forward in 2019 to allow them to treat police dogs who are injured in the line of duty.
42. You can't sell dog hair in Delaware.
You can't "recklessly" sell cat hair, either, nor "any product made in whole or in part" by your furry friends' fur.
43. Farmers can't sell pickles to customers at farmers' markets in Connecticut.
It's a myth that a pickle has to bounce to be legally a pickle, but it's not a myth that you can't sell a pickle (bouncing or otherwise) if you're a farmer in Connecticut. Salsa, too. Anything with a pH value at 4.6 or below is forbidden, but there's a bill trying to change that.
44. You can't screech your tires in Derby, Kansas.
According to code 10.04.200, you can be fined $500 for your tire noise, so drive politely out there.
45. You can't wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a crime in New Jersey.
If you're planning to rob a bank, you'll get in double trouble if you're wearing bullet-resistant gear during the stick-up.
46. It's illegal to be drunk on a train in Michigan.
Once that train enters Ohio, shots for everybody.
For more on these weird laws, check out the full video below.
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