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Fascinating Laws Around the United States



Laws are in place for a reason, but many people are completely unaware of some downright bizarre laws that actually exist. The scary thing is, these laws could legally be enforced at any time.
As silly and nonsensical as most of these laws are, they’re still the law. And, as we all know, breaking the law can get you into some serious trouble. What’s the craziest law from your state?

In New Jersey, You Can’t Sound The Horn While Making In Love In The Car

It sounds strange, but it’s true. There’s nothing in the law books about making some hanky panky in the vehicle; but if things start to get steamy, and you accidentally set off the car horn in the heat of the moment, you could potentially face some serious jail time.

The Official Language Of Illinois Is “American”

Apparently the term “English” sounds too British, because according to an official statute Illinoisans speak American, not English. Illinois – proving that patriotism isn’t completely dead.

In Maine, You Have To Smile At All Times While In Public

You can thank Mayor George Phillips for this weird law. Passed in 1948, this ordinance makes it illegal not to smile while out in public. Though the “Smile Ordinance” was created as a joke to cheer people up during a particularly severe winter, it was never officially removed from the books. Sounds like smiles all around in the Pine Tree State.

In South Carolina, Minors Aren’t Allowed To Play Pinball

Sorry underage pinball enthusiasts living in South Carolina, but one of the most fun and classic arcade games is off-limits… that is until you turn 18. Just having your hands on one could be enough to garner a serious offense violation. Just stick to Pac-Man and you’ll be fine.

If You Duel In Tennessee, You Can’t Take Public Office

If you were planning on dueling with someone and then running for office in Tennessee, think again. The state’s constitution explicitly states that “Any person who shall…fight a duel, or knowingly be the bearer of a challenge to fight a duel…shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this State.” Just send a nasty tweet instead.

In Pennsylvania, You Can’t Use Dynamite To Catch Fish

Have you ever thought to yourself “Gee, I wish I had a stick of dynamite to make this job easier” while going fishing? If you were to ever act on that thought in the state of Pennsylvania, though, you could potentially be facing some considerable jail time. Remember – dynamite is for gold mining, not fishing.

In North Carolina, You Can’t Play Bingo Drunk

Lawmakers just gotta take the fun out of everything, don’t they? Not only can you not play everybody’s favorite senior game while drunk, but you can’t even purchase alcohol in the same room where bingo is being played. What’s the point of playing a rousing game of bingo if you can’t be intoxicated while doing it?

You Can’t Parade Your Duck Down Ohio Avenue

Anybody who’s ever owned a duck will know that urge to parade it around in front of God and everybody, but your duck parading days would be limited if you were to ever visit Ohio. One bizarre statute strictly prohibits people from putting their cherished pet on such a pompous display – at least on Ohio Avenue. Apparently it’s fine anywhere else.

In Michigan, It’s Illegal To Sell Your Car On A Sunday

If you live in Michigan and you’re finally selling your old car, your business dealings will have to fall on a day other than the sabbath – even if you’re just trading or buying. This law was originally passed in 1953 for religious reasons, as people thought that Sunday should be kept for holy business and not actual business. To this day, though, the law has never been officially repealed, so be careful.

You Can’t Wear Sleeveless Shirts In Public Parks In Maryland

It’s not uncommon to see people dressing for warmer weather while going to the park, but in Maryland you could be fully prosecuted if seen going sleeveless. It’s considered to be a huge rule violation, even if you’re jogging and exercising. Just veer on the safe side and wear a parka.

In Colorado, It’s Illegal To Mistreat Rats

The majority of people can’t stand rats, but if you live in Denver then extermination is out of the question. Official city ordinances deem it unlawful to harm or even mistreat the poor little creatures. How comforting it is to know that Colorado rats are living the peaceful life!

In Florida, Any Parking Citation Given To Animals Must Be Paid

Floridians with unpaid parking violations by their pets had better pay up, otherwise the authorities have the legal right to imprison you and detain you until the fine is satisfied. This law – which applies to all animals, including elephants and horses – was enacted in the 1920s when the Ringling Bros. circus chose Florida as their winter headquarters.

Slippers Are Banned After 10pm In New York

Sometimes you just don’t feel like changing into shoes when leaving the house, and in New York that’s completely acceptable… that is until the clock chimes 10:00 and you’re required to wear more formal evening attire. Sorry, slipper lovers.

In Nevada, It’s Illegal To Lay On The Sidewalk

Things happen. Like when you’re walking down the sidewalk and suddenly just can’t walk anymore. So rather than find a nice bench, you just lay down right where you are. We’ve all been there. Well, all of us except for people in Nevada. Reno passed this official law for safety reasons, but also to encourage proper places of rest.

In Arkansas, You Can’t Honk Near A Sandwich Shop After 9pm

There are a lot of laws to remember, but if you’re ever driving through Arkansas and it’s after 9:00 and you’re near a sandwich shop, best to hold off on honking until you’re out of range. You have to wonder what angry sandwich shop owner tired of late-night honking pushed to pass this law.

In Hawaii, You Can’t Put Coins In Your Ears

Magic shows must really suffer in the Aloha State, because one pesky law prohibits coins from being placed in your ear. But why would such a law be passed? Apparently it was to protect the island state’s currency when they joined the U.S. in 1959. After all, everybody knows that a coin in the ear just isn’t acceptable.

In Texas, The Encyclopedia Britannica Is Illegal Due To One Entry

Everything is bigger in Texas… except for peoples’ encyclopedia collections. The Lone Star State thought the entire 32 volume was just too dangerous simply because of one entry providing the recipe to make beer. Apparently lawmakers thought that home breweries were just too unbecoming for the upstanding citizens of Texas. Oh the irony.

Putting Ice Cream In Your Back Pocket in Alabama is Illegal

The reason Alabama decided to make putting a cone of ice cream in your back pocket illegal is actually because thieves in the old days used to lure horses away from their pastures or barns with the cold, milky treat. This enticing snack helped them get the horse far enough away that they could get off before the owner noticed, thus the law was born.

Disrespecting George Washington Is Illegal In Washington

Apparently Washingtonians are very patriotic, because uttering the name of the great George Washington without adding the phrase “blessed be his name” can get you in serious trouble – 50 cents worth of trouble! Such blatant disrespect of one George Washington will cost you exactly two silver George Washingtons.

In California, Elementary Schools Can’t Host Poker Nights

Every school needs some healthy, constructive after-school activities, but poker can’t be one of them. At least not in California. Official state ordinances declare school property unfit for any sort of gambling – poker or otherwise. Kids would probably prefer hide and seek anyway.

It’s Illegal To Hunt Camels In Arizona

Believe it or not, camels used to run wild in Arizona during the mid 1800s when the U.S. military experimented with using them instead of mules. Once they were through with them, the military simply released them into the desert but were kind enough to place regulations against hunting them. The camels didn’t last for very long, but the law still stands to this day. So before traveling to sunny Arizona to fulfill your camel quota, think again.

It’s Illegal To Pump Your Own Gas In Oregon

Oregon is one of only two states that technically require attendants to pump gas for you, as strange as that may seem. There have been tons of arguments for and against it, with people in favor of it claiming that drivers don’t have to get out of their cars during frigid winters. But for anybody who lives in the 49 other states, it would be hard to imagine it a crime to pump your own gas.

In Connecticut, Pickles Must Bounce In Order To Be Eaten

You read that right. Most people don’t consider a pickle’s bounce to be a sign of its quality, but according to official Connecticut laws that is indeed the case. This downright bizarre law came about in 1948 when two men were arrested for selling pickles that were “unfit for human consumption.” In trying to determine what does make a pickle fit for consumption, officials declared that it must bounce when dropped. You could say that this law put farmers in quite a pickle.

In Massachusetts, Candy Can’t Contain More Than 1% Of Alcohol

Most people wouldn’t consider candy to be a good source for inebriation, but Massechuisets is way ahead of it. This is all thanks to a statute that prohibits candies from containing syrups with no more than 1% of the good stuff. If, by accident, 1.1% of alcohol does happen to make it in, however, then the fine can’t exceed more than $100, so don’t sweat it too much.

In Alaska, You Must Have A Concealed Slingshot License

We all know about concealed carry requirements for firearms, but in Alaska the term “weapon” extends to slingshots as well. While most people likely don’t casually carry around a slingshot, it’s nice to know that Alaskans are well-protected against such heinous weapons.

Picnicking In A Graveyard Is Illegal In Georgia

A graveyard may not be in the top 100 places you’d like to picnic in, but obviously somebody in Georgia tried it because official Georgia law states that no cavorting, lounging, or picnicking is to take place where the dead rest. To be fair, they probably just liked the peace and quiet.

In Virginia, Swearing Over The Phone Is Illegal

Everyone is tempted to let a curse word slip out every once in a while, but if you utter such atrocities over the phone in Virginia then you might have to pay a $100 fine. Bear in mind that this law doesn’t prohibit people from swearing outright, just while on the phone. So people in Virginia will have to opt for a strongly-worded letter instead.

Unsolicited Pizzas Are Not Allowed In Louisiana

For most people, receiving a surprise pizza would be considered a good thing, but in Louisiana it’s considered to be harassment. Make sure to double check that delivery address, otherwise you could be facing up to a $500 fine!

In New Mexico, It’s Illegal To Gamble On Ostrich And Camel Races

New Mexico truly is still the Land of Enchantment, because citizens have been clamoring to bet on ostrich and camel racing for years. While betting on bicycle races is perfectly fine, New Mexico considers gambling for such unconventional sports to be a step too far. Maybe you’ll have better luck in Texas.

In Indiana, You Can’t Profit From Puppet Shows

You can thank the Act to Prevent Immoral Practices for this law. Anybody caught earning money from a puppet show (as well as any wire dancing or tumbling act) will face a whopping $3 fine. Save yourself the money and aggravation and just do all puppet shows pro bono.

Bear Wrestling Is Outlawed In Missouri

Hopefully any kind of animal wrestling is done away with at this point, but what’s curious is that Missouri still has a law explicitly prohibiting bear wrestling. The state passed the law for animal cruelty purposes, but the law doesn’t say anything about, say, gorilla wrestling.

Horse Racing On Public Highways Is Illegal In Rhode Island

Thinking of racing your horse down Rhode Island highways? Think again. Official laws have deemed it totally illegal, with the consequences being either a hefty $20 fine or up to 10 days in jail.

In Kentucky, A Woman Can’t Marry The Same Man Four Times

We all know people who get married multiple times, even possibly to the same person. But Kentuckians who wish to marry the same person for the fourth time will have to get married in a different state, because no such immoralities will be tolerated in the wholesome state of Kentucky.

In Vermont, A Woman Can’t Wear Fake Teeth Without Her Husband’s Permission

In this truly outdated Vermont law, any woman who wishes to get and wear false teeth will have to get her husband’s express permission. It’s pretty jaw-dropping that this law hasn’t been repealed yet in these progressive times.

It’s Illegal To Tease Skunks In Minnesota

You would assume that anybody who comes across a skunk would think to leave it alone, but apparently in Minnesota it’s common enough for laws to be enacted preventing anybody from teasing the poor creatures. We know this law stinks, but not as much as you will should you defy it.

In Delaware, You’re Not Allowed To Sell Your Pet’s Hair

Anyone who has owned a particularly shaggy dog will know how bad the shedding can get, but selling your dog or cat’s spare hair in Delaware can get you into serious trouble. It’s really a shame that all that profit has to be sucked up the vacuum and thrown out.

In Idaho, It’s Illegal To Fish From A Camel’s Back

Geez, Idaho, you really know how to take all the joy out of fishing. Thanks to the Fish and Game rules enacted in 1920, no one within state limits is allowed to fish from the back of an animal (this extends to any animal, including, but not limited to, camels). Guess Idahoans will have to fish from the shore like regular, boring people.

In Wisconsin, You Can Legally Marry Your House

There are a lot of bizarre things people have tried to marry, but under the laws of Wisconsin it is actually legal to tie the knot with your own real estate. So if anybody from Wisconsin proudly shows off their home in a seemingly-weird way, now you know the reason why.

In Kansas, You Must Have A Permit To Remove Dirt From The Airport

For whatever oddball reason, official Wichita statutes ban any individual from physically removing any dirt from an airport without official permits. We’re not exactly sure why anybody would specifically want airport dirt, but if by chance you should desire some then you’ll need to get the local government involved. Better safe than sorry.

In Mississippi, You Can’t Regulate Food Portions

Good ol’ Mississippi. This somewhat-recent law passed in 2013 (known as the Anti-Bloomberg Bill) states that restaurants cannot have a limit placed on food portions, but also goes on to say that these same restaurants are not required to include any kind of nutritional information on their menus. ‘Murica!

In New Hampshire, You Can’t Remove Seaweed From The Beach At Night

Apparently New Hampshire really likes their seaweed, because official laws prevent anyone from keeping it as a souvenir… but only “between daylight in the evening and daylight in the morning”. The rumor is that back in colonial times seaweed was a great crop fertilizer, and so the law came about to prevent overharvesting of such precious resources.

Wearing Hats In Theaters Is Against The Law In West Virginia

Anybody who has ever had to sit behind someone wearing an obstructive hat while at the theater will tell you how totally annoying it can be. But thanks to West Virginia’s very considerate laws, people are protected against such annoyances. Remove it or be removed.

In Iowa, One-Armed Piano Players Must Perform For Free

While this would bring up all sorts of discrimination issues today, back in the day this law was simply there to make sure that people paying good money to be entertained weren’t getting a cheapened experience. You could say that these performers single-handedly affected the law books.

It’s Illegal To “Use A Weapon Of Mass Destruction” In Utah

If you’ve ever considered causing a catastrophe in Utah, then you might want to change your plans (or at least consider a different state). Criminal code 76-6-1 prevents any catastrophes from taking place with “use of a weapon of mass destruction or explosion, fire, flood, avalanche, collapse of a building or other harmful or destructive force or substance that is not a weapon of mass destruction”. This law may seem a bit obvious, but you never know in the great US of A.

Eating Someone Else’s Burger Isn’t Tolerated In Oklahoma

Somebody in Oklahoma got real tired of their burger constantly being eaten, because official law prevents anyone from even taking a bite of a burger that isn’t their own. So if you’ve been the victim of unsolicited personal burger consumption, then Oklahoma is the place for you!

In Montana, Unmarried Women May Not Fish Alone

Sorry single ladies of Montana, but until you go fishing for a husband and bring him along, actual fishing could spell out trouble for you. Fortunately for the married ladies, though, you are allowed to fish alone… just not on a Sunday. After all, what would this country come to if a woman should attempt to fish in a man’s domain without authoritative male oversight?

In South Dakota, It’s Illegal To Sleep In A Cheese Factory

If you work for a cheese factory in South Dakota and suddenly get the urge to snooze, you’d best find a motel quick because the law will not stand workers falling asleep while on factory grounds. This law was created to prevent workers from operating heavy machinery while dozing off. Once the cheese is packaged, however, you’re free to sleep as much as you’d like.

In North Dakota, It’s Illegal To Fall Asleep With Your Shoes On

Next time you’re in North Dakota and have the urge to fall asleep in public, just make sure to remove your shoes first. Otherwise you could be facing the full letter of the law. After all, who knows what craziness could ensue when you fall asleep with your shoes on.

In Wyoming, You Cannot Enter A Mine While Drunk

Miners in Wyoming who wish to be intoxicated at work will have to find a new profession, because state laws prohibit anyone from entering a mine, sawmill, or any metallurgical works while under the influence. The fine for breaking this law can be $500 or up to one year in prison. Think before you drink in a mine in Wyoming!

In Nebraska, You Cannot Marry If You Have A Venereal Disease

Nebraska is tough when it comes to marrying with a venereal disease (which is just a nice term for an STD). As bizarre as this law may seem, however, you shouldn’t scoff when you consider that over 1,600 Nebraskans tested positive for gonorrhea in 2006. Best to play it safe and marry somebody with a regular disease.

In Alabama, You Can’t Drive Blindfolded

“Eyes on the road” is one of the most common driving safety rules, but apparently not in Alabama (as if that should be a surprise). You know that somebody somewhere didn’t abide by that rule, because an official law states that you can’t wear a blindfold while driving. Whoever did it was likely blindsided by that law.