What are the Strangest Laws in the US?
When you look at some laws, you probably wonder about the thought process behind them. The U.S. has some of the weirdest laws. For example, who would imagine it’s illegal to wake a sleeping bear for a photoshoot! It’s even illegal in some states to wear baggy pants below your waistline if they hang down more than two inches below your hips or buttock cleavage (yes, really).
The good news is that the government rarely enforces these antiquated laws. They’re just there for the record in case something crazy happens. However, it’s essential to know some of these laws, so you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.
1. Fishing from an Aircraft
In Idaho, you may not fish from an aircraft or while riding in an airplane (or parachute) unless you have written permission from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. You also need permission from that landowner or private property owner.
2. Your Bingo Game Has A Time Limit in North Carolina
If you love playing Bingo, you might not want to head to North Carolina. The state has strict rules about how long you can play the game. It’s illegal to run a game of Bingo longer than five hours. You also can’t play while intoxicated!
3. Bear Wrestling in Louisiana
You would be crazy to want to wrestle with a bear. You will be a criminal in Louisiana if you engage in bear wrestling. Sure, this law is weird, but we hate to think what event caused it to be drafted
4. Strange Laws of South Carolina
In South Carolina, while horses can be near a bathtub, you cannot keep horses in bathtubs. Another crazy state law is where you can legally beat your wife on Sundays on the courthouse steps.
Did you also know that the law states that all South Carolina schools must prepare a suitable program for Francis Willard Day? The state also criminalizes throwing stones at passing cars that disturb you while sunbathing.
Until 2016, it was illegal to seduce unmarried women using the promise of marriage or deception in this state.
5. Criminals Can’t Protect Themselves From Bullet Wounds in New Jersey
In New Jersey, criminals cannot put on bulletproof vests because that would protect bullets from police officers. It’s illegal for a criminal to a bulletproof vest and any other type of body armor. The state passed this law in 1996, but no one knows why it exists.
6. Illinois Underage Drinking Law
Legally, you must be more 21-years-old to drink. However, culinary students can drink wine in Illinois, but they have to spit it out after. The state passed this law after a culinary school argued that culinary students must know how to taste wine even if they are under 21.
7. Chasing Greased Pigs in Minnesota
We believe that no one does this anymore. However, it’s still illegal to chase a greased pig in Minnesota. Back in the day, chasing greased pigs was pretty standard. Folks would grease their pigs and compete to see who would catch the pig first. For animal rights purposes, we are glad this is illegal now.
8. Anti-Halloween Laws
You and your kids want to have fun and get creative during Halloween. In Illinois, adults can’t wear a mask. In Belleville, Illinois, it is illegal for kids younger than the eighth grade to trick-or-treat. It is illegal to wear a mask, sunglasses, hood, or accessory covering your face in Georgia, probably to reduce mischief and crime.
Virginia is another party pooper. The state prohibits kids above 12-years-old from trick-or-treating. Even adults cannot trick-or-treat past 8 p.m.
In Alabama, you can’t have a mustache that can make people laugh in church. An ordinance in Alabama states that it is against the law to dress up as a nun, priest, or clergy member. You will have to change your costume ideas in Alabama.
9. Bar Hopping Law
In Alaska, the law states that you can’t hop from one bar to another. This is because it’s illegal for a drunk person to walk into a bar. While this seems harsh, it prevents bartenders from overserving drunk patrons.
10. Hunting and Animal Laws
It is illegal to shoot at any game from an aircraft or an airport in California and Maine. However, it is legal to shoot at wild turkeys from an airplane or airport in Oklahoma and Nebraska.
In Illinois and Kansas, officers can arrest you if you make faces at dogs in public places. In Arizona, it is illegal to keep fish in bathtubs.
11. The Pickle Law
In Connecticut, by regulation, a pickle should bounce a one-foot high when dropped. This odd statute was implemented in 1948 by a commissioner of the Connecticut Food and Drug Commissioner as a response to sly pickle packers named Moses Dexler and Sidney Sparer, who were suspected of selling cucumbers and not pickles. The pickle packers were later arrested and charged when their pickles in question didn’t bounce.
12. Georgia’s Weird Law
To promote the city’s chicken industry, Gainesville had an ordinance requiring you only to eat fried chicken with your hands. The lawmakers passed this law as a publicity stunt intended to promote Gainesville’s poultry industry. While the state rarely enforced most of its crazy laws, an officer almost arrested a 91-year-old woman for eating fried chicken with a fork. Luckily, the mayor pardoned her.
The state also had other outlandish laws including prohibiting people from keeping their donkeys in a bathtub. The state passed this law in the 1920s after a local dam broke and flooded a rancher’s home. Since the rancher’s donkey slept in the bathtub, the waters from the broken dam swept the donkey miles away. After rescuing the animal, it is now illegal for a donkey to sleep in bathtubs.
In Georgia, it’s also technically illegal to keep your ice cream cones in your back pocket on Sundays. While the law is silly, who in the world is keeping an ice cream cone in their pocket?
13. Venereal Diseases Law
You can’t get married in Nebraska if you have a venereal disease. In the early 1900s, people could get arrested for having an STI. During World War I, federal officials could lock up a woman suspected of having a venereal disease without due process. Under the “American Plan,” they did this to protect sailors and soldiers from infection.
14. Crazy Laws of New Hampshire
This state has plenty of weird laws. In New Hampshire, it’s technically illegal for a person to pick up seaweed off the beach. In 1971, the state passed a law regulating how to open sugar shakers in restaurants. You could only open it by less than 3/8 inches. If you are under 10-years-old, it’s illegal to get drunk or enter Claremont cemeteries at night.
Are you a music lover? You can’t tap your feet or nod your head in a tavern or café! The state also doesn’t allow you to operate machinery on Sundays. On a good note, you can’t settle a gambling debt by selling the clothes you are wearing.
Other crazy laws in this state include a person not peeing while looking up on Sundays or not showing a movie before 2 p.m. Also, when you are in White Mountain National Forest, you can’t build benches, pick up trash or hike a forest without a permit. In addition, you shouldn’t have a ferret on you while hunting.
14. Crazy Sex Laws
Did you know it’s illegal to have a mustache if you habitually kiss other humans in Indiana? In Iowa, as a husband, you can’t take more than three gulps of beer when in bed with your wife. In Kentucky, women cannot wear bathing suits on a highway unless armed with a club and escorted by at least two police officers.
In Merryville, Missouri, women cannot wear corsets! Speaking of strange; you can’t shoot off your gun after your girlfriend has just had an orgasm in Connorsville, Wisconsin.
Did you know you can pay a fine for adultery? You can pay a fine of $20 to $100 in Arkansas or up to $1,000 in California. In Michigan, adultery is a felony. The state once fired a police sergeant in 2012 for cheating on his wife.
Did you also know that you can’t have sex inside a store’s walk-in meat freezer while standing in Newcastle, Wyoming? In Utah, you can’t have sex with a man while riding in an ambulance. In Massachusetts, you cannot have sex in a rodeo in the presence of horses. Washington makes it illegal to have sex with virgins even on your wedding night! The state once charged a man with a misdemeanor for breaking this law.
15. Crazy Laws of South Dakota
When in South Dakota, ensure your horse is wearing pants if they are to go into fountains. Also, it is against the law to lie down making you fall asleep in a cheese factory. It’s illegal to create static in Huron City. You also cannot show videos in South Dakota in which cops are being struck, beaten, or treated offensively.
A casino cannot post signs indicating “casino.” You also cannot threaten to arm wrestle a pacifist in a bid to convince him to abandon his belief. The state also mandates hotels to have two twin beds, with the beds two feet apart. If you have a sunflower crop, you can’t use fireworks to protect your produce.
If you try selling your child in Pennsylvania, you will be guilty of a misdemeanor charge of the first degree. Honestly, trying to sell your kids is probably illegal everywhere; it’s just weird to see such a specific law for it.
17. Sharing Your Netflix Password
Tennessee passed a law in 2011 prohibiting sharing your Netflix password. Your friends and family may have to look for alternative states or logins.
18. North Dakota and Fireworks
Fireworks are fun and sentimental. However, in North Dakota, you can’t shoot fireworks after 11 p.m. You will be disturbing peace. They must be pretty tame people! However, you can start as early as 8 a.m.
19. No Eavesdropping in Oklahoma
If you are a nosy person, you might consider avoiding Oklahoma. You will be guilty of a misdemeanor if you are secretly loitering about a private or public building to eavesdrop on a conversation. You also may not repeat the conversation, whether you are vexing, fighting back, or want to hurt someone’s feelings.
20. No Killing Bigfoot
If you are a hunting enthusiast, you may have to avoid Skamania County, Washington. It is illegal for a person to slay Bigfoot. Killing Bigfoot here is a felony punishable by five years in prison. There’s a good chance that nobody will ever be found guilty of breaking this law for obvious reasons.
21. Illegitimate Child Law
American laws can be pretty weird. It was against the law to have more than one illegitimate child in Mississippi. You would be guilty of a misdemeanor if you got another illegitimate kid. You could either pay fines or get jail time.
22. Strange Food Laws
Many states have weird food laws. In Alaska, you can’t give alcohol to a moose. In Little Rock, Arkansas, after 9 p.m., you can’t honk a car horn in front of a sandwich shop. In Miami Beach, it’s illegal to eat food from open-air stands.
In Louisiana, pizza pranks are illegal. You also cannot order services or goods without the consent of the person receiving the goods or services. This means you can’t ask your delivery guy to send some surprise pizza to your crush next door in Louisiana.
In Natchez, Missouri, you can’t give beers to elephants. Another strange law is that in Cornhusker State, it’s illegal to sell alcohol unless you’re simultaneously cooking up a kettle of soup.
In Nyala, Nevada, you may not be able to spoil your friends as you would want to. It is illegal for a man to buy drinks for more than three other people at one sitting. Residents may consider asking their wives, female friends, or daughters to foot the bill instead.
23. Strange Laws of Pennsylvania
Fortune telling is illegal in Pennsylvania. According to state law, you will be aiding and abetting a crime if you pay a fortune teller. In Bensalem, felons cannot play Bingo. To ensure Sunday is a day of rest, it is illegal to sell cars on a Sunday in Pennsylvania.
Next time you unknowingly break some crazy law, look for an attorney to help you fight any weird charges. Be on the lookout for other crazy laws too. It will help you avoid some unnecessary fines or jail time. You may want to retain a lawyer when traveling abroad too because there are many strange laws in foreign countries as well.
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