50 US Laws That Don't Make Sense ...

Shannon

It's amazing how many US laws don't make sense. For instance, I thought it was weird that my marriage license application asked if we were “first cousins or closer”. I mean, who would want to marry their first cousin? Wouldn't remembering things like catching bats in the attic or gluing his lips to the wall “ruin the mood”? I'd say so. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to see exactly how many dumb laws there were. Not surprisingly, most of them were about sex-what can be done (vaginal sex only), who can do it (married people) and how (missionary position). I don't know why lawmakers felt the need to go out of their way to outlaw these things. Then again, they've also made laws against taking a lion to the movies (Maryland) and trying to clone yourself (Arizona), so you never know. To that end, here are some of the US laws I found that just don't make sense. Since every state has its own brand of weird, I've gone through all 50. I hope you don't mind.

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1

Alabama

-Incestuous marriages are legal.
-It's illegal to drive while blindfolded.
-It's against the law to marry an animal unless it is already related to you.

2

Alaska

-You can't push a moose out of a moving airplane.
-In Fairbanks, it's illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a moose.
-Flamingo owners in Juneau can't bring them into barber shops.

3

Arizona

-It's illegal to hunt camels.
-You can't have more than two dildos in your house at any given time.
-You can't let your pet donkey sleep in the bathtub.
-It's illegal to buy a human egg cell so you can clone yourself.

***

While it might seem like The Grand Canyon State has cornered the market on oddball statutes, the reality is every nook of Arizona hides a peculiar decree that will leave you scratching your head. For instance, if you find yourself in Tucson, you better think twice before spitting on the sidewalk; it's strictly prohibited. And in Prescott, you're not allowed to ride your horse up the courthouse steps. Though these rules seem plucked from a wild, whimsical rulebook, they're very real reminders of a bygone era - remnants of a time when lawmakers addressed issues we can barely fathom today.

4

Arkansas

-You can be arrested for pronouncing the state's name wrong. It's “AR-kin-saw”, not “AR-can-ziss”.
-Men are allowed to beat their wives, but only once a month.
-You can't keep an alligator in your bathtub.
-It's illegal to fly a plane if you're drunk.

5

California

-Vehicles without a driver can only go up to 60 miles per hour.
-You can't pile more than six feet of horse manure on a street corner.
-You can't let your elephant walk down Market Street in San Francisco unless he's on a leash.

-In Chico, you can be fined $500 for setting off a nuclear device within city limits.
-It's illegal to lick toads. Don't ask.

***

Surely, these quirky laws might leave you scratching your head or giggling at the sheer absurdity. For instance, in Eureka, men with mustaches are legally prohibited from kissing a woman's cheek, making one ponder the fate of the bearded beau on a date. Meanwhile, if you've been itching to play Bingo for more than five hours, better hold off in California. That's right, longer Bingo sessions are not allowed. And let's not forget about Los Angeles, where it's forbidden to wear zoot suits, as they were once deemed a threat to public safety during the 1940s. Keep it classy, but keep it legal!

6

Colorado

-In Boulder, you're not allowed to let your pet llama graze on city property.
-You can't fire a catapult at a building in Aspen.
-It's illegal to fire missiles at cars.

7

Connecticut

-A pickle cannot technically be considered a pickle unless it bounces.
-You can't walk across the street on your hands in Hartford.
-Owning a can of Silly String is against the law in Southington.

8

Delaware

-Ugly men can't go into the city during daylight.
-You're not allowed to sell dead bodies without a license.
-In Lowes Crossroads, it's illegal to fly a plane with an ice cream cone in your pocket.

9

Florida

-Your husband can't make you dress as a parrot in Miami. It doesn't matter how ugly you are.
-It's illegal to hunt or kill deer while swimming.
-Men aren't allowed to wear strapless gowns in public.
-In Pensacola, any woman who dies after being electrocuted in a bathtub is subject to a fine.

***

Florida is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is known for its beautiful beaches, amusement parks, and vibrant culture. It is the third-most populous state in the country and the eighth-most populous state in the United States.

Florida is home to many interesting laws that don't make sense. For example, it is illegal to hunt or kill deer while swimming in Florida. This law was created to protect the deer population from hunters who would take advantage of the water's natural camouflage.

In Pensacola, Florida, any woman who dies after being electrocuted in a bathtub is subject to a fine. This law was created as a deterrent for people who use electricity carelessly and to provide compensation to the family of the deceased.

In Miami, it is illegal for a husband to make his wife dress as a parrot. This law was created to protect women from being forced to wear clothing that is not considered appropriate in public.

In Florida, it is illegal for a man to wear a strapless gown in public. This law was created to protect men from being ridiculed or embarrassed in public for wearing clothing that is not considered socially acceptable.

10

Georgia

-You can't swear in front of a dead body when you're in a funeral home or a coroner's office.

-All adult bookstores in Roswell must have flooring that is smooth and nonabsorbent.
- It's illegal to tie a giraffe to a street lamp or telephone pole in Atlanta.
-You're not allowed to let your mule wander around in Athens without a leash.

11

Hawaii

-Don't feed the sharks.
-You're not allowed to name a child “Charles”.
-Men from the Orakama tribe aren't allowed to eat their second wives. First wife, yes. Second, no.

-In 1418, it was officially made illegal to sink the islands. I'd be interested in hearing how this is even possible, or likely enough that a law had to be made about it.

***

In Hawaii, the curious mix of prohibitions reflects the islands’ unique culture and history, with a pinch of myth sprinkled in. For instance, feeding sharks is a big no-no, likely for safety and ecological reasons. The ban on naming your child “Charles” seems oddly specific and antiquated—perhaps it’s a relic from a bygone era of tribal influences or a once-prominent figure by that name. As for the Orakama tribe's culinary restrictions on spouse consumption, it's hard to parse fact from fiction. And the outlandish law about sinking the islands—well, it's almost too fantastical to imagine. Was there a concern for seismic experiments gone wrong, or is it a symbolic gesture to protect the land’s integrity? Only in Hawaii do these enigmatic laws seem right at home amidst the mystery and allure of the islands.

12

Idaho

-A man is not allowed to give his wife a box of candy that weighs less than 50 pounds. Damn, where would you even find one that big?
-You're not allowed to cut your friend's head off with an axe.
-In Boise, you can't fish from a giraffe's back.
-Snakes aren't allowed to bite people on Sundays unless it's been snowing.

13

Illinois

-It's illegal in Zion to give your pet a lighted cigar.
-In Chicago, you can't eat in a place that is on fire.
-In Oblong, it's against the law for a man to wear his wife's panties on Sunday unless he gets permission from the Bishop beforehand.

-It's illegal to wear baggy pants in Collinsville. Perhaps the rest of the country should take the hint.

14

Indiana

-It's against the law to eat your own severed body parts on Fridays. I'm not going to ask.

-In 1897, the House of Representatives passed a bill to make Pi 3 as opposed to 3.1415. It's still up for vote in the Senate.
-A man can't be sexually aroused in public.
-Forging checks can be punished by being publicly flogged with up to 100 lashes.

15

Iowa

-Horses aren't allowed to eat fire hydrants.
-You're not supposed to hunt from an airplane.
-Men who have mustaches aren't allowed to kiss women in public.

16

Kansas

-In Natoma, it's against the law to throw knives at men in striped suits.
-Chicken thieves are not allowed to work during daylight hours.
-You can't hunt whales.

17

Kentucky

-It's against the law to marry the same man four times.
-You must take a shower at least once a year.
-You're not allowed to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.
-It's okay to shoot whales out the window of a moving vehicle.

18

Louisiana

-The “pizza gag”-sending someone a bunch of pizzas as a joke-is punishable by a $500 fine.
-Peeing in the town's water supply carries a prison term of up to 20 years.
-It's against the law to have sex with a cow.
-You can't tie an alligator to a fire hydrant in New Orleans.

19

Maine

-Residents of Rumford aren't allowed to bite their landlords under any circumstances.
-You can't step out of a plane when it's in flight.
-People who leave their Christmas lights up past January 14 can be charged a fine.
-It's illegal to walk down the street playing a violin.

20

Maryland

-You're not allowed to take a lion to the movies in Baltimore.
-You can't keep chickens in your hotel room in Cumberland.
-It's illegal to mistreat an oyster.

***

In what appears to be a nod to public safety, or possibly just to ensure no patrons have to share their popcorn with a feline predator, Baltimore's law is oddly specific when it comes to cinema companions. And Cumberland seems to believe chickens belong in coops, not in the company of hotel guests, perhaps to prevent any impromptu wake-up calls at dawn. Lastly, the humble oyster must be treated with care in this state, which is fitting considering Maryland’s reputation for its savory seafood, especially the Chesapeake Bay oysters, that could easily claim the title of state treasure.

21

Massachusetts

-It's against the law to give beer to hospital patients.
-Your pet gorilla can't ride in the back seat of your car. Sorry.
-You're not allowed to detonate a nuclear device within Marlboro city limits.

***

-Should you find yourself in Boston, be wary of playing the fiddle. It's actually illegal to play the fiddle without a prescription! It seems even musical endeavors needed a doctor's note at some point in Massachusetts history.

-What's a Sunday without good old fashioned balloon rides, you may wonder? Well, in this state, it's perfectly normal because the law prohibits any ascent in a balloon on the Sabbath day. So, keep your feet firmly on the ground until Monday rolls around!

-The Bay State also fancies its poultry, decreeing that it's illegal to scare a pigeon. Bird enthusiasts can rest easy knowing our feathered friends are legally protected from fright.

22

Michigan

-It's okay in Clawson for a farmer to sleep with his goats, pigs, horses, cows and chickens.

-A woman has to get permission from her husband to cut her hair since it technically belongs to him.
-You can't tie your crocodile to a fire hydrant.

***

In Michigan, the quirks don’t stop there. Chickens may not cross the road, truthfully undermining the classic joke-seeking purpose. And, if you fancy an impromptu Sunday vehicle sale, think twice—selling cars on this day is, bizarrely, frowned upon by law. It appears that some rules are more concerned with maintaining unconventional order rather than serving practical justice. These antiquated laws paint a colorful past, leaving us to wonder at the curious circumstances that led to their creation.

23

Minnesota

-In International Falls, cats can't chase dogs up telephone poles.
-You're not allowed to cross into Wisconsin with a chicken on your head.
-State tax forms ask for both your date of birth and date of death.
-It's illegal (not to mention stupid) to tease skunks.
-It used to be that a person who double-parks their car would be put on a chain gang with only bread and water. If only that were active today...

***

Curious local regulations don't stop at the odd penalization for double-parking. Imagine strolling through the Land of 10,000 Lakes with the comfort that no one is allowed to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors – that's right, it's against the law. And those with a penchant for adventure might find their wings clipped; owning a pet alligator is strictly prohibited within city limits. It seems practicality often takes a back seat to peculiarity in law-making. At least rest easy knowing you’re abiding by the rules if your pet reptile isn't taking a peek at your suburban scenery.

24

Mississippi

-It's illegal to fish using an Uzi.
-A man isn't allowed to seduce a woman by lying and saying he'll marry her. I can think of a lot of people who would love to take this law nation-wide.

-You're not allowed to walk your dog in Temperance unless it's wearing a diaper.

25

Missouri

-You can't give alcoholic beverages to an elephant in Nachez.
-In St. Louis, it's illegal to sit on the curb and drink beer from a bucket.
-Dancing is illegal in Purdy.

26

Montana

-It's against the law to put ice picks on your wheels and drive through downtown Whitehall.
-In Billings, it's illegal to bring a rocket into a city council meeting.
-A sheep can't ride in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.

27

Nebraska

-Drunk people can't fly planes.
-It's illegal to sneeze or burp during a church service. If your child does it, you might be arrested.

-A bar can't sell beer unless they're a brewing a kettle of soup at the same time.

28

Nevada

-You're not allowed to drive your camel on the highway.
-In the past, a man caught beating his wife could be tied to a stake for 8 hours wearing a sign that says, “wife beater”. I say he'd deserve it, wouldn't you?
-In Las Vegas, it's against the law to pawn your dentures.

29

New Hampshire

-You're not allowed to sell the clothes you're wearing to pay off a gambling debt.

-Any cows that cross state roads have to be wearing a device to gather its excrement. A cow “pooper-scooper'?
-You can't picnic or get drunk in a cemetery.

30

New Jersey

-It's illegal to wear a bulletproof vest while committing a murder.
-In Manville, it's illegal to offer cigarettes or whiskey to animals in a zoo. I'd be interested in knowing which animals would accept cigarettes or whiskey.
-In Trenton, you're not allowed to eat pickles on Sundays.

***

While New Jersey's legal landscape certainly offers some peculiar prohibitions, it's worth noting that the intent behind such laws may stem from historical events or attempts at public safety, however outdated they might seem now. Nonetheless, it's hard not to chuckle at the thought of zoo animals turning down a puff or a sip when offered. And as for the pickle ban on Sundays in Trenton, one can only speculate about the sour situation that might have led to this bizarre ban. Nonetheless, these laws add a quirky character to the already colorful tapestry of American legal oddities.

31

New Mexico

-Stupid people can't vote.
-You can't hunt or ride a bicycle in a cemetery in Deming.
-If you're a cab driver, you're not allowed to reach out and try to pull people into your car.

-In Carrizozo, a woman can't go out in public without shaving. It doesn't say exactly what needs to be shaved.

***

New Mexico's quirky regulations don't stop there. In Las Cruces, daring to carry a lunchbox down Main Street is a no-no, of all things. Over in Albuquerque, frowning at a public official could technically land you in hot water. And just when you think you've heard it all, Clown costumes? Strictly forbidden at your local bank in Roswell, because apparently, alien costumes didn't make the cut for bizarre bans! The Land of Enchantment certainly has some enchantingly odd rules to ponder, all of which seem to add a dash of whimsy—or confusion—to its legal code.

32

New York

-It's illegal to throw a ball at someone's head for fun.
-The punishment for jumping off of a building is death.
-Women aren't supposed to wear tight clothes in public. Yeah, right.
-Blind people can't drive.

33

North Carolina

-If you live in Winston-Salem, it's illegal for a child under 7 to attend college.
-You can't have sex in a churchyard.
-It's illegal to use an elephant to plow your field.
-In Raleigh, a man who wanted to propose to a woman had to be “inspected” by all of her farm animals first. Since animals are often better judgers of character than people are, I can see why.

34

North Dakota

-It's illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
-You're not allowed to let your horse sleep in the bathtub in Waverly.
-It's illegal for a bar or restaurant to serve beer and pretzels at the same time.

35

Ohio

-It's against the law to get a fish drunk.
-If your pet tiger gets out in Canton, you have to let the civil authorities know within one hour.
-You need a hunting license to catch mice.
-You can't ride on the roof of a taxi cab.

36

Oklahoma

-In Broken Arrow, you can keep pigs as pets as long as you only keep two and they are less than 32” long.
-It's against the law to molest a car.
-It's illegal to read a comic book while driving.
-You can get fined and/or arrested for making “ugly faces” at a dog.

***

Indeed, the Sooner State comes with its own quirky collection of statutes that might leave you scratching your head. For instance, whale hunting is strictly prohibited in Oklahoma—quite the conundrum considering the state's notable lack of coastline and consequent lack of whales. Also, daredevils beware—passing an onion off as an apple to the ignorant eater is not just mischievous, but illegal. These odd edicts serve as a whimsical reminder that the law sometimes evolves in peculiar directions, far beyond the plains and prairies of common sense.

37

Oregon

-Dead people can't be forced into jury duty.
-It's against the law to put a box or other container of human feces on the side of a highway.
-You can't tie your sled to the bumper of a passing car.

38

Pennsylvania

-It's illegal to use dynamite to catch fish.
-In Harrisburg, it's against the law to have sex with a truck driver inside a toll booth.
-You can't sleep in a refrigerator in Pittsburgh.

39

Rhode Island

-It's against the law to bite off someone else's leg.
-People who are crazy or stupid can't get married. If one of the parties turns out to be an idiot or a lunatic, the marriage is null and void.

-If you live in a trailer park in Scituate, you can't keep a flock of chickens in your home.

***

Apparently, Rhode Island has a quirky side to its legislation. Here's one for the road — literally. It's illegal to drive with a beer in hand, but worry not, unopened beers can tag along in the car. Now, while this might seem sensible for safety, it's the specificity that raises eyebrows. Further adding to that small-town charm, you can't throw pickle juice on a trolley. Why this was a significant enough issue to warrant a law, we may never know, but the citizens of Rhode Island can rest easy knowing their trolley rides will be splatter-free.

40

South Carolina

-It's illegal to keep a horse in your bathtub. If you live in Fountain Inn, though, your horse has to be wearing pants at all times.

-Accidentally killing someone while trying to commit suicide is a capital offense.
-You have to be over 18 to play a pinball machine.

41

South Dakota

-You're not allowed to try to get a pacifist to go back on his beliefs by threatening to arm-wrestle him.
-It's illegal to take a nap in a cheese factory.

42

Tennessee

-You're not allowed to use a lasso to catch fish.
-It's illegal to drive while sleeping.
-You can't dare your kids to buy beer for you.

***

In Tennessee, it's as if lawmakers were really flexing their creative muscles when they put these statutes on the books. Imagine the scene: someone snoozing peacefully behind the wheel or a rogue cowboy turning their lasso skills from the rodeo to the riverbank. And while we all want to instill a sense of responsibility in our children, it appears the Volunteer State takes a strong stance against reverse-underage purchasing tactics. Never send a minor to do an adult's task, especially if it involves alcohol—common sense, one would hope, but now also a matter of legal obligation.

43

Texas

-You're not allowed to sell or have more than six dildos at any given time.
-The entire “Encyclopedia Brittanica” was banned because it has instructions on making beer at home.

-A law was passed once requiring criminals to give their victims a 24-hour notice explaining the nature of the crime.
-It's against the law to sell your eye.

44

Utah

-Pharmacists in Trout Creek are not allowed to sell gunpowder to cure headaches.

-You're not allowed to have sex in the back of an ambulance when it's responding to a call. It doesn't matter how hot the EMTs are.

-It's illegal to set off a nuclear weapon. You can have them, you just can't set them off.

-A state lawmaker once suggested that any TV weatherperson who got the forecast wrong should have to buy ice cream for the entire House of Representatives. As you can imagine, that didn't fly.

45

Vermont

-It's against the law to paint a horse.
-A woman who wants to wear false teeth has to get written permission from her husband.
-It's illegal to whistle underwater.

46

Virginia

-It's legal for a man to beat his wife on the courthouse steps in Stafford County, but only before 8 pm.

-There's a law banning “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.”
-In Norfolk, any man who pats a woman on the butt can get 60 days in jail.

47

Washington

-It's against the law to ride an ugly horse in Wilbur.
-You're not allowed to paint polka dots on the American flag.
-In Seattle, you can't set fire to anyone else's property without their permission.

48

West Virginia

-It's okay for a man to have sex with an animal as long as it weighs 40 pounds or less.
-You can't fall asleep on a train.
-You can't walk your pet tiger, lion or leopard through the town of Alderson, even if it's on a leash.

49

Wisconsin

-Citizens aren't supposed to murder their enemies. Sorry.
-You're not allowed to use a laser pointer to start a riot.
-It's illegal to manufacture nuclear weapons within Sun Prairie city limits.

50

Wyoming

-It's illegal to ski or skydive under the influence of alcohol.
-In Newcastle, it's illegal for a couple to have sex in a walk-in meat freezer. Is that even possible? Don't certain things, um, not work? I don't know.

-It's illegal to tattoo a horse in an effort to make it unrecognizable to its owner.

These are just a few of the strangest and most nonsensical laws in this country. They're (usually) not enforced, but you'd be surprised how often something weird will stay “on the books” because nobody thinks to remove it. I got most of them from dumblaws.com and stupidlaws.com. For more fun, check out wackylaws.blogspot.com and funcage.com. What are some of the sillier laws you've heard of? Do you have any explanations for them? Have you ever broken any of them? If so, congratulations. You've just gone down in history.

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I don't think being banned from flying a plane while drunk is ridiculous!!

Lol my daughter brought a list home fr school with some of these on the list. Lol crazy

#4 Why can wives be abused by their own husbands bro LIKE WHAT???

Oh come on ! You're pulling our leg surely ? By the way, how does one " mistreat" an oyster anyway ? You've got to be kidding !

Wow!!!? This is the funniest article I have read today.. Nice research

illegal to fly while drunk is NOT a senseless law.

Yeh, I guess

I don't believe half of these.

Are these for real? That's messed up!

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