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America’s Strangest Laws

It’s not legal to shoot buffalo from a second story window in Texas, but what about the third of fourth stories?

America has some serious issues when it comes to laws, such as “you are not allowed to spit on the deck of ones house; the penalty is death by hanging”. This is no longer a law (thank goodness), or I wouldn’t be standing today. There are, however, still several bogus laws to be broken. I would love to go on a rampage breaking them, but I will refrain for fear of my life.

New York:

  • It is okay for women to walk topless down the street, as long as it isn’t for business reasons, but you are not allowed to wear tight clothing.
  • The penalty for jumping off a building is… death.
  • You are not allowed to walk down the road on Sundays with an ice cream cone in your pocket. (I will make sure to avoid that one)


  • It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any target from a moving vehicle, unless it just so happens to be a whale.
  • An unmanned vehicle may not exceed the speed limit of 60 mph.
  • In Chico, it is illegal to bowl on the sidewalk.
  • In Blythe, it is illegal for you to wear cowboy boots, unless you own two or more cows.


  • It is illegal to sell one’s eye.
  • It is unlawful to shoot game (buffalo in particular) from the second story of a hotel.
  • A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
  • The encyclopedia of Britannica is banned, because it explains how to make homemade beer.


  • You may not drive a camel on the highway.
  • It is legal to hang someone who shoots your dog on your property.
  • In Elko, everyone out on the streets is required to wear a mask.


  • It is illegal for women to parachute on Sunday.
  • Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.
  • Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.
  • If an elephant is tied to a parking meter, its fee will be as though it were a car.

Believe it or not, I have barely scratched the surface. Just remember, if you are driving down the road and you throw your gum out the window, it might land you a $600 dollar fine!

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User Comments
  1. keyboardologist

    On February 8, 2007 at 9:37 am

    These are great! (I’ll have to keep my elepant at home now).
    One question: How did you get the pictures posted on your Chinese Inventions article? I was going to ask the question there, but I wasn’t sure you wanted to weed through the immature comments to get to the bottom. Great article. Glad someone like you has the talent to write worthwile stuff.

  2. Britt

    On March 21, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Dude! Thes laws are ridiculous! I will try not to walk the streets of New York with an Ice Cream cone in my pocket!

  3. Tyler

    On May 4, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    you made those up.

  4. Ray

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:11 am

    There’s a law still on the books in Arkansas that a man can beat his wife one day a month.

  5. Mark

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:12 am

    No way any of that is true. Show me some statute citations and maybe I’ll believe you

  6. keith

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Must be republican laws

  7. Kenneth

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:20 am

    To this day, in South Carolina, there is law that the man of the household must bring a loaded pistol with him to Church on Sunday.

    Now as ridiculous as it may seem, many nonsense laws are based in reasonable circumstances from days gone by. The “bring your gun to Church” law extends from when the New World was VERY new and dangerous, with the considerable potential of some disgruntled natives seeing an opportunity to attack, and the reasonable defense would be of course to at least have the settlers armed for their own sake.

    For most situations where any large animal would be fined for being tied off somewhere typically extends from the days of traveling circuses that would have a parade through town on their arrival and leaving, and sometimes the less scrupulous handlers would stop off somewhere for something and simply tie a large and potentially dangerous animal out like it was their dog and they were merely out for a walk. The obvious problem is safety, so many laws addressing it were passed by local governments and perhaps the wording is less than eloquent.

    As for intercourse with animals, that typically extends from anti-bestiality laws already in place, and merely amended “specific instances” to it through case law after someone was caught, tried, and convicted of such an incident.

    Many other laws involving decency, or the lack there of, extend from old laws dubbed “blue laws” from overly puritanical and/or temperance standards of behavior from days gone by. Laws passed with quite the opposite heritage often stem from an old acceptance of “the worlds oldest profession” and merely trying to relegate it to certain areas of the city, hence red-light districts and such in many old cities.

    In the end, for the most part, laws typically have a logical reason for their original conception in context with the problem they were trying to deal with at that time, however of course in hindsight they seem either ridiculous with detachment from the situation, or even nonsensical in a modern time where the very culture has changed to the point that the problem has eliminated itself.

  8. george

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:23 am

    i wonder if slick willie knew that he could legally beat the hill once a month…

  9. shawn

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:24 am

    I think I get the california rule.The only time you may quite possibly shoot a whale is in a boat. Which is probably moving to keep up with the creature.

  10. Michelle

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:27 am

    In TN it is legal to beat your wife on the steps of the courthouse on sunday with a stick.

  11. wes

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:28 am

    In arkansas it is legal to beat your wife once a year with a broom stick

  12. Duke

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:29 am

    This isn’t a law, merely something I found interesting. The minimum age to be a professional alligator wrestler in Florida is 13. And police officers have to wrestle an alligator to make it through the academy.

  13. Carla

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:35 am

    I have said since I was in grade school that they should have to get rid a law if they want to make a new law. As you can see it would take years before they had to make any tough decisions.

  14. Kate

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:37 am

    All these laws, strange enough, are true. And any law can be looked up at the court house, as they are public records. In Idaho you can’t give a woman a box of chocolate weighting less than 50 lbs. (that one must have been created by a man who’s wife was pms’ing.)

  15. Allen

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:40 am

    I live in New York, and i can attest they are all true. To add, you may not dance in any bar if it does not own a cabaret license. None of them do. You’ll get thrown out.

  16. Crystal

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:41 am

    I live in Blythe CA. The following law does exist.

    In Blythe, it is illegal for you to wear cowboy boots, unless you own two or more cows.

    However, I don’t believe it is enforced.

  17. frog

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:54 am

    In Mississippi you can only marry four times.

  18. narey

    On November 7, 2007 at 8:55 am

    To this day, in South Carolina, there is law that the man of the household must bring a loaded pistol with him to Church on Sunday.

    I believe the law states shotgun
    as a side you have to tie your care off if there is a hitch post in your yard

  19. Lauren

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Haha I love it! If I was in New York, I guess I shouldn’t jump off any buildings if I don’t want to die for penalty. lol

    “A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.” I found this funny! I would love to meet any criminal who does that. lol

    “Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.” Ok what about with your dog or any kind of pet? I mean come on who has really done that (or wants to) to a porcupine? lol

    Somehow I don’t think even half of those laws are enforced. Esp. with Texas lol.

  20. van

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:06 am

    you got to be kinding me!!!!!!!!!

  21. van

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:07 am

    you got to be kinding me!!!!!!!!!

  22. van

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:07 am

    you got to be kinding me!!!!!!!!!

  23. dadgraha

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:08 am

    what in the crap is wrong with america

  24. Alan

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:10 am

    I lIve in West Texas.

    As far as I know, there is still a law in Texas which requires all bars (saloons) to have a “Spittoon” (a receptacle for spitting into).

    Of course, it’s not enforced…

  25. dixiecutie

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:12 am

    In Mobile, AL it is illegal to wear high heeled shoes on city sidewalks…my favorite…In Kentucky by law you must take a bath once a year!! :0)

  26. Sheila

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I’ve heard all these before, plus some… even though they’re not enforced today, you must admit they’re funny! So are the facial expressions when my teens read them, as well as the comments that follow! My favorite… “How many idiots did that to need a law?”

  27. Jon

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Don’t know if it is still in affect now or not. But the blue laws in Texas were crazy. I went to a grocery store to get a light bulb on Sunday and they couldn’t sell it to me. But the six pack of beer was leagle. So you sit in the dark and drink your beer??

  28. steven

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:19 am

    thats hilarious! is it all true??

  29. sportsbar

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Rumor has it Al Sharpton has herpes. I wonder if there is a law that prevents him from passing it on by mating with someone or has nature already prevented this??

  30. G

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:38 am

    it is so entertaining that i am “google-ing” (searching) for more weird laws in various countries..Hmmm “good job” to those legislative bodies, at least they have unique sense of humour!!

  31. cel

    On November 7, 2007 at 9:56 am

    They are true! But shouldn’t they also make it illegal to be obese? It will save the world!


    On November 7, 2007 at 10:16 am

    A president of the country almost got impeached for lying to his wife about a affair, but could have legally beaten his then wife now senator running for the presidency once a month with a broom stick.
    This law report is hilarious.

  33. kvcox

    On November 7, 2007 at 10:18 am

    I think the strangest law is that it is illegal to smoke a plant. its time we actually had freedom in america. legalize marijuana and release the political prisoners from the “war on drugs”

  34. Cruel Irony

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:26 am

    As a native Texan I can testify that it’s illegal to carry a pair of wire-cutters in your back pocket.

    Wanna know how many times I’ve broken that law? Oops.

  35. Carol

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:27 am

    These are great, find more we love the laughs.

  36. Carol

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:27 am

    These are great, find more we love the laughs.

  37. carol

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:44 am

    I hope they don’t change them we all need a good laugh

  38. Jennifer

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:53 am

    It is so strange to see that they haven’t updated these laws, or actually gotten rid of them. If they aren’t needed anymore, why take up the space. (Then of course, someone will do it.) =) Nice.

  39. liss

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:53 am

    couldn’t agree more 36!

  40. liss

    On November 7, 2007 at 11:56 am

    yeah jon you’re right it is crazy that its LEGAL to buy beer and not light bulbs, pretty stupid thats its illegal to buy alcohol at certain times if you ask me. i know when i want to drink!

  41. Brazen

    On November 7, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Throwing gum out the car window? If you were raised properly then you wouldn’t be doing this, it’s called LITTERING.

  42. Linda

    On November 7, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Hey Arkansas, What about a law where the wife can beat the husband at least one or more times a month? How about that for a law.

  43. MikeS

    On November 7, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Hey… dadgraha! What makes you think it’s just America?
    Every country in the world has absurd and ridiculous laws in their legal codes.
    As some folks have pointed out, many old laws date back to a time when the law had some relevence but times change and so does society.
    In my hometown in Massachusetts there is also and old ordnance that dates back to the 17th century requiring all men to bring their muskets to church on sunday. Keep in mind that the local population of many towns and villages was in the hundreds or much less back then and it was possible that in a small village, almost the entire population was in church so it was for protection.

  44. Jamila

    On November 7, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I know of a few rules, a few pertaining to NC. I found out that it is legal for first cousins to marry, it is illegal for an unmarried man and woman to live together (trust me; a lot of apartment complexes in NC still enforce this rule to this day!), and it is legal to beat your wife on the courthouse steps on Sunday between the hours of 12 and 2 pm. I also heard about the not wearing high heels on the sidewalk rule but I thought that was in Montgomery, AL?

  45. Jamila

    On November 7, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    I also know of some interesting facts of what you can and cannot send through USPS to certain countries. For example: USPS will not ship synthetic hair to Ireland or Scotland. So, if I was to move there and needed my hair braided and wanted someone from America to send me some packs of hair, I’d be out of luck!

  46. wyester57

    On November 7, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    In one of the small towns here in Texas, it is still against the law to have a dance. The young people here tried to change all of this as they did in that movie with Kevin bacon. It did not work for them, the elders in the town was not bending. Man, it is 2007, what is really wrong with them……LMSAO……

  47. bubbles

    On November 7, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    I farted

  48. Charlitos

    On November 7, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    I heard in Florida it is illeagal to lick frogs.

  49. kaydi

    On November 7, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    In Mississippi it is legal to beat your wife as long as it is not with an object wider than your thumb

  50. ian

    On November 7, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    in wisconsin its illeagal to drive into the state with a chicken on your head.

  51. freddie

    On November 7, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    My teacher found this site and this is cracking me up. XD

  52. TheTeach

    On November 7, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    #54….That’s where the term “rule of thumb” comes from. And it wasn’t just in Mississippi. That law was in existance in almost all of the states starting in the early 1800’s. I sometimes joke with my wife about this because I have pretty big hands and large thumbs.

    There is a law on the books in PA that if a team of horses is coming your way on a road, and you are driving a car, you must pull off to the side of the road, take the wheels off of your car, turn off your lights, and cover your car with leaves and fallen tree branches so as not to scare the horses. This must make driving in Amish country really tough!
    You also aren’t allowed to honk your horn near any cattle…….fear of stampeed……oh, how many times I’ve broken this one…….

  53. Leigh

    On November 7, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    These laws are hilarious. Does Texas really believe that some weirdo will notify their victim 24 hours in advance? Yeah sure!

  54. Felia

    On November 7, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I don’t recall where it’s at, but it always struck me as odd.
    But in Virginia it’s Illegal to eat penuts in church.
    Actually I think that may apply to some other states too.

  55. me

    On November 7, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    must be liberals who made these laws… lol… oh boy i’m going to get alot of hate comments now! lol

  56. Tam

    On November 7, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    While it is true that most of these laws are completely idiotic, one must wonder what act of stupidity caused them to be put on the books in the first place? Much like the warnings on coffee cups – Caution: Contents may be hot?? DUH!!

  57. boredatwork

    On November 7, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    The scariest part about some of these laws is that they had to be put into place because one or more people actually did some of this stupid stuff.

  58. COOL

    On November 7, 2007 at 3:03 pm


  59. bye the way #66 was by me sarah gilland

    On November 7, 2007 at 3:15 pm


  60. Yankeeboy254

    On November 7, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    More please….!

  61. alexa gates

    On November 7, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    ha! that’s halarious… who would want to have a sexual relation with a porcupine? It seems kind of retarted.. oh the democrats do austound me!

  62. Nelson Doyle

    On November 8, 2007 at 4:59 am

    LOLOL – Those are great.

  63. Steven Hays

    On November 13, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Hey thanks! I’m glad you like…

    I was messing around, and I came across two laws, which I will attempt to break… at the same time.

    In Britain, it is illegal to die in a house of parliament.

    ALSO, it is illegal to enter a house of parliament in a suit of armor…

    When I die, I want to be standing in the middle of the House of Parliament, clad in my 200 pounds of armor… Now, to find a suit of armor.

  64. me

    On December 2, 2007 at 6:11 am

    Ah, Republican idiocy will never cease to surprise me.

  65. Danielle

    On December 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

    who would p[ut and ice cream cone in there pocket anyway??

  66. color me crazy

    On December 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    hay but i like to carry ice cream in my pocket and i only get it on sundays, MAN!!! :( also just so you know some on achullty more thanone someone had to of had sexaul relations with a porcipine for them to make it a law not to man people are twisted
    some from nebraska( and they still have the death penalty :0 ):

    Sneezing or burping is illegal during a church service. (Omaha)

    A man is not allowed to run around with a shaved chest. (Omaha)

    Barbers are forbidden from eating onions between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. (Waterloo)

  67. Ruby Hawk

    On December 30, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    In Kennesaw Georgia, It’s the law that every household must have a gun, and that law was only passed a few years ago. It’s said to be the safest town in Georgia.

  68. Inna Hurry

    On January 3, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I realy like Nevadas number 2. Interesting.

  69. Liane Schmidt

    On January 13, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Great, unique, entertaining, wonderful article!

    Best wishes.


    -Liane Schmidt.

  70. tj

    On August 30, 2008 at 9:37 am

    and its not just us get this in the UK a pregnant woman can releive herself anywhere in public even, if requested, in a policemens helmant!

  71. Dieter Hentz

    On November 11, 2008 at 1:14 pm


  72. mr. kent

    On February 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I think it is stupid that we are not supossed to drink and drive, but there is a limit for drinking and driving. One drink can be the same punishment as 10 drinks. Just say no drinking and driving PERIOD.

  73. Leanne

    On April 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    These are super funny! Does anyone know of any New Mexico laws that are outragous?

  74. ]:)

    On June 12, 2009 at 10:24 am

    The penalty for jumping off a building is… death.

    in the first season of Heroes Peter Petrelli jumps of a building and his brother saved him -> so they both have to be killed ?

  75. Dymenekque

    On June 15, 2009 at 10:17 am

    this is so funny!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

  76. sarah

    On September 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    believe it or not you can believe what you want but all of the above laws are in fact TRUE you can get the laws on various websites including the state laws. they are required to show you proof of the laws.. these are all true. i have looked them all up and everyone that is stated above i found was true.

  77. karen

    On December 9, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    what about maryland?? HUH??????????

  78. Radamel

    On November 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Here is my article about lemon law..

    Have a nice read..

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