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Alabama: no bear wrestling

Credit: Tatiana Ayazo

It’s unlawful to promote or be involved with bear wrestling matches. Not sure who needs to be told that, but enough people clearly that it became a law. The law includes selling tickets or training bears to wrestle (who was doing that?) Most people want to run in the other direction when seeing a bear.

Arkansas: no honking your horn in front of a sandwich shop

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There must have been a lot of impatient, hungry people to have this law pitched and passed. In Little Rock, Arkansas after 9pm it’s illegal to sound your horn outside sandwich shops, so be sure to wait quietly at those drive-throughs. Imagine that being the only thing on your criminal record.

California: you can’t wear a mask or other disguise

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You may want to rethink your Halloween costume. In Walnut City, California you outright can’t wear masks that completely disguise your face, unless you run it past the Sheriff first maybe. Consider trick-or-treating somewhere else like San Francisco or dress up as something cute, not scary.

Alaska: you can’t carry a bow and arrow

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Whilst hunting is generally permitted in Alaska, Nome, Alaska has some particular rules to follow. In this municipality, it’s illegal to carry a bow and arrow around. This seems very specific and strange, but if you’re an avid hunter make sure you’re not accidentally breaking a law here.

Connecticut: kissing on Sundays

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Avoid your Sunday date night if you live in Hartford, Connecticut. The origin of this law is unknown, but it still exists. It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sundays, but it’s not really enforced. How would anyone realistically enforce that anyway?

Delaware: you can’t trick-or-treat on a Sunday

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If the spooky night of October 31st lands on a Sunday, Halloween or not, in Rehoboth Beach there’s no trick-or-treating allowed. But don’t worry your kids won’t miss out, instead it’s rescheduled for the day before. Don’t be surprised if no one’s knocking on your door Sunday Halloween night.

Florida: no internet cafes

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Originally signed to crack down on illegal gambling in Internet cafes, this bill ended up closing every one in the state, over 1000 businesses. The law is still in effect, however some establishments are trying to pop up and get round it by stating they aren’t running gambling groups.

Hawaii: you can’t text and walk

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In Honolulu there was a recent ban placed on pedestrians looking at their mobile phones or texting whilst crossing the street. Fines can range from $15 to $99, for multiple violations. This may seem petty, but texting and walking causes up to 11,000 injuries each year.

Idaho: you can’t be in the same house as someone smoking

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Pot is illegal in the majority of states, but Idaho takes it to another level. Even being in the same house or premises as someone who is smoking, you can be fined up to $300 and/or be sentenced to 90 days in jail. Guilty by association, I suppose…

Illinois: you can’t wear saggy pants

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The real fashion police. In Collinsville, pants must be “secured to the waist to prevent the pants from falling more than 3 inches below the hips-exposing the person or person’s undergarments.” The law was put into place in 2011 and you can be fined $100 plus community service, up to $300 for repeat offenders.

Indiana: you can’t shoot fish in a barrel


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The phrase “shooting fish in a barrel” can mean that something is easy, but not in Indiana. In this State, shooting fish is illegal, and so is catching them with your bare hands. This seems like a specific law, but there must have been something constantly going wrong in the fishing circles for this to happen.

Iowa: you can’t flash or streak naked

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Seems pretty reasonable really. In Iowa, flashing, streaking or exposing yourself to a non-consenting person is a serious misdemeanor (as it should be), with the only ‘written’ exception with it being in front of your spouse. Of all the weird and specific laws, this one seems to be one of the most useful and protective.

Kansas: no toy guns for minors

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In Kansas City, minors are not allowed to purchase toy pistols. Now Kansas has some pretty wacky laws, but this one doesn’t seem that strange right? It can maybe prevent children from learning how to act with weapons and play with dangerous items. However, in Kansas City minors ARE allowed to purchase shotguns…what?

Kentucky: no selling Easter bunnies

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Animal lovers can cheer just a little bit. In Kentucky, it’s illegal to sell baby bunnies whose fur has been dyed, and even illegal to dye it in the first place. This also applies to chicks, ducklings and other baby animals. You’re looking at a $500 fine if you’re caught in this sketchy business.

Louisiana: no Vampires

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Okay, so not exactly the ban of the mystic creatures. Included in Louisiana’s legislation is the “preservation of the public peace, health, morals, safety and welfare-” which has been translated into the ban of the ingestion of human or animal blood. If you break this law you could see 5 years in prison and/or a fine of $5000.

Maine: no rollerskating on the sidewalk

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Come on Biddeford, you’re no fun. In this city, it’s illegal to roller-skate or even ride your bike on the sidewalk. This seems like an okay idea to keep pedestrians safer but also creates a problem of preventing most children from having fun close by to their house.

Maryland: no potty mouths at the playground

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Cumberland, Maryland really doesn’t like cursing. If you stub your toe on the slide, your son won’t share his toys or your daughter won’t stop running away, just be sure to say something nice. This city has completely banned using profanities in public playgrounds in an attempt to keep those younger ears less exposed to bad words.

Michigan: no peeing in public

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It’s a gross habit anyway, to be honest. A childish or intoxicated sense of judgement could have dire consequences in many of Michigan’s municipalities. Public urination is considered a serious offense and you could face up to $500 in fines, 90 days in jail or even be required to register as a sex offender.

Minnesota: you can’t wear your hat in the theatre

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Don’t take your top hat to the movie theater in Minneapolis. No matter how cold it is outside it’s illegal to wear a hat inside. Specifically the law states that a person shouldn’t prevent the view or enjoyment of other patrons in places of entertainment, where it is by wearing a hat or other means.

Mississippi: no teaching about polygamy

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This state has banned the teaching of anything about polygamy, including, “the doctrines, principles or tenets of polygamy”. If you’re caught trying to spread your word or message about this controversial topic, you could face up to six months in prison, and no less than one month.

Missouri: no hitching a ride on a moving vehicle

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Seems like common sense anyway but, just in case, Columbia, Missouri passed this law. It is illegal for anyone who is riding a bike or roller skates to attach themselves to a vehicle on a roadway. This is incredibly dangerous so hopefully this law prevents it’s citizens from doing something stupid.

Montana: no giving rats as gifts

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Imagine finding a rat in your Christmas stocking. In Billings, Montana you can buy and sell rats, as long as their purpose is for food for snakes or birds or prey. For any other purpose (whatever you could actually think of besides food), it’s illegal to give them away.

Nevada: you can’t lie down on the side walk

Credit: Tatiana Ayazo

Nevada really takes keeping the peace of the streets seriously. In Reno, Nevada, it’s 100% banned to lay down on any sidewalk; not for a break, not to stargaze, not to nap in the sun. The only exception is for extreme emergencies, like injury. Don’t even think about sunbathing on the sidewalk outside your own home.

New Hampshire: no making off with seaweed

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Now this one really does seem unnecessary and petty. When in New Hampshire, be sure to enjoy the sand and sea without being tempted to take away any seaweed. It’s believed to have started in the 1700s as farmers often used it for fertilizers, but there wasn’t enough to share between them.

New Jersey: you can’t text and walk

Credit: Tatiana Ayazo

Like Hawaii, Fort Lee in New Jersey banned texting whilst walking. Violating this ban could get you slapped with a $85 fine. People being glued to their phones does affect the roads around them, so if people need to be banned from multi-tasking, so be it.

New Mexico: no voting for idiots

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In the state of New Mexico, you can’t vote if you’re an ‘idiot’. This is kinda mean, as it also includes ‘insane persons and persons convicted of a felonious or infamous crime’. Is being considered ‘stupid’ on the same level as a dangerous criminal or convicted felon?

New York: no drinking before the brunch hour

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Don’t book an early morning brunch in New York City if you’re wanting to down some mimosas. It’s illegal for restaurants in NYC to serve alcoholic drinks before 10am on Sunday. The ban used to be before noon, so it’s only recently been made earlier by law.

North Carolina: no crimes against nature

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This one is a little tricky, and doesn’t mean punching trees. North Carolina prohibits all crime against ‘nature’, what is that you might ask? For example, anything involving the relations between ‘man and beast’. There isn’t any need to go into detail on this one.

Ohio: no arrests on Sunday

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Yes, you can’t technically be arrested on Sundays in Ohio or on the fourth of July too. This law was passed in 1953, and was tried to be repealed in 1998 but failed. Slightly scary that there’s a full day for people to avoid arrest, so maybe keep your wits about you on Sunday in Ohio.

Oklahoma: no horse-tripping

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This law is actually one of the more productive and wholesome ones out there. Horse-tripping is the cruel act of tying rope around the horse’s feet and forcing them to fall and very usually injuring them. Oklahoma has made it illegal to engage in this heinous act against animals.

Oregon: no peeing in a bottle

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Thinking of road tripping in Oregon? Make sure you plan your rest stops properly to avoid breaking some laws. Specifically this law prohibits the dumping or disposing of human waste on the highway in Oregon, wanting to keep their environments as toxic free as possible, including urine in bottles.

Pennsylvania: no cell phones in the courtroom

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In Lancaster County, they’re taking the rules and regulations of court more seriously. In order to prevent distractions they’ve banned all cell phones and audio recording devices in several courthouses through the county. That also includes the press, which doesn’t seem feasible for freedom of press laws.

Rhode Island: no biting off someone’s finger

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Well, yeah, isn’t that a crime everywhere? Rhode Island specifically has harsher punishments for the biting of limbs or fingers as well as removing eyes and cutting nose, lips and ears. In this state, the punishments for these could land you 20 years in prison.

South Dakota: no causing static

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South Dakota really doesn’t want their TV time interrupted. In Huron, it’s against the law to purposely cause static that makes TV’s crackle and affect the image clarity. More specifically, it’s illegal to generate static electricity between 7am and 11pm. This law seems hard to break in the first place.

Tennessee: no sharing your Netflix password

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In 2011, this law was passed in order to prevent hackers from stealing information and credit card details. But, unfortunately, this means sharing any subscription services to cut costs is technically committing a crime in Tennessee. Getting caught could get you thrown in jail for a year.

Virginia: you can’t go trick-or-treat if you’re older than 12

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This just feels mean. If you’re over 12 in Chesapeake, Virginia you’re not allowed to participate in trick-or-treating on Halloween. If you do sneak out and get caught you could face a $100 fine or even a jail sentence of six months. Who’s out here arresting kids for wanting candy on Halloween?

Washington: you, with a cold

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If you have the sniffles in Washington, be sure to hide it well. It’s considered a misdemeanor to walk around in public with the knowledge of exposing others to your illness. Any contagious disease, it doesn’t matter how serious, is seen as dangerous to public health.

West Virginia: no duelling if you’re planning on running for office

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Anyone holding office in West Virginia has never been involved (that we know of) in a duel with weapons. Fighting with weapons against another person or even sending a challenge, can stop you from ever running for office. Bear that in mind, just in case you’re planning on challenging your enemy.

Wisconsin: no spitting on the sidewalk

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This sounds like common sense because this is a really gross habit anyway. In Wauwatosa, Wisconsin it’s illegal and fineable to spit on the sidewalk anywhere, especially in public. It’s a wonder why this actually needs to be stated by law to prevent people from doing it.

Wyoming: no entering a mine when you’re drunk

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Again, isn’t this just common sense? Apparently not. In Wyoming, it’s illegal to enter a mine while intoxicated, failure to follow this law could land you with a $500 fine or up to a year in county jail. It’s also illegal to sell metal, rubber and paper while drunk too in this state.