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Unbelievable and Ludicrous Laws in the US

Some politicians are fond of making laws, apparently for little other reason than to make a law. Some laws that are still on the books are strange, to say the least, and many can cause a person to chuckle.

The following list of strange and questionable laws are only some of those out there that can leave a person scratching their heads in wonder that such a law was actually passed. This is only 17 out of hundreds of unbelievable and ludicrous laws in the US.

* In Chico, California, a city law specifically bans nuclear weapons. The law even carries a $500 fine for detonating a nuclear device within city limits. Apparently, nobody told the city council that setting off even a tiny nuclear device in the city limits would totally obliterate Chico. There would be nobody left to pay the $500 to.

* In Arkansas, it is illegal to say “Arkansas” incorrectly.

* In New York, it is illegal for a blind person to drive a car. It is surprising nobody has challenged this law. After all, drive-through automated bank tellers are equipt with keyboards that have braille.

* In Utah, you must be very alert when driving because birds have the right of way on all public highways.

* In Miami, Florida, it is against the law to imitate an animal. Considering some of the people who can be found in places like Miami, I’m thinking that at times it might be hard to tell if they are imitating or not.

* In Montana, it is illegal for a woman to go fishing by herself. It is also illegal for her to fish on Sunday, even if a man is with her.

* In Tennessee, it is against the law to sell bologna on Sunday. Any other day of the week is fine.

* In New Jersey, cabbage can’t be legally sold on Sunday.

* In Virginia, a 1930 law makes it illegal to commit bribery or participate in corrupt practices…but the law specifically doesn’t apply to politicians or political candidates. That explains a lot.

* In Washington state, it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon that is over six feet long. Just how big would a person need to be to conceal a six-foot-long weapon, anyway? Apparently, though, if the weapon is only five feet eleven inches in length, it is legal to conceal it. Good luck.

* Also in Washington, it is illegal to have sex with a virgin at any time, including on the wedding night. This one falls into the category of “Huh?”

* In Florida, it is illegal to put livestock on a school bus. It’s unclear why a person would want to.

* In Michigan, if a couple is married, they must live together. If they don’t, they can be put in jail. 

* In Phoenix, Arizona, it is illegal to walk through the lobby of a hotel while wearing your spurs. There has got to be a story behind this one!

* In California, it is against the law to wiggle while you are dancing.

* In West Virginia, a law stipulates that a person can go to jail for cooking cabbage or sauerkraut. That stinks!

* In Los Angeles, California, a law makes it illegal to herd more than 3,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard. Apparently, 3,000 is okay, but 3,001 is against the law.

With effort, a person might be able to think of reasons that some of these laws were written. However, many of them make so little sense that a person almost has the feeling that they passed the law simply because they had nothing constructive to do. The laws can be good for one thing, though: Comic relief.


What do you think?


Written by Rex Trulove

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  1. So true, Women in New Zealand were one of the first to get the vote, but it took them 40 more years before they could become a politician.
    The very reason why women wanted to vote was because their husbands got drunk, and spent their pay on gambling and alcohol.
    So the women who got the vote, never quite got the problem resolved.

    • Much the same problem existed/exists in the US. We did try prohibition, making it illegal to make, transport, or sell alcohol. That ended up causing far more problems than it solved so that amendment was overturned.

      Some kinds of gambling were legal here, but only in Nevada and gambling hot-spots like Atlantic City. The gambling laws became less strict when it was found that almost as many women gamble as men, so gambling is now legal in a lot of states, mostly (but not entirely) in establishments that are run by Native Americans. As small as our town is, there are two small casinos in town, with electronic gambling machines.

      Some gambling is still against the law, like cock fights and dog fights, and people who are involved in a sport can’t legally bet on that sport. Gambling is also illegal if it can lead to the violation of human rights. So regulated prostitution is legal in Nevada and it is taxed, so it brings in considerable money to the state, but it is illegal to bet on it. (Don’t ask what would be bet on.)

        • Most of the US states have legal lotteries and some of them are multi-state. The multi-state lottos have sometimes enormous payouts, like over $200 million for a jackpot winner of the “Powerball lotto”. Smaller state lottos seldom have a jackpot that is over $2 million. Then there are quite a few people who win smaller amounts: $1, $5, $10, $100, $1000, and $10,000 on both the small and big lottos.

          A lot of money is paid out, but something like 3-5 times more money is made on those lottos, usually slated for specific needs in the particular state, such as road maintenance, county and state park upkeep, and so forth. States are free to prioritize what the money made from the lotto will be used for.

  2. If someone paid really well I would take a job to go through the laws of each state and recommend the ones that should be thrown out. These laws are good for some laughs. Another idea is to take some of the laws see if you can find the story behind them and publish a funny bestseller.

  3. I love this Rex you could go on and make it into a series.

    In Indiana, it is illegal to tie your horse in front of the water trough.

    In Utah it is illegal to mail a building brick by brick.

    So many old laws, so many laws that are still there.

    • Yes. The one good thing is that most of the old, silly laws aren’t enforced, but they are definitely still on the books and are still laws. You’re right, it wouldn’t be hard to make this into a series. The hard part is that not all of these crazy laws jump out at a person as being crazy until a person really thinks about them. Still, there are hundreds of laws that really should be struck down and removed. Legislators most often resist doing that. It isn’t just in the US, either.

  4. Good point, I thought that NZ politicians are bad enough, there are some stupid laws in NZ but not quite like the USA.
    I expect NZ has less politicians which is the reason, why stupid laws are not recorded.

    However, getting anything real done in NZ politics takes 2 years to get results, or even longer. Most of the politicians behave like primary school children. Fortunately we can tell you that and not be fined. As it is the truth.

    • Alas, I’m afraid that it is the truth all over the world. The vast majority of politicians seem to be primarily concerned with looking out for themselves and amassing wealth. The higher the position, the worse it seems to be and it is especially true among those who make the laws.

      A lot of laws are obviously out of date, but lawmakers are a stubborn lot who dislike removing or updating laws, even those that make no sense at all anymore. Many laws are based on ideas that are now known to be absurd. For example, a lot of laws in the US in regard to restrictions on women come from a time when it was widely believed that women were incapable of running a business and making major decisions. Of course, that isn’t true and never has been, but the laws were passed anyway. Even the Bible shows that women were quite capable even 2,000 years ago or longer, yet those ideas persisted.


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