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Really Strange Laws of the US; Alaska

Most of the strange, silly, crazy laws that we’ve looked at in the US have been largely focused on the west so far. However, one western state needs to be included; Alaska.

It should be remembered that Alaska is easily the largest state in the US and is the most northerly one. Yet, it also has a very small human population. That hasn’t stopped lawmakers in Alaska from passing some silly laws. For instance:

* In Alaska, it is illegal to view a moose from an airplane. I can understand and appreciate that this is to prevent harassment of moose by planes, but the way the law reads, if you happen to fly over part of Alaska that has a moose population, you are not allowed to look out of the aircraft and look down. If you do and you see a moose, you’ve just broken the law.

* In Alaska, it is also illegal to push a live moose out of a moving airplane. This might be understandable, except that most moose probably prefer getting from one place to another on foot. I doubt that very many book air flights.

* In Anchorage, Alaska, it is against the law to tie your pet dog to the roof of a car. There is no indication of how common this was at the time of the passage of the law, nor why anyone would want to tie their dog to the roof of the car, in the first place. This one qualifies as a, “Huh?”

* In Fairbanks, Alaska, it is illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a moose. I have the impression that Alaskans are fixated on moose, but I’m wondering how many people in other parts of Alaska routinely give alcoholic drinks to moose.

* In Juneau, Alaska, it is illegal for a person to take their pet flamingo into a barbershop. Just as a hunch, I suspect that there aren’t a lot of flamingoes in Alaska, anyway. Why anyone would want to take a flamingo into a barbershop is beyond me. I’ve never seen one that needed a haircut…or even a feathercut.

* In Soldotna, Alaska, it is illegal for a person to allow the existence of ‘attractive nuisances’. This one actually makes sense, believe it or not. In order for the law to make sense, though, a person must know what an attractive nuisance is. It really is a real thing. An attractive nuisance is anything that would attract a bear, such as garbage.

* In Haines, Alaska, concealed slingshots are outlawed…unless the person has a license. I can understand needing a concealed-carry permit, but normally, those are for handguns. A slingshot? Really?

* In Alaska, it is against the law to whisper in someone’s ear when they are moose hunting. Not only is this a silly law, but there is also no law against yelling at a person who is moose hunting. Of course, if a person yells at someone who is moose hunting, there is a good chance that it isn’t a moose that is going to get shot.

* In Alaska, it is against the law to wake up a sleeping bear in order to take its picture. However, it is legal to shoot and kill bears. Personally, I’m thinking that they should legalize waking bears up in order to take their pictures. Anyone who has seen a cranky bear that has been awakened from its sleep would know that if this was legal, there would be very few people who’d even attempt it. Most of those who did would be eaten by the bears. Problem solved.

* In Juneau, Alaska, it is against the law to groom a dog. The absurdity of this law is astounding. I guess that the people there prefer having dogs that look rough and ragged.

* In Alaska, it is against the law to eat a live eel unless you yell, “Warning, idiot eating an eel”.

  • Do you have a favorite silly Alaskan law?

    • Yes (which one?)
    • No
    • I like them all equally

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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25 Comments

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  1. I get the impression, from this and similar posts, that state legislatures in the United States have far too much time on their hands. Knowing how much trouble it takes to pass laws in the UK, I cannot imagine that there would be time in the Parliamentary schedule for nonsense like this.

    • I’d agree that they probably have too much time on their hands. They also rarely strike down a law once it has been passed. Many of the silly laws are primarily because they are tremendously out of date. In some cases, how the law reads is no doubt different than the original intent, which indicates that they either didn’t think it through or didn’t reread it before voting for it.

  2. Not being able to carry my concealed slingshot upsets me greatly 🙂

    Per DHS stats – Alaska has the least first entry foreign visitors of any state in the US that borders another nation.

    There are, however, 6 people a day that cross from Canada to the US ON FOOT!

    • Well, at least it explains where there have been so few mass slingshot shooters in Alaska.

      I can understand the point of entry stat, too. There aren’t many people in AK, and there aren’t many in the Yukon; the nearest province. Russian territory is less than 50 miles from the Alaskan territory, but those seas aren’t waters that a person would casually cross. Add to that the fact that there are very few airports and most of those are only open part of the year.

      I remember going camping and fishing at a small lake in Northern Idaho many years ago. It was a gorgeous location and it was wilderness. The lake was less than a Canadian border, but there wasn’t a way to determine where the US ended and Canada began. I can easily understand people entering the US from Canada on foot at a rate of 6 per day. I suspect that there are quite a few that are undocumented because it was never their intention to enter the US. They just have never been aware of where the border was.

        • That wouldn’t surprise me. Moose are hunted in Alaska. The flavor of the meat is very similar to that of venison, which isn’t surprising considering that moose are the largest species of deer. However, a deer that field-dresses out at 250 pounds would be a very large deer. A moose can weigh around a ton. There is a lot of meat on one of them!

        • I’m not sure the Canadians are interested in building a wall and since there isn’t much of a problem at our northern border (in the case of Alaska, the eastern border), there aren’t many people in the US who are interested in a northern wall, either. Most Americans *are* in favor of a southern wall, but the issue has very little with people crossing the border to hunt moose. LOL

      • I agree. It makes me wonder how the lawmakers can unanimously vote for that to become a law when no one would ever do that because it will never cross their mind to do so. Or, it might be they felt they need to pass a law and had nothing thus resorted to these silly laws.

        • I’m sure that some are purposely outlandish just to get people to talk about it. I suspect that is the case when a state that is totally landlocked passes a law that makes it illegal in the state to fish for or hunt for whales. They are quite aware that there are no whales in the state before they pass the law.

  3. It sounds crazy. But in my opinion, many states of US have strange laws, such as I could never understand how it possible to sentence to prison for a few hundred years? who one lives so long?

    • You have a point. Three life sentences isn’t much different than life in prison without the possibility of parole. I’m not sure if it is supposed to sound scarier or what, but it amounts to the same thing. It would rather be like sentencing someone to death by hanging, guillotine, and firing squad, consecutively. The person can only be killed once.

    • Actually, it is not in USA alone. In South Africa, a man was sent to prison to serve a maximum of 980 years (can’t remember exact but more than 900 years). The man would not barely make it to 50 years.

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