Another Argument for Smaller Government: Dumb and Bizarre Laws

Written by Andrew Linn on September 10, 2013

These days, all levels of government (both in the U.S. and elsewhere) make life harder for everyone via excessive laws and regulations. But did you know that there have been some really crazy laws on the books for quite some time? Such laws can be found at I will provide a list of some of these laws.

Here in Owensboro, Kentucky, there is one particular law that stands out — a woman may not purchase a hat without her husband’s permission. I believe the law was passed back in the day when women’s hats were expensive.

Now for some laws elsewhere in America.

Alabama — dominoes may not be played on Sunday (I guess it is considered the equivalent of playing cards/gambling), while umbrellas may not be opened in public (because doing so scares horses).

Arizona — if an individual is attacked by a burglar or some other criminal, he/she can only protect themselves with the same weapon that the criminal possesses (so much for self-defense); in Tucson, women are prohibited from wearing pants (feminists must be fuming over that).

Arkansas — Arkansas cannot be pronounced incorrectly; a man can beat his wife only once a month (where is the feminist outrage?); in Fayetteville, it is illegal to kill any living creature (so much for hunting there).

California — grocery stores are prohibited from using plastic bags in San Jose and Sunnyvale; one can only wear cowboy boots in Blythe if he/she owns at least two cows; women cannot wear high heels in Carmel (again, where is that feminist outrage?); detonating a nuclear device in Chico will result in a $500 fine (I’m sure that will deter America’s enemies); men who have mustaches are forbidden to kiss women in Eureka; permanent markers are not to be sold in Fresno; in Prunedale, a house is limited to having only one bathtub; ownership of monkeys or reptiles is forbidden in Redwood City; having more than two dogs or cats is prohibited in San Jose; in Walnut, children need the Sheriff’s permission to wear Halloween masks.

Colorado — weeds are not allowed in Fountain, while dandelions are not allowed in Pueblo.

Connecticut — men are forbidden to kiss their wives on Sundays in Hartford; fire trucks are forbidden to exceed 25mph (even when responding to a fire) in New Britain (I wonder what the speed limit for police cars is).

Delaware — whispering in church is not allowed in Rehoboth Beach.

Florida — it is illegal to shower naked (how will the authorities know if someone is doing this in their own home?); skateboarding requires a license; farting is not allowed in public places after 6 PM; in Pensacola, a person must have at least $10 on themselves in the downtown area; in Seaside, all house are required to have white picket fences and full-width, two-story porches.

Georgia — in Columbus, cussing over the telephone is illegal (I guess the operators are listening to all conversations there, and the NSA will follow suit), it is illegal to wear hats in movie theaters there, and it is illegal for stores to sell corn flakes on Sundays.

Hawaii — billboards are forbidden, and people can be fined for not owning boats.

Idaho — in Pocatello, people must have a smile on their faces while out in public.

Illinois — English is not to be spoken; not having at least one dollar bill can result in being arrested for vagrancy; kites are not to be flown in Chicago; cars are not to be driven through Crete; bowling is forbidden in Evanston; no one can install basketball hoops on their driveway in Peoria.

Indiana — the value of pi is 3; men cannot be sexually aroused in public; no one can take a bath between October and March.

Iowa — kissing must not last more than five minutes.

Maryland — cursing is illegal in Baltimore City, while cursing on the highway is illegal in Rockville.

Minnesota — sleeping in the nude is illegal; hamburgers are not to be eaten on Sundays in St. Cloud (I guess there are no fast-food burgers joints there).

Nevada — people are required to wear masks while walking the streets of Elko.

New Hampshire — machinery is not to be run on Sundays.

New Jersey — soup cannot be slurped; one cannot pump their own gas; pickles cannot be eaten on Sundays in Trenton.

New York — slippers cannot be worn after 10 PM; flirting can result in a $25 fine; one can receive the death penalty for jumping off a building.

Oklahoma — women need a license from the state in order to do their own hair.

Oregon — ice cream cannot be eaten on Sundays; in Eugene, horse racing and symphonies are prohibited, while showing movies or having car races is illegal on Sundays.

Pennsylvania — singing in the bathtub is not allowed; fireworks stores cannot sell fireworks to Pennsylvania residents; liquor stores must be run by the state; in Morrisville, a woman needs a permit to wear cosmetics.

South Carolina — musical instruments cannot be sold on Sundays; one must be at least 18 to play a pinball machine.

Tennessee — in Dyersburg, a woman cannot call up a man in order to ask him out; frogs cannot croak after 11 PM in Memphis.

Texas — in Beaumont, college football is prohibited at Lamar University (this is odd considering Texas is the biggest football state in the country); in San Antonio, people cannot respond to flirting by using their eyes or hands.

Utah — it is illegal to not drink milk; in Provo, one can be fined $50 for throwing snowballs.

Virginia — Police radar detectors, children trick-or-treating on Halloween, and tickling women are all illegal.

Washington — meat and mattresses cannot to be sold on Sundays; lollipops are banned; televisions cannot be sold on Sundays in Spokane.

Wisconsin — it is illegal to kiss on a train or cut a woman’s hair; in La Crosse, playing checkers in public is illegal; in St. Croix, women cannot wear anything red while out in public; in Sun Prairie, cats cannot enter cemeteries.

Image: references; uploaded by Skeezix1000; author: Alan Shin;Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Andrew Linn
Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to and Right Impulse Media.