June 10, 2024 | Marlon Wright

50 Bizarre Things That Are Banned In America


We Can’t Believe These Weird Laws

Some of these laws make sense, and others left us scratching our heads, but they’re all delightfully bizarre!

 bizarre things banned in America

Alabama: No Bear Wrestling

For most of us, the reaction to seeing a bear is usually to turn and run in the opposite direction. Apparently, that wasn’t always the case for Alabamans. For many years, bear wrestling was seen as an entertaining way to prove one’s strength. Alabama lawmakers outlawed the practice in 1996.

BearGeschenkpanda, Pixabay

Alaska: No Carrying A Bow And Arrow

While bow hunting is legal in the state of Alaska, there’s one town where you can’t get away with it: Nome, Alaska. According to their municipal laws, it’s illegal to carry a bow and arrow in the town.

hunter holding bow And arrowZoranOrcik, Shutterstock

Arizona: You Can’t Hunt Camels

It may surprise you to learn that southern Arizona is home to wild camels. They US army brought them to the state in 1855, to experiment with using them in combat. The army eventually gave up on the project and set the camels free. The animals are still protected by law today.

Two brown camelsSusanne Jutzeler, Pexels

Arkansas: No Horn Honking In Front Of Sandwich Shops

After 9pm in Little Rock, Arkansas, it’s illegal to honk your car horn in front of any place that serves “cold drinks and sandwiches”. No one’s ever been prosecuted for this offence, but it’s still in the city’s lawbooks.

Shocked man drinking juiceKrakenimages.com, Shutterstock

California: No Wearing A Mask Or Disguise

If you live in Walnut City, California, you may have to go somewhere else to get your trick-or-treat on. Any Halloween costumes that involve a mask or other disguise have to be approved by the sheriff.

Man in police uniform stopping someoneKindel Media, Pexels

Colorado: You Can’t Throw Missiles At Cars

This one makes sense and is so obvious we’re surprised there’s a specific law for it. But the city of Alamosa, Colorado takes throwing missiles at cars very seriously, going so far to articulate a specific rule against the act.

Shocked young man driving a carNK D.LIGHT , Shutterstock

Connecticut: No Kissing On Sundays

If you’re ever in Hartford, Connecticut with your spouse on a Sunday you might want to refrain from giving them a kiss. No one knows why the law was enacted, but it’s against the law for a man to kiss his wife on a Sunday. Luckily, this bizarre law isn’t really enforced.

Woman forbidding a kiss from her partnerRoman Samborskyi, Shutterstock

Delaware: No Trick-or-Treating On Sundays

In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, if Halloween falls on a Sunday, you’ll have to wait until the next day to go out and trick-or-treat.

Little Hispanic girl wearing witch Halloween costumeKrakenimages.com, Shutterstock

Florida: No Internet Cafés

In 2013, Governor Rick Scott approved House Bill 155 to crack down on the illicit gambling that was occurring in internet cafés. The law ended up effectively banning internet cafés in general, with 1,000 of the establishments closing down right after it was passed.

internet cafés bannedErdem Civelek, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: You Can’t Buy Adult Toys

In Sandy Springs, Georgia, the sale and use of “any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs is obscene material” and lawfully prohibited. This weird law does get enforced, but its constitutionality is hotly contested.

Ashamed smiling girl covering her face with a handGolubovy, Shutterstock

Hawaii: No Texting While Walking

If you’re in Honolulu and happen to look at your phone while you cross the street, be prepared to pay for it—literally. Fines for looking at phones or texting while crossing the street start at $15 and go as high as $99 for repeat offenders. And while it may seem like a bit of an overkill, texting and walking accounts for 11,000 injuries each year.

woman in gray blazer texting while walking bannedAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Idaho: You Can’t Be In The Same House A Weed Smoker

While marijuana is still against the law in many states, Idaho takes their restrictions on the substances one step further. You can’t even be on the same premises as someone using cannabis—and it’s punishable by a $300 fine and/or a 90-day jail sentence.

Judge sentencing a fineStudio Romantic, Shutterstock

Illinois: No Saggy Pants

Since 2011, wearing saggy pants has been banned in Collinsville, Illinois. According to the lawbooks, pants cannot fall “more than 3 inches below the hips” or expose the person or their undergarments. A first offense is punishable by community service and $100 fine. If a person offends again, the fine increases to $300 and they get even more community service.

no saggy pants signTamanoeconomico, CC BY-SA 4.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: No Shooting Fish In A Barrel

We’ve all heard the saying “like shooting fish in a barrel”, but if you actual try to shoot fish in Indiana, you’ll be in big trouble. Shooting fish, as well as catching them with your bare hands, is illegal in the state.

Screenshot of Nemo looking at side upset - from Finding Nemo (2003)Walt Disney, Finding Nemo (2003)

Iowa: No Flashing Or Streaking

If someone exposes themselves with the intention of the act arousing them or the viewer, they’ve committed a serious misdemeanor. The only time flashing someone is acceptable, is if the “victim” is the person’s spouse.

Portrait of joyful happy bearded man laughing loudly and pointing to cameraKhosro, Shutterstock

Kansas: Minors Can’t Have Toy Guns

In Kansas City, minors aren’t allowed to buy cap pistols. Seems pretty rational…until you learn that they’re allowed to buy real shotguns.

Toy GunsJoe Loong, Flickr

Kentucky: You Can’t Sell Easter Bunnies

Remember when selling cute baby bunnies with dyed fur was all the rage? Well, if you try that one in Kentucky, you’ll be slapped with a $500 fine. Dying and selling bunnies, chicks, ducklings, and other birds is banned across the state.

Easter Bunniescastleguard, Pixabay

Louisiana: No Vampires Allowed

To preserve “public peace, health, morals, safety, and welfare”, the ingestion of human or animal blood is banned in Louisiana. The law also applies to human and animal waste matter and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

No Vampires  SignRichardmouser, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Maine: No Roller-Skating On Sidewalks

In the town of Biddeford, Maine, you’ll find yourself in trouble with the law if you ride your bike or roller-skate on the sidewalk.

No roller no skateboard sign panelsylv1rob1, Shutterstock

Maryland: No Swearing At The Playground

Going to the playground with your kids can be equal parts excitement and drama, but no matter what happens, you’d better keep the language clean. Uttering any swear at the playground or on the sidewalk near the playground is against the law.

Kids and parents on a playgroundaimnotboy, Pixabay

Massachusetts: Don’t Buy A Christmas Tree That Won’t Fit In Your Car

We can see how this one would be a safety concern. So could the lawmakers in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and now traveling with a tree that blocks your visibility or sticks out too far from your car could see you charged with negligence or reckless conduct.

Bearded man loading christmas treeArtie Medvedev, Shutterstock

Michigan: You Can’t Pee In Public

It might seem childish, but the state of Michigan takes public urination very seriously. If caught, you could be slapped with a $500 fine, face 90 days in lockup, or even have to register as a sex offender.

Criminal arrested and handcuffed while police grab shoulderThomas Andre Fure, Shutterstock

Minnesota: No Hats In Movie Theaters

It doesn’t matter how cold it may be—if you go see a movie in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you have to take your hat off. According to law, “no person, during the performance of the program in a theater, auditorium, or place of amusement, shall wear any headgear”.

pretty girl  in a movie theateryonikamoto, Shutterstock

Mississippi: Don’t Teach People About Polygamy

In Mississippi, there’s a state-wide ban on teaching “the doctrines, principles, or tenets, or any of them, of polygamy”. Anyone convicted of this could be imprisoned for up to six months.

image of prison in AlcatrazJoshua Edward Quillo, Shutterstock

Missouri: Don’t Hitch Onto A Moving Vehicle

In Columbia, Missouri, you’ll face legal action if you’re roller-skating or riding a bike and decide to hook yourself up to a moving vehicle on a roadway.

Girl roller-skatingSkitterphoto Skitterphoto, Pixabay

Montana: You Can Give A Rat As A Gift

In the city of Billings, Montana, it’s against the law to buy, sell, or give away rats. The only exception is if the rats are going to be used as food for birds of prey or snakes.

Pet rat sitting on a blanketnadia-szopinska, Pixabay

Nebraska: Don’t Get Married If You Have An STI

According to Nebraska state law, “no person who is afflicted with a venereal disease” is allowed to get married. While the law can make a marriage where one party if afflicted voidable, the union is not automatically void.

Sad bride in wedding dress and jewels at homeMAKSYM CHUB, Shutterstock

Nevada: No Lying Down On Sidewalks

You’ll catch a charge in Reno, Nevada if you lie down on the sidewalk. Only in the case of a real emergency are people exempt from this ban.

cat on the sidewalkDevyn Breslin, Pexels

New Hampshire: Don’t Take Any Seaweed

If you’re in New Hampshire, you’d better leave the seaweed where you find it. Carrying seaweed away from the shore is against the law.

yellow seaweedKindel Media, Pexels

New Jersey: Don’t Text And Walk

The municipality of Fort Lee took notes from Hawaii and banned texting while walking. Offenders will be hit with an $85 ticket.

Don’t Text And WalkLorianne DiSabato, Flickr

New Mexico: Idiots Can’t Vote

New Mexico has few restrictions on who is eligible to vote, but the state constitution made sure to mention that “idiots” are ineligible. That also goes for “insane persons and persons convicted of a felonious or infamous crime”.

Can't fix stupidQuinn Dombrowski , CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

New York: No Drinking Before Brunch

In New York City, restaurants can’t serve alcohol before the 10am brunch hour on Sunday. The ban used to extend till noon but was recently changed.

No alcoholsrzaitsev, Shutterstock

North Carolina: No Crimes Against Nature

All “crimes against nature” are prohibited in North Carolina. But rather than showing an appreciation for Mother Earth, the crimes in question refer to any sexual acts that have historically been considered “crimes against nature”.

Man hand showing BANNED word on the  phoneKongNoi, Shutterstock

North Dakota: Don’t Sleep With Birds

This one goes without saying, but North Dakota had to make it a written law that people can’t perform “deviate sexual acts”. The law applies to birds, animals, and deceased people, and is punishable by a one-year prison sentence and a $2,000 fine.

Nobody Believes My Crazy StoryPexels

Ohio: You Can’t Be Arrested On Sunday

No can get arrested on a Sunday in Ohio. This state-wide ban also applies to the Fourth of July or is the State Congress is in session.

a person with handcuffsKindel Media, Pexels

Oklahoma: No Horse-Tipping

Throughout the state of Oklahoma, anyone engaging in horse-tipping will face a year in prison and paying a $2,000 fine. As well they should, considering the cruel act involves roping a horses feet and forcing them to fall to the ground.

White horseHelena Lopes, Pexels

Oregon: You Can’t Pee In A Bottle

If you’re ever taking a long toad trip through Oregon, make sure you map out your pit stops. The state has specific regulations about how people dispose of their personal waste, and peeing in a bottle does not meet those guidelines.

Oregon Highway 26 EastSoulRider.222, Flickr

Pennsylvania: No Cell Phones In Courtrooms

Several courthouses in Lancaster County have banned cell phones and audio-recording devices. Members of the press are also included in that ban.

No mobile phone conceptCalypsoArt, Shutterstock

Rhode Island: You Can’t Bite Off Fingers

The law in Rhode Island specifically prohibits people from biting off “the limb or member” of another person. The punishment for this deranged act is 20 years in prison.

Person biting a carrotklimkin, Pixabay

South Carolina: No Work On Sunday

According to state law, it’s illegal to engage in any kind of work, business, or labor “on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday”. The only exception is those who observe Sabbath on Saturdays. Luckily, this law from the 1800s is rarely enforced nowadays.

sorry we re closed signTim Mossholder, Pexels

South Dakota: You Can’t Cause Static

In the municipality of Huron, South Dakota, you’ll be in trouble with the law if you cause static. Luckily, they’re not talking about the kind of static that makes your hair stick out—they mean the crackling static on your television.

TV showing noiseMysid, Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: You Can’t Share Streaming Passwords

While Netflix’s password crackdown may be recent, sharing a password for a subscription streaming service has been banned in Tennessee since 2011. It’s punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

person watching Netflixfreestocks.org, Pexels

Texas: No Gay Intercourse

Thankfully, this one is no longer enforceable due to a 2003 Supreme Court Decision, but the Texas penal code bans what it calls “deviate sexual intercourse” between people of the same gender.

gay couple holding hands strollingAitana fotografia, Shutterstock

Utah: Immigrants Can’t Have Booze

Any recent immigrants to Utah—meaning they’ve been in the state less than two years—will face a world of legal trouble of they’re caught with even one drop of alcohol in their blood.

Alcohol prohibited signNaruedom Yaempongsa, Shutterstock

Vermont: No Apple Pie Without Ice Cream

This one’s not an official ban, but it’s been a practice since 1999. When serving Vermont’s official state pie, apple pie, “a good faith effort” should be made to also give people a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, a glass of cold milk, or a 1/2-ounce slice of cheddar cheese.

Apple Pie and Ice CreamW.carter, Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: No Trick-Or-Treating If You’re 12+

In Chesapeake, Virginia, people over the age of 12 can’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween. If they do, they risk a $100 fine or even up to six months imprisonment.

woman wearing witch Halloween costume shockedKrakenimages.com, Shutterstock

Washington: No Going Out With A Cold

If you’ve got a cold or another contagious illness, you’d better stay home. In Washington state, walking around in public with a cold and exposing other people is a misdemeanor.

Business man blowing his  nose in tissueYuri A, Shutterstock

West Virginia: You Can’t Duel If You’re Running For Office

Dueling is against the law in many place, but in West Virginia, anybody who engages in a duel is banned forever from “holding any office of honor, trust or profit”.

duelingAnton Vierietin, Shutterstock

Wisconsin: Don’t Spit On The Sidewalk

This one makes sense, but in the town of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, it’s against the law to spit on sidewalks.

Spitting on Sidewalks prohibited signTFoxFoto, Shutterstock

Wyoming: No Going Into A Mine While Inebriated

Entering a mine while intoxicated is a misdemeanor offense in Wyoming, but it could see you slapped with a fine of up to $500 and a one-year sentence in country lockup.

Lights in a MineI Love Pixel, Pexels


READ MORE

Adare Manor

The Top Three Resorts In The World

Any resort can ensure a good time, but the truly remarkable ones want you to experience the vacation of a lifetime. Here are the best resorts in the world.
July 9, 2023 Kaddy Gibson
The Royal Plaza

The Three Most Beautiful Hotel Rooms In The World

Offering peaceful seclusion, world-class customer service, and spectacular views, these are three of the most beautiful hotel rooms in the world.
July 8, 2023 Kaddy Gibson
St. George's Church

The Creepiest Abandoned Attractions

Despite their ominous origins, these abandoned attractions have become some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
June 13, 2023 Kaddy Gibson
internal

Four Tips For A Successful Vacation

Vacations are great but it’s also easy for them to turn stressful. Keep these travel tips in mind to get the most out of your next adventure.
July 7, 2023 Kaddy Gibson
internal

Five Must-Have Travel Accessories

If you're going on a trip, there are some things that you should pack with you every time. You can’t go wrong with these must-have travel accessories.
July 6, 2023 Kaddy Gibson
internal

The Most Visited Tourist Attractions In The World

The world is full of great tourist attractions, but have you ever been curious about which ones are the most popular? The list might surprise you.
June 21, 2023 Kaddy Gibson