The internet was made for lists of the weirdest laws you never knew existed in your state -- they’re quirky, they’re fun, and after auditing them, I can tell you they’re about 95% bogus. Most of the popular ones you see on these sorts of lists, like how you can’t shove a moose out of an airplane in Alaska or take a lion to the movies in Maryland, are either completely made-up, long-since repealed, or just cherry-picked from their actual legal context so as to come off as much more catchy than they actually are.
Don’t feel bad if you got suckered in by any of these -- approximately 1 billion law firms keep sharing them, too. Worse yet, loads of the ones that aren’t apocryphal are still bummers, in that they have their roots in policies that are not light and fun, but racist/sexist/homophobic/otherwise discriminatory.
Fortunately, what follows here is good news: a roundup of weird, bizarre, quirky, or otherwise nonsensical laws that a) really do exist according to state legislatures, local newspapers, or legal databases like Justia; and b) are not awful. (One caveat: While I’ve done my best to leave out laws that I’ve found apply in more than one state, there’s bound to be a few. Know of any good ones we missed? Leave ‘em in the comments.)
Let us begin.
You may not impersonate a member of the clergy. Such a misdemeanor could result in actual jail time, and/or a fine of up to $500.
The internet is very excited about all Alaska’s weird moose laws, like the supposed illegality of giving a moose a beer or the aforementioned law against shoving one out of an airplane. Unfortunately, those are all old and/or fake, but here’s one that’s still moose-adjacent: If you kill a moose (or any big game animal) no matter the circumstances, you gotta at least try to salvage the meat so people can eat it. Hope you know how to do that.
Want to feed garbage to a pig? You’ll need a permit. You can, thankfully, feed your own household garbage to your own pigs without the permit.
Because one of the popular weird laws for a lot of states goes something along the lines of “no honking at sandwich shops at these oddly specific hours on a Sunday,” it is with great joy that I bring you Section 18-55 of Little Rock’s Code of Ordinances -- current as of March 2017 -- which states that “No person shall sound the horn on a vehicle at any place where cold drinks or sandwiches are served after 9pm.” (Also, no, it’s not illegal to mispronounce the state’s name. Just discouraged.)
Look, you can have as many frogs for as many frog-jumping contests as you want. But if any of them die, you may not eat them. Go to Alaska if you want to do that shit.