Strange Laws That Still Exist.

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Just wondering about strange laws that still exist. Share some that you now in the comment section.
I know it is still legal for an Englishmen to kill a Welshman with a crossbow within the walls of an English city between 12:00-1:00AM. Thought that someone would have noticed this one by now.

http://autos.ca.msn.com/editors-picks/weird-traffic-laws-from-around-the-world#image=13

"In Memphis, Tenn., New Orleans, La., and Alabama, it's against the law for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians."

In my state, it is illegal to use an elephant to plow a cotton field, or to sing off key.

A few other... interesting laws I've heard of:

In Alabama it is legal to drive the wrong way down a one way street if you first attach a lantern to the front of the vehicle. Meanwhile, you cannot open an umbrella on the street.

In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death, and while in an elevator, one must talk to no one, keep one's hands folded, and face the door.

In Texas, when two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone. Criminals are required to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

Indiana, Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 by 81 inches in measurement. Also a man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17. (it seems I actually dodged a bullet on this one, my younger sister used to do exactly that all the time.)

Dumb Laws will help you find all sorts of silly ones, some even have an explanation on said law.

Liquor is still controlled by my state, a remnant from the Prohibition era. I live in PA. The reason it hasn't changed (even though every new governor claims he's gonna end it) is because every "Wine & Spirits Shoppe" is run by the state making every single employee a public employee union member with a crazy high wage for what they do along with full state pension and health benefits. My state is just controlled by unions, both parties. They got every statewide office holder (not the two Senators per se) by the short and curlies.

Heronblade:
Indiana, Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 by 81 inches in measurement. Also a man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17. (it seems I actually dodged a bullet on this one, my younger sister used to do exactly that all the time.)

If you mysteriously disappear from the forum, is it proof that law enforcement is watching us?

Here's some just for my state.

-It is a capital offense to inadvertently kill someone while attempting suicide.

-A person must be eighteen years old to play a pinball machine.

-Every adult male must bring a rifle to church on Sunday in order to ward off Indian attacks.

-It is perfectly legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sundays.

-When approaching a four way or blind intersection in a non-horse driven vehicle you must stop 100 ft from the intersection and discharge a firearm into the air to warn horse traffic.

-Fortune tellers are required to obtain a special permit from the state.

-It is illegal to give or receive oral sex.

-It is considered an offense to get a tattoo.

Heronblade:
it is illegal to sing off key.

OK I need this one in England.
In England, at least in some towns, it's legal for a female shopkeeper to be topless as long as she's selling tropical fish. Heard that a few years ago, not sure if it's still the case.

KingWein22:
Dumb Laws will help you find all sorts of silly ones, some even have an explanation on said law.

You know, I looked up the "dumb laws" for my country, Germany, and...
Well, they don't really seem that dumb or weird to me, with maybe one exception.
I'll just accept everything on that page at face value for now:

Every office must have a view of the sky, however small.

Important for employee protections. We know how unhealthy it is not to have any access to fresh air and sunlight. As with many things, providing these right things also leads to more productivity, of course.

It is illegal to wear a mask.

With obvious exceptions, of course, like carnival. Makes sense, since we want to be able to identify people if necessary. It may not be illegal elswhere, but I'm pretty sure people will find it suspicious in other places as well when you walk around in a balaclava.

It is illegal for ones car to run out of gas on the Autobahn.

Perfectly reasonable in my view. It's negligent to drive on the Autobahn with insufficient gas and risk causing accidents, hold-ups and other crises.

The only one I'm not sure about is this one...

A pillow can be considered a "passive" weapon.

...albeit mostly because of the odd phrasing and lack of details. To be fair, all of them lack details and I may be interpreting this one and the other ones too much and rationalize them, but... well, you can murder a person with a pillow through suffocation, for example. When it's used as a weapon, it can be considered a weapon in that instance. What that "passive"-thing is about I have no idea, though. But I note that it's not about a pillow being a weapon but rather that it's possible to consider it a weapon, which would seem to make the context important.

As for dumb laws I'm aware of myself in my country? There are plenty. Usually about how specific documents are to be filed or about exact regulations that nobody really takes seriously anyway and whatnot. One could also argue about things like cigarettes' legality versus weed or different strengths of alcohol and whatnot, I suppose. Hell, if you really looked you'd find tons I'm sure.
One particular anachronism I remember well, though: One of the Bundeslšnder I used to live in still has the death penalty on the books. But since federal law overrules it, it's irrelevant. Still, somebody should get that out at some point. Just in case.

Over here its required by law that every male is drafted into the military by the age 19...

Silliest thing about this is that it's still enforced.

Nikolaz72:
Over here its required by law that every male is drafted into the military by the age 19...

Silliest thing about this is that it's still enforced.

We still have the military/civil service for males on the books, but our supreme court deemed it unfairly enforced (especially with some people getting certificates of, I dunno, allergies or an aching back or what have you) and so it's put on hold now. Indefinitely.

In Georgia, it is illegal to walk with an ice cream cone in your back pocket on a Sunday.

Skeleon:

The only one I'm not sure about is this one...

A pillow can be considered a "passive" weapon.

...albeit mostly because of the odd phrasing and lack of details. To be fair, all of them lack details and I may be interpreting this one and the other ones too much and rationalize them, but... well, you can murder a person with a pillow through suffocation, for example. When it's used as a weapon, it can be considered a weapon in that instance. What that "passive"-thing is about I have no idea, though. But I note that it's not about a pillow being a weapon but rather that it's possible to consider it a weapon, which would seem to make the context important.

I'm going to take a wild guess, bear in mind I don't actually have a clue.

Let's say you wake up and someone is standing over you with a pillow in hand and appears to have been about to make sure you never woke up at all. In any subsequent court trial, that law would make sure that confusion over the definition of a weapon does not change the ruling.

Herein good old' Carmel, it's apparently illegal to leave your home wearing a suit and tie that don't match or something like that. We're not really known for our fashion sense nowadays, unfortunately.

Some good laws from my state New Mexico. Also I'll post more laws later for Georgia. The state I grew up in and lived in until 10 months ago when I moved out here to lovely New Mexico.
Anyways here are New Mexico's dumb and strange laws.

Idiots may not vote.

It's forbidden for a female to appear unshaven in public.

In Las Cruces: You may not carry a lunchbox down Main Street.

In Carlsbad: The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary is banned.

In Ranton: It is illegal for a woman to ride horseback down a public street with a kimono on.

The state claims the right to any moisture that falls from the sky.

In it illegal to kill a songbird.

It is a crime to break off stalactites in a cave.

All food fed to swine must first be cooked in government approved facilities.

It is illegal to tamper with a tree within 400 yards of a highway.

Abusing a computer is a crime.

Defacing a rock is illegal.

It is a crime to hunt an animal and not consume its meat.

Animals taken for rattlesnake races and lizard roundups are exempt from all wildlife laws.

It is illegal to hunt jaguars.

In Las Cruces: One must tear up all plastic bags left near children.

It is illegal to bet on bicycle races. But bets on ostrich or camel races are ok.

It is legal for couples to have sex in a parked car during there lunch breaks as long as they have curtains drawn so as to prevent people from peeking.

It's illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day if you're in the UK. And every Englisman is mandated by law to practice his archery for several hours a week, I forget how many.

KingWein22:
Dumb Laws will help you find all sorts of silly ones, some even have an explanation on said law.

They only show 2 for the Netherlands, and neither seems very dumb to me.

One is about the legality of pot here (legal in limited amounts)
And the second is about the fact that (legal) prostitutes have to pay taxes.

Neither seems weird...

In my home town in Missouri, it is illegal to ride your horse around the courthouse square more than 2 consecutive times (it was one of the original anti-cruising laws).

In San Fransisco it is illegal to shoot a rabbit from a streetcar with a firearm while the streetcar is in motion.

In Kentucky it is illegal for a vehicle to be going more than 30 miles per hour without a driver.

I used to know quite a few more. Going to have to dredge through my memories to see if I can't dig up a few more.

Heronblade:
Also a man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17. (it seems I actually dodged a bullet on this one, my younger sister used to do exactly that all the time.)

Hahaha, you know, as someone with a foot fetish, I can kind of see some semblance of logic in this. But at the same time, it must seem so goddamn confusing and crazy for most people. Haha, wow. Silly law, though. Silly.

In the UK its illegal to die in the houses of Parliament.... and i fully agree, if i die there i will not resist the arrest

Eleuthera:

KingWein22:
Dumb Laws will help you find all sorts of silly ones, some even have an explanation on said law.

They only show 2 for the Netherlands, and neither seems very dumb to me.

One is about the legality of pot here (legal in limited amounts)
And the second is about the fact that (legal) prostitutes have to pay taxes.

Neither seems weird...

The dumb laws site when it comes to non-american laws just seems downright dumb and inaccurate. I looked over the Swedish part and it listed a couple of normal laws, one detailing the appearant dumbness of the heir to the throne having to be approved by parliament and the King and then it said something about painting your house requiring a permission from the government which is just downright wrong. Trust me, I've painted my house several times and the government was not involved.

Some of the laws for Australia just seem to be padding. Like this one:

"The legal age for straight sex is 16, unless the person is in the care/custody of the older person, in which case it is 18."

That makes perfect sense to moe.

Here it's legal to take road kill home to eat and for males to have sex with an animal as long as it does not exceed 40 lbs. Go us, I guess?

Heronblade:
In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death

I imagine I wouldn't be the first to say that I think I've heard of that law, and that it's called gravity.

Here in Oregon, it's illegal to talk dirty in bed. Don't ask how they enforce it.

ComandaKool:
Just wondering about strange laws that still exist. Share some that you now in the comment section.
I know it is still legal for an Englishmen to kill a Welshman with a crossbow within the walls of an English city between 12:00-1:00AM. Thought that someone would have noticed this one by now.

Well, how many English cities still have walls surrounding them? The only one I know still has part of the wall is the City of London, which only has a few chunks left of it's old Roman wall. Still, may want to patch that law up.

Here is fun loopholes to laws I have come across...

Gambling is illegal in Japan, but you can set up slot machines that give out balls, with the awards you can get for those balls being cheap carnival items, which can be "sold" to a "pawn shop" next door to the gambling hall.

Buying sex for money and being paid to have sex for money is prostitution. Paying for the right to film people that are having sex is totally legal.

In Israel, it's only prostitution if a person buys sex and if an owner of an establishment advertises the sex. Many "massage parlors" have sprung up, that the owners don't offer the sex, but the female massagers can freely offer "extras" to their clients.

A town banned any public displays of nudity (basically strip clubs) that didn't have "serious artistic merit." Local strip clubs started to give out a pencil and a pad of paper to anyone who walked through the door.

A porn piece without a plot or other artistic merits could be labelled as obscene in the US. That is why most porn has the tried and true "delivery guy comes over" and has the fantastic sound work of "bawchickawowow."

US tax law requires the filling out of paperwork on and gambling winnings of over $1,200. Every casino makes what would normally be $1,200 be $1,999 in winnings to avoid the extra paperwork.

There are many powers a government can't have unless they are legally in a state of "emergency". Israel has been in a "state of emergency" since 1948.

Heronblade:
In any subsequent court trial, that law would make sure that confusion over the definition of a weapon does not change the ruling.

Makes sense, although one would wonder why they'd phrase it for pillows specifically rather than be more general about it. After all, in that sense a lot of common objects can - under particular circumstances - qualify as a weapon. Why single pillows out rather than generally define it as a context-/usage-based definition as a weapon for all sorts of items?

McMullen:

Heronblade:
In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death

I imagine I wouldn't be the first to say that I think I've heard of that law, and that it's called gravity.

Here in Oregon, it's illegal to talk dirty in bed. Don't ask how they enforce it.

Does this mean that Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space New York?

BlackStar42:

McMullen:

Heronblade:
In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building is death

I imagine I wouldn't be the first to say that I think I've heard of that law, and that it's called gravity.

Here in Oregon, it's illegal to talk dirty in bed. Don't ask how they enforce it.

Does this mean that Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space New York?

Nah, that would be Neil DeGrasse Tyson. They say he killed a whole planet by himself.

These are some of my favorites for Louisiana:

Biting someone with your natural teeth is "simple assault," while biting someone with your false teeth is "aggravated assault."

In other places, this might be seen as unfair to old people, though in some backwoods parts of Louisiana, you'd be surprised at how many people have false teeth.

It is illegal to shoot lasers at police officers.

It is illegal to practice voodoo in the city limits[1].

Seems like a violation of the 1st Ammendment.

You may not tie an alligator to a fire hydrant.

I can see the reason for this, though it makes me wonder if this was a frequent enough thing that they specifically made a law for it.

It is illegal to be an alcoholic.[2]

Don't really know anyone from Sulphur, though I have to imagine there are quite a few people breaking this one.

[1] In Orleans Parish
[2] In Sulphur

Jux:

It is illegal to shoot lasers at police officers.

That one is not that weird, lasers can cause serious eye damage (even blindness in some cases).

OT: Don't really know of any weird laws in Sweden, only the lack of a law against having sex with animals.
It was illegal before but it was in the same law as the banning of same sex sex, so when they made the later legal the former simply happened to go along.

cahtush:

Jux:

It is illegal to shoot lasers at police officers.

That one is not that weird, lasers can cause serious eye damage (even blindness in some cases).

OT: Don't really know of any weird laws in Sweden, only the lack of a law against having sex with animals.
It was illegal before but it was in the same law as the banning of same sex sex, so when they made the later legal the former simply happened to go along.

I find it strange that it specifies police officers. Though it makes sense in a way, laser dots could be associated with weapon sights, and thus maybe considered threatening an officer of the law?

Jux:

cahtush:

Jux:

That one is not that weird, lasers can cause serious eye damage (even blindness in some cases).

OT: Don't really know of any weird laws in Sweden, only the lack of a law against having sex with animals.
It was illegal before but it was in the same law as the banning of same sex sex, so when they made the later legal the former simply happened to go along.

I find it strange that it specifies police officers. Though it makes sense in a way, laser dots could be associated with weapon sights, and thus maybe considered threatening an officer of the law?

Remember, laser dots work both ways, so an officer in the dark may think a gun is pointed at his/her partner and fire at where the red light is coming from. It might be a crook with a gun, it might be a kid who doesn't know better.

Not G. Ivingname:

ComandaKool:
Just wondering about strange laws that still exist. Share some that you now in the comment section.
I know it is still legal for an Englishmen to kill a Welshman with a crossbow within the walls of an English city between 12:00-1:00AM. Thought that someone would have noticed this one by now.

Well, how many English cities still have walls surrounding them? The only one I know still has part of the wall is the City of London, which only has a few chunks left of it's old Roman wall. Still, may want to patch that law up.

-snipped-

Canterbury still has a hell of a lot of wall around it!
And I live in Canterbury.
...
Excuse me.
I need to purchase a crossbow, methinks.

Mestraal:
Canterbury still has a hell of a lot of wall around it!
And I live in Canterbury.
...
Excuse me.
I need to purchase a crossbow, methinks.

A hell load of good that'll do. Why do you think we put our battering rams in rolling houses?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a siege to plan...

Jux:

I find it strange that it specifies police officers. Though it makes sense in a way, laser dots could be associated with weapon sights, and thus maybe considered threatening an officer of the law?

I don't think it has to do with laser sights, the pointing at eyes seem more probable.
I would guess it's because of some previous incidents with kids pointing lasers at police cars.

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