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Strange laws in every state

  • Strange laws in every state

    States have created some odd laws over the years, from prohibiting the sale of musical instruments on Sundays to outlawing fishing for trout from the back of an animal. Some of these laws are simply outdated, such as the one requiring public officials to promise they have never fought in a duel with a deadly weapon. Others have left some outright perplexed—it’s actually illegal for unmarried persons to fornicate in Virginia, regardless of age or consent.

    Each state has its share of strange laws, but many of the ones seen circling around on the Internet are myths. Stacker researched government websites and credible news sources to bring you real odd laws from each state. Some of them have been repealed since they were created, but many of them exist and are still being enforced.

    See the strange laws from your state to make sure you don’t get in trouble for taking a selfie with a tiger, for example.


    You may also likeMajor laws passed the year you were born

  • Alabama

    The state banned card-playing, gaming, hunting, racing, and other activities on Sunday. Those caught doing so would receive a fine between $10 and $100, and face up to three months in jail or hard labor. This strange law was eventually repealed in 2015.

  • Alaska

    It’s illegal for a drunk person to knowingly enter or remain on a premises where alcohol is served. Police started enforcing the law in 2012 by arresting drunk customers and the employees that served them. 

  • Arizona

    Donkeys are forbidden from sleeping in bathtubs. As the legend goes, one man used to let his donkey sleep in an old tub. One day, the animal—while in the tub—was washed a mile down the valley when the town of Kingman flooded in 1924. The donkey survived the incident, but the town spent a lot of money, time, and manpower to rescue it. 

  • Arkansas

    Even if you’re having the luckiest streak of your life, it’s still illegal for a pinball machine to give away more than 25 free games to a player who keeps winning. The law was formed to regulate gambling when valuables are being exchanged. 

  • California

    Dogs are not allowed to pursue bears or other large mammals in California. The law went into effect in 2012 because some hunting practices were deemed cruel and unnecessary.

  • Colorado

    It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence. In 2013, Colorado police arrested a man suspected of riding his horse while intoxicated.

  • Connecticut

    Plagiarizing your schoolwork will get you more than just an honor court sentencing in Connecticut. It is flat-out illegal to sell a term paper, essay, dissertation, thesis, or any other kind of academic work.

  • Delaware

    It is unlawful in the second degree to sell cat or dog fur. If caught, one could face a $2,500 fine and be barred from owning a cat or dog for 15 years.

  • Florida

    The state banned the controversial sport of dwarf-tossing in bars in 1989. It was a popular activity until David Wilson, a dwarf, died of alcohol poisoning. A legislator attempted to unsuccessfully repeal the law in 2011.

  • Georgia

    In Gainesville, people are required to eat fried chicken with their hands—one 91-year-old woman was nearly arrested for to trying to eat it with a fork. The law was originally passed in 1961 as a public relations stunt to promote the city’s chicken industry.

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