50 Dumb Laws From Across the United States

One wrong step could easily place somebody on the wrong side of US law with these odd particulars.
One wrong step could easily place somebody on the wrong side of US law with these odd particulars.

In the United States, there are both federal and state laws. The 50 states of the United States are allowed by the federal constitution to formulate and implement their own laws. Some of these laws are rarely implemented and are even considered weird, controversial and obnoxious. While some of these laws are outlandish and could rarely be broken nonchalantly by the average citizen, some laws refer to behavior so commonplace that many could be breaking the law without even noticing!

​ “Dumb Laws” Across the United States

It Is Prohibited To Harass Big Foot (Washington)

In the US state of Washington, it is a crime punishable by either a fine or a jail term to harass big foot, Sasquatch, or any other undiscovered species. Skamania County, Washington, was the first county to draft the law in 1964 which states that "any willful, wanton slaying of such creatures shall be deemed a felony". Whatcom County, Washington, also unanimously passed the law on 6/9/91 declaring the county a refuge for Sasquatch and Bigfoot. Any person violating this law is likely to be charged an amount not exceeding $100,000 or a jail term not exceeding two years, arguably a bit harsh for a character from urban legends.

It Is Illegal To Catch A Fish with Your Bare Hands (Kansas)

Hand-fishing without a license is illegal in is Kansas State. Anyone who plans to hand-fish must first obtain a hand-fishing license in addition to a fishing license for an extra charge of $27.50. Seems straightforward enough, right? However, it is legal to hand-fish flathead catfish from sunrise to sunset June 15 through August 31 along the Arkansas River, all federal reservoirs beyond 150 yards of a dam, and the whole stretch of the Kansas River. Anyone with a hand-fishing license is not allowed to use hooks, a scuba gear, and any man-made fishing gear except a stringer which is deployed only after a fish has been caught.

Illegal to Eat Fried Chicken (Except With Your Hands) (Gainesville, Georgia)

In Gainesville County, Georgia, it is against the law to eat fried chicken in any other way except with your bare hands. As much as the law might seem absurd, it is enforced. In 2009, a 91-year-old visitor from Louisiana was arrested and charged for eating fried chicken with a fork. The law has been in existence since 1965, and the art of eating fried chicken with your hands is considered “a culinary delicacy sacred to this municipality".

New Jersey and parts of Oregon still prohibit you from pumping your own gas mostly because the locals simply like the convenience, and those attendants like having jobs.
New Jersey and parts of Oregon still prohibit you from pumping your own gas mostly because the locals simply like the convenience, and those attendants like having jobs.

Drivers Must Not Pump Their Own Gas (Oregon and New Jersey)

It is illegal for drivers to pump their gas in the state of Oregon. The law was passed in 1951 and seeks to reduce fire accidents caused by mishandling of flammable material by untrained personnel, and anyone violating this law is liable for a $500 fine. The law states that only the owner, pump operator or employee is allowed to pump the gas. In 2015, a bill was enacted to law to allow citizens living in less populated areas with less than 40,000 people to pump their own gas. A similar law also exists in New Jersey.

Other controversial laws in the United States.

Some other strange laws include: it is prohibited to open an umbrella on the street in Alabama, denying someone a glass of water is prohibited in Arizona, and it is also Illegal to collect rainwater in Colorado.

50 "Dumb Laws" Across the United States

1Prohibited to open an umbrealla on a streetAlabama
2Dominoes may not be played on SundayAlabama
3Illegal to throw confetti or spray silly stringAlabama (Mobile)
4Flamingoes are not allowed in barber shopsAlaska (Juneau)
5Denying someone a glass of water is prohibited Arizona
6Dogs are not to bark after 6PMArkansas (Little Rock)
7Spitting is only permitted on baseball diamondsCalifornia (Burlingame)
8Illegal to collect rain waterColorado
9It is illegal for car dealers to show cars on SundaysColorado
10A pickle is not a pickle unless it bouncesConnecticut
11One is not to walk backwards after sunset Connecticut (Devon)
12It is prohibited to fly over water without sufficient suppliesDelaware
13The singing in public places while wearing a bathing suit is not allowedFlorida
14Skateboarding without a license is prohbitedFlorida
15One is not to live on a boat for more than 30 daysGeorgia
16Illegal to eat fried chicken any way but with your handsGeorgia (Gainesville)
17Chickens are not permitted to cross the roadGeorgia (Quitman)
18No billboards allowedHawaii
19You cannot place a coin behind your earHawaii
20It is prohibited to gift a box of chocolates weighing more than 50 lbsIdaho
21No bicycles allowed in tennis courtsIdaho
22The giving of whiskey to dogs is prohibitedIllinois (Chicago)
23No kites allowed to be flown within city limitsIllinois (Chicago)
24The value of pi is 4, not 3.1415...Indiana
25The reading of palms is prohibitedIowa (Cedar Rapids)
26It is illegal to catch a fish with bare handsKansas
27No false promises allowedLouisiana
28Nobody is to step out of a plane mid-flightMaine
29Christmas decorations must not be up past January 14thMaine
30It is not permitted to take a lion to the moviesMaryland (Baltimore)
31Beer is not to be given to hospital patientsMassachusetts
32All putt-putt courses are to be closed no later than 1am. Michigan (Detroit)
33Nobody is to cross state lines with a duck atop their headMinnestoa
34Anyone disturbing church services is subject to a citizens arrestMississippi
35It is prohibited to frighten a babyMissouri (Mole)
36The raising of pet rats is prohibitedMontana (Billings)
37Doughnut holes are not to be soldNebraska (Lehigh)
38No camels are allowed on highwaysNevada
39Tapping feet, nodding head, or moving to music in any water is prohibited in restaurantsNew Hampshire
40It is required that a person lend a phone to another in needNew Jersey
41No slippers before 10 pmNew York
42It is illegal to sing off-keyNorth Carolina
43No bingo games shall last more than 5 hoursNorth Carolina
44The serving of beer and pretzels simutaneously is not allowedNorth Dakota
45Noone shall participate in a duelOhio
46Drivers must not pump their own gasOregon
47Professional sports are not to be played on SundaysRhode Island
48it is prohibited to catch a fish using a lassoTennessee
49Drinking of milk is mandatoryUtah
50It is prohibited to harass BigfootWashington

More in Did You Know