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".
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.