There is no doubt about it that America has it's fair share of bizarre laws. Some from the past and some still existing today, they will definitely make you wonder why they were even created in the first place. Some of these odd laws include no dancing while wearing a sombrero, no selling cars on a Sunday or no chickens crossing the road. Some of these bizarre laws are not even exclusive to their state, ranging across multiple states! Continue reading to see if you find an odd law from your state.
Delaware: No whispering in a place of worship
In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, it is banned to whisper or use profane language at church or at a place of religious worship. According to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware's Article IV Offenses Against Public Peace and Safety 198-23, a person is not allowed to disrupt religious worship, which includes whispering. The law states there is no disruption by "noise, talking or whispering, or by rude or indecent behavior, or by profane language within their place of worship, or within 300 feet of the place of worship." The law was created to discourage and prevent disruptive behavior during worship services.
Georgia: No chickens crossing the road
In Quitman, Georgia, there is a law against any chickens crossing the road. Under Section 8-1 of Georgia law, it is has rules against "domestic fowl running at large." According to the law, "it shall be unlawful for any person owning or controlling chickens, ducks, geese or any other domestic fowl to allow the same to run at large upon the streets or alleys of the city or to be upon the premises of any other person, without the consent of such other person."
Missouri: No selling cars on Sunday
In Missouri, it is illegal to sell a car on a Sunday. According to Missouri's code 578.120, the law says that "no dealer, distributer or manufacturer who isn't licensed may keep open, operate, or assist in keeping open or operating any established place of business for the purpose of buying, selling bartering or exchanging, or offering for sale, any motor vehicle, whether new or used, on Sunday." The same law is also in affect in other states such as New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas and Utah.
Nevada: No lottery
In Nevada, there are no lottery tickets sold and no authorized lottery. The Constitution of the State of Nevada does, however, give the state legislature power to authorize and regulate lotteries, such as raffles, for organizations that are involved in charitable or nonprofit activities. According to Section 24 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada, "all proceeds of the lottery, less expenses directly related to the operation of the lottery, must be used only to benefit charitable or nonprofit activities in this State." Additionally, the constitution says, "a charitable or nonprofit organization shall not employ or otherwise engage any person to organize or operate its lottery for compensation."
New Mexico: No dancing while wearing a sombrero
According to a report published by Tucker, Yoder & Associates, a law firm based in Farmington, New Mexico, it is illegal to dance while wearing a sombrero. In a report published by the firm in September 2021 titled "10 Odd New Mexico Laws," the firm wrote "there's nothing illegal about wearing a sombrero in New Mexica, but start dancing in it and you're breaking the law." The firm couldn't quite go into detail as to why the law exists, but nonetheless, the law is in place. "It might not seem like dancing in a sombrero would cause any reason to be banned, but the state lawmakers certainly disagree," said Tucker, Yoder & Associates.
North Dakota: Specific poker rules
In North Dakota, there are specific rules regarding the length of poker games and the amount of for-profit games per year. According to the North Dakota Legislative Code on Games of Chance (Section 99-01.3-09-01), licensed organizations can conduct a maximum of two for-profit poker events each year, with each poker event lasting no longer than 72 hours. During this time period, organizations are allowed to run multiple poker tournaments "at each of its licensed sites." "For a tournament, an organization shall charge each player an entry fee," states the code. "For each tournament conducted, the total fees cannot exceed three hundred dollars per player, which includes the buy-in or entry fee, plus rebuys, add-ons, and bounties. The total fees collected are considered gross proceeds."
South Dakota: No fireworks to protect sunflowers from birds
In South Dakota, it is illegal to use fireworks to protect sunflower crops from birds. According to Title 34 (chapter 36, section 7), there is a law in place that bans farmers to set off fireworks over their sunflower crops to scare away birds. The act was once permitted, but has since been prohibited. Before the law was put in place, farmers were allowed to use fireworks to scare off birds from their crops as long as they were not used within 660 feet of an occupied dwelling, church or schoolhouse and as long as the act was done with permission from the adjoining landowner.
Utah: Specific beer purchase limit in public
In Utah, there is a beer purchase limit for the public. According to Chapter Four of the Utah Code's Title 32B Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (section 32B-4-406), "a person may not sell, offer for sale or furnish beer to the general public in a container that exceeds two liters." The law adds by saying, "a person may not purchase or possess beer in a container that exceeds two liters." Some container-size exceptions to this law include retail licensees that dispense beer for consumption or beer wholesale licensees that sell beer to licensed retailers.
Virginia: No hunting near a place of worship on Sunday
In Virginia, hunting on Sundays near a place of worship is illegal. The restriction is written in the Code of Virginia's Title 29.1. on Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Boating. In chapter five, article two (section 29.1-521), it reads "To hunt or kill on Sunday (i) any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species, with a gun, firearm, or other weapon, within 200 yards of a place of worship or any accessory structure thereof or (ii) any deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs." Individuals who violate this law are punished with a Class 3 misdemeanor.
The list of bizarre laws in America could go on forever, with specific laws in each state. While many of these laws are either nonexistent now, or pertain to multiple states, they are sure to make your head turn. There are so many more off things that are banned throughout the States such as not being able to use ferrets as hunting animals in West Virginia, Wisconsin having to abide by the law of all cheeses having a "fairly pleasing" flavor, or the law that was once in Vermont that required all forms of imitation butter and cheese to be colored pink. With all that being said, I hope there was at least one odd law that was learned!