17 Outdated Laws in America That Remain in Effect

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By Jonathan Trent

Many laws have evolved over the centuries to create a more equal and supportive way of life, but that doesn’t mean bizarre and extremely outdated laws don’t still exist. For a laugh, we’ve collected 17 of the strangest laws in America for you that are still around today!

You Can’t Drive Blindfolded in Alabama

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Just in case you were planning on taking an extremely dangerous road trip through Alabama, you’ll have to leave your blindfolds at home. While this law was established with the best intentions of road safety, we can all agree that we don’t really need to be told not to drive blind!

Whaling is Prohibited in Oklahoma

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Prohibiting whaling might seem like a respectable law to protect these animals, but Oklahoma is a landlocked state! Even if you wanted to break this particular law, you’d find it very difficult to do so in a region without ocean access. What were they thinking!?

Don’t Wear a Fake Mustache to Church in Alabama

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The law prohibiting wearing a fake mustache to church isn’t so much about the strangeness of a disguise but more about the potential to make other people laugh, says the University of Law. Leave it at home, and you can have fun with your fake mustaches later!

You Can’t Ride a Horse Drunk in Colorado

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While it’s completely understandable to avoid intoxication while riding a horse, especially considering they used to be the key mode of transportation, this practice is pretty outdated now. Cars have long since replaced horses as our primary transportation, so we doubt this law is broken very often at all. 

You Can’t Parachute on Sundays if You’re an Unmarried Women

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Having a law that prohibits parachuting on Sundays is strange enough in itself, but it gets weirder when it only applies to unmarried women. Why, you might ask? Well, some believe it was regarding laws relating to the sanctity of the Sabbath and possibly trying to protect a woman’s virtue.

You Can’t Shoot a Rabbit from a Motorboat in Kansas

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You have to respect the law never to shoot rabbits from a motorboat in Kansas, seeing as it’s likely trying to protect the local wildlife and prohibit shooting from a moving vehicle. However, this is such a specific scenario that you’re unlikely to find yourself in, so don’t worry about it too much!

No Hunting Camels in Arizona

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Camels were introduced to the southwest in 1855 to aid the army, according to Smithsonian Magazine, so it makes sense why there’d be a law that prohibits hunting. However, it’s been rather a long time since there were any camels at all in Arizona, which begs the question of why this law still exists.

Don’t Honk at Sandwich Shops after 9 pm in Arkansas

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If you’re feeling particularly hangry after 9 p.m., you probably shouldn’t take your frustrations out on your car horn outside a sandwich shop—at least not in Arkansas. This strange law is originally believed to have been to reduce noise disturbances, though we don’t exactly know why sandwich shops get a special mention.

You Can’t Play Bingo for More Than Five Hours in North Carolina

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We have bad news for passionate bingo players in North Carolina: five hours is the limit for any game of bingo in the hope of preventing serious gambling issues or addictions. We have to say, though, that managing five hours playing bingo does already seem like an addiction!

It’s Illegal to Sell Your Eye in Texas

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If you’re strapped for cash in Texas, we’re afraid you can’t consider selling one of your eyes, even if you wanted to. While the law makes sense in regard to the prohibition of selling organs, it does seem particularly outdated to reference the eye in particular – and only one eye, at that.

You Can’t Curse on Mini-Golf Courses in Long Beach, California

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Though a law banning cursing on mini-golf courses might seem very niche indeed, it makes sense when you think about the number of families and young children who enjoy a spot of mini-golf. So, you’ll need to use cleaner language the next time your ball fails to go through the little windmill!

Don’t Eat Fried Chicken with a Fork in Georgia

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We all know that the best way to eat a bucket of fried chicken is with your hands, but you might not have realized how seriously Georgia takes this—so much so that using a fork is illegal. ABC News even reports that a 91-year-old woman was actually arrested for doing exactly that. That’s ridiculous!

You Can’t Commit a Crime While Wearing a Bulletproof Vest in New Jersey

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Criminals are bad enough, but criminals wearing protective vests? That’s something the state of New Jersey simply cannot abide by. The law preventing criminals from wearing bulletproof vests is believed to have been in order to make criminals easier to apprehend, which is incredibly ironic!

Avoid Carrying an Ice Cream Cone in Your Pocket if You’re in Kentucky

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If you want to place a cold, melting ice cream cone in your trouser pocket, stop–Kentucky strictly forbids it. The surprising thing is that this has historical relevance: in the past, ice cream cones were used to lure horses away to steal them!

You Can’t Give Someone Else a 50-Pound Box of Chocolates in Idaho

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Sorry to burst your Valentine’s Day bubble, but in Idaho, your box of chocolates must weigh less than 50 pounds, or you could be breaking the law. This law is believed to have initially been intended to prevent lavish gifts or bribery and promote a healthier lifestyle, but it seems rather bizarre today.

Having Your Fortune Told in Pennsylvania is a No-Go

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To protect people from getting swindled by fraudulent psychics, Pennsylvania introduced a law banning fortune-telling practices – so it’s probably not the best state to travel to if you’re looking for guidance in your love life. While still in place, some are debating whether it now goes against freedom of speech.

You Can’t Get Fish Drunk in Ohio

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Last on our list, getting a fish drunk in Ohio is illegal! Yes, fish can actually get drunk from alcohol in their tanks, as the University of Toronto points out, so this law doesn’t seem so bizarre. The law remains as an advocate for animal welfare and preventing harm to animals, so keep the champagne to yourself.

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