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Silly or Obscure Laws


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  • Silly or Obscure Laws

    One way I entertain myself (sad by true) is I randomly read the penal code.

    I get a kick out of finding pointless or obscure laws.

    For instance, Elephant abuse is identified as a separate crime in CA.

    PC - 596.5

    I wouldn’t think it was so stupid were it not for the fact the elements and penalties are the same for animal abuse (so it’s already covered).

    Same goes for car jacking. The elements and penalties are the same as robbery.

    PC 211 verses PC 215

    My all time favorite is:


    The “preparation” of a false insurance claim is itself a crime.

    Think if it like bomb making materials on a work bench that is not yet made into a bomb. Now replace those materials with documentation laid out on a desk that could be used to file a fraudulent insurance claim. It’s the same basic thing in terms of legality (knowing that PC got me out of a bind in my academy).

    So I’m throwing this out there. I highly doubt CA has a monopoly on obscure laws. It would be great if folks could add to the content of this thread.
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus

  • #2
    I worked for a place where it was against local ordinance to set a lighted candle aloft in a balloon. It was also against the law to have a horse serviced on a public street.


    • #3
      Originally posted by SCV-Sop View Post
      For instance, Elephant abuse is identified as a separate crime in CA.

      PC - 596.5

      I wouldn’t think it was so stupid were it not for the fact the elements and penalties are the same for animal abuse (so it’s already covered).
      What is so surprising about California passing stupid, redundant laws that are already covered somewhere else (namely COMMON SENSE!)? They're famous for it.
      Invisible Signature.......FAIL


      • #4
        San Francisco used to have a Municipal Police Code that had all sorts of bizarre prohibitions. They included things such as: :

        1. It was illegal for an unsightly person to expose themselves to public view. We called this the looking ugly in public statute and my partner actually booked someone on this one day when he got pis*ed off. (Trigger - are you reading this?)

        2. It was illegal for a person to display a deformity for money. Again, my partner (in a bad mood) popped an amputee wino for charging a kid 25 cents to look at his stump.

        3. It was illegal to fly kites west of Divisadero Street.

        4. It was illegal to sink an ark west of Army Street.

        5. The ground floor resident of a flat was responsible for sweeping the public sidewalk and keeping it clean.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


        • #5
          there's an app for that, no seriously its called weird laws, i got it haha


          • #6
            No ****, in my town you have to get a permit to dance after midnight and even with said permit, there is no dancing on sundays from 2am to midnight....sounds like another movie for kevin bacon.


            • #7
              In Iowa it is illegal to have a rifle in the rifle rack in the back window of your pickup without a permit.


              • #8
                Kearney, Missouri: It is illegal to fart in public....It is worded You cannot pass a noxious odor....believe it is still on the books
                A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!


                • #9
                  In Los Angeles, it's against the City's Municiple Code to: buy, sell, trade or give away a used hat which is not clearly marked on the inside of the brim as USED.
                  "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                  Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                  Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.


                  • #10
                    No cat calls from our trolley trains (which haven't been in service for 50+ years).

                    Still on the books in Maryland is Adultery.

                    Misdemeanor punishable by a $10.00 fine


                    • #11
                      Many years ago, a Husband/Wife team of Attorneys, researched, catalogued, and annotated many such laws from all over the U.S. The book was about the size of an average paperback novel. It was totally hillarious, and one of the best reads I ever did. I can't recall the title, but I believe the book was published in the early seventies. Well, I've told many a visitor to our site, that Goggle was their friend. Tonight, I'm going to see how well he likes me.


                      • #12
                        Oh, I do seem to recall a Municipal Ordinance from Houston Texas. It made it unlawful to shoot at Indians from streetcars on Congress Ave. Houston has re-instituted light rail (Streetcar) service on several routes in the city. If one of those lines runs down Congress Ave,the activity mentioned could still be illegal.


                        • #13
                          Ok guys, I see these obscure/funny laws quoted all the time. IF you post one, I think you should have to post the actual code also. Some of the ones I have seen in the past attributed to my state could not be found in the actual code.


                          • #14
                            We have open carry in my state

                            I kid, I kid.

                            750.532 Seduction

                            Any man who shall seduce and debauch any unmarried woman shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or by fine of not more than 2,500 dollars; but no prosecution shall be commenced under this section after 1 year from the time of committing the offense.
                            This show is awesome, wrapped in supercool and smothered in bitchin. The only way it could be cooler is if he was riding a unicorn or something.



                            • #15
                              Against the law to bring a dead whale in to Oklahoma.


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