Updated June 8, 2017 8.3k votes 2k voters 58.8k views
List of strange state laws on the books in Kentucky. These rules and regulations were passed by the Kentucky state legislature, or in an individual Kentucky city, and for one reason or another, were never overturned, remaining active on the books until this day. Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, the laws appeared in the books following a court ruling on a specific case, that then set a common law precedent from that point on.
Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor, online and more generally in popular culture. TV shows like "The Simpsons" have had a lot of fun with the notion of small towns having peculiar regulations on the books. (In one episode, Mayor Quimby is surprised to find out the town charter mandates that all ducks wear long pants.)
Often, "dumb laws" as reported on websites and in humor books have been shown to be inaccurate. This sometimes happens because a real, sensible law has been exaggerated or misunderstood, turning into something that sounds silly or ridiculous. Other times, it is simply the result of a hoax being repeated enough times to gain some kind of credibility. If you think any of the laws on this page are not accurate or do not remain active in Kentucky, let me know in the comments below.
list ordered by
Taking a shower
Every citizen of is required to take a shower once a year.
Horses are not allowed out on the streets and highways at night unless the animal has a "bright" red taillight securely attached to its rump. (Berea)
Dogs may not molest cars. (Forth Thomas)
Cats may not molest cars. (Fort Thomas)
Dying a duckling
One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.
Carrying an ice cream cone
It's illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket. (Lexington)
Bees entering Kentucky
All bees entering Kentucky shall be accompanied by certificates of health, stating that the apiary from which the bees came was free from contagious or infectious disease. (Owensboro)
Slops and soapsuds
It's illegal to throw slops or soapsuds in the street.
Throwing eggs at a public speaker could result in up to one year in prison. (Repealed, 1975)
All nude people in your house must be registered.
Three intelligent housekeepers
Each year, the mayor must appoint "three intelligent housekeepers" to the Board of Tax Supervisors. (Danville)
One may not receive anal sex. (Owensboro)
Bow and arrow
It is illegal to fish with a bow and arrow in Kentucky.
Any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
Ordinary bathing garb
Any person who appears on any highway, or upon the street of any city that has no police protection, when clothed only in ordinary bathing garb, shall be fined no less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars.
You can't legally trade horses after dark. (Franklin)
Billiards or pool
No person owning or controlling a billiard or pool table shall permit, for compensation or reward, any minor under eighteen (18) years of age to play any game on the table.
A person can be sent to jail for five years for merely sending a bottle of beer, wine or spirits as a gift to a friend in Kentucky.
Small, medium and large
The superintendent of sanitation "shall determine whether a person is small, medium or large." (Murray)
Woman may not buy a hat
A woman may not buy a hat without her husband’s permission. (Owensboro)