List of strange state laws on the books in New York. These rules and regulations were passed by the New York state legislature, or in an individual New York 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 Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned, or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons.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 set a common law precedent from that point on.
Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor in popular culture. TV shows such as "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.)
Vote up which laws you think are the most ridiculous New York laws to have ever been created.
list ordered by
Going Topless in Public is A-OK
Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used for business.
It's Illegal to Call Sons Homophobic Names
It is illegal for a father to call his son a “f*ggot” or “queer” in an effort to curb “girlie behavior." (Staten Island)
If Jumping Off a Building Doesn't Kill You... the City of NYC Will
The penalty for jumping off a building is death.
Couples Must Both Agree that Their Differences Are Irreconcilable
New Yorkers cannot dissolve a marriage for irreconcilable differences, unless they both agree to it.
There Goes Everyone's Social Lives
It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun.
No Slurping Allowed
People may not slurp their soup. (Ocean City)
Thou Shalt Not Wiggle Thine Fingers at Fellow Citizens
Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.”
Suitable Bathing Suits Only, Please
If one wishes to bathe in the city limits, they must be clothed in a “suitable bathing suit.” (Sag Harbor)
Carrying Ice Cream Cones in Your Pocket is Prohibited.. on Sundays
A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket.
Choose Your Concert Snacks Wisely
During a concert, it is illegal to eat peanuts and walk backwards on the sidewalks. (Greene)
New York Enforces Awkward Elevator Rides
While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking toward the door.
If You Find Yourself in a Wagon, Keep Your Clothes On
It is illegal to disrobe in a wagon. (Sag Harbor)
Kim Kardashian is Essentially Banned from the Streets of New York
It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing.”
You Can Join the Army at 18, But You May Not Smoke Until You Are 21
In 2013, NY voted to raise the minimum smoking age to 21.
No Pinball Machines on the Lord's Day
Pinball machines are not to be played on Sunday. (Ocean City)
Keep Your Flirting to Yourself
A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting.
They Have a Pretty Generous Slipper Policy
Slippers are not to be worn after 10:00 PM.
Limit How Often You Sleep in Your Backyard
It is against town ordinances to camp out on your own land more than 72 hours a month. If you want to camp out for two weeks you need a permit, which can only be obtained once a year. (Kendall)
Looks Like You Won't Be Making Burgers at Your Next BBQ
Raw hamburger may not sold. (Ocean City)
Avoid Eating and Drinking Outdoors
It is illegal to eat in the street in residential neighborhoods, and the only beverage you can drink on the beach is water in a clear plastic bottle. (Ocean City)