List of strange state laws on the books in Tennessee. These rules and regulations were passed by the Tennessee state legislature, or in an individual in Tennessee 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 Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons.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 Tennessee, let me know in the comments below.
Stealing a horseStealing a horse is punishible by hanging.
Crimes against nature“Crimes against nature” are prohibited.
Lasso for fishingIt is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.
RoadkillIt is legal to gather and consume roadkill.
Picking up trash on Easter dayNo Christian parent may require their children to pick up trash from the highway on Easter day.
Participating in a duelAny person who participates in a duel may not hold any public office in the state.
Netflix passwordIt is a crime to share your Netflix password in Tennessee.
Posting images onlineIn Tennessee it is illegal to to post images online that cause “emotional distress” “without legitimate purpose”.
Riding a scooterAll persons riding scooters must ride in single file. (Nashville)
FrogsIt’s illegal for frogs to croak after 11 PM. (Memphis)
Hollow logsHollow logs may not be sold.
It Ain’t Goin’ To Rain No MoAn ordinance forbids anyone to sing the song “It Ain’t Goin’ To Rain No Mo’". (Oneida)
Hitching postIn front of their buildings, all businesses must have a “hitching post. (Knoxville)
Live in the same houseMore than 8 women may not live in the same house because that would constitute a brothel.
SkunksSkunks may not be carried into the state.
Ice cream coneIt is illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket. (Lexington)
Throwing stonesThrowing stones is prohibited as it might break a window. (Nashville)
MinistersMinisters are to be dedicated to God and therefore are not eligible to hold a seat in either House of the Legislature.
Woman driving a carIllegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. (Memphis)
Dumb animalThe definition of “dumb animal” includes every living creature.
Oral sexGiving and receiving oral sex is still prohibited by law.
Throwing bottlesOne may not throw bottles at a tree. (Bell Buckle)
Call a man for a dateIt is illegal for a woman to call a man for a date. (Dyersburg)
Permit before beggingPanhandlers must first obtain a $10 permit before begging on the streets of downtown Memphis. (Memphis)