List of strange state laws on the books in Texas. These rules and regulations were passed by the Texas state legislature, or in an individual in Texas 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 Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even modern, but nonsensical, laws on the books, and they come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, these 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 Texas, let us know in the comments.
list ordered by
24 hour notice
Criminals must give their victims 24 hours notice, orally or in writing, to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
Shooting a buffalo
It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
Obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator. (Port Arthur)
Horse in the saloon
You can ride your horse in the saloon. (Temple)
Selling one's eye
It is illegal to sell one's eye.
Landing an airplane
Landing an airplane on the beach is illegal. (Galveston)
Wire cutters can not be carried in your pocket. (Austin)
It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.
Riding horse without lights
Owners of horses may not ride them at night without tail lights. (Texarkana)
One needs permission from the director of parks and recreation before getting drunk in any city park. (Galveston)
Sipping of beer
It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.
Realistic sex toys
It’s illegal to possess realistic dildos. (Dallas)
Acknowledge a supreme being
One must acknowledge a supreme being before being able to hold public office.
Beer may not be purchased after midnight on a Sunday, but it may be purchased on Monday. (Houston)
Owning sex toys
Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.
No person shall inhale fumes from model glue. (Galveston)
Offensive gestures will not be tolerated at any special event. (Galveston)
Flirting using the eyes and hands
It is illegal for both sexes to flirt or respond to flirtation using the eyes and/or hands. (San Antonio)
It is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts. (Mesquite)
Dogs on leash
Dogs must be on a leash at ALL times. (Jasper)
Dusting a building
It is illegal to dust any public building with a feather duster. (Clarendon)
The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.
Sitting on the sidewalk
Any person who sits on a sidewalk may be fined up to $500. (Galveston)
It is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday. (Houston)
It is against the law to throw confetti, rubber balls, feather dusters, whips or quirts (riding crops), and explosive firecrackers of any kind. (Borger)