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 Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even modern, but nonsensical, laws on the books, and they come about for a variety of reasons.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.
Obnoxious odors Obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator. (Port Arthur)
Shooting a buffalo It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
Getting drunk One needs permission from the director of parks and recreation before getting drunk in any city park. (Galveston)
Horse in the saloon You can ride your horse in the saloon. (Temple)
Landing an airplane Landing an airplane on the beach is illegal. (Galveston)
Selling one's eye It is illegal to sell one's eye.
Riding horse without lights Owners of horses may not ride them at night without tail lights. (Texarkana)
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.
Wire cutters Wire cutters can not be carried in your pocket. (Austin)
Owning sex toys Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.
Sipping of beer It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.
Milking cows It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.
Offensive gestures Offensive gestures will not be tolerated at any special event. (Galveston)
Dogs on leash Dogs must be on a leash at ALL times. (Jasper)
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)
Beer Beer may not be purchased after midnight on a Sunday, but it may be purchased on Monday. (Houston)
Inhaling fumes No person shall inhale fumes from model glue. (Galveston)
Unusual haircuts It is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts. (Mesquite)
Encyclopedia Britannica The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.
Dusting a building It is illegal to dust any public building with a feather duster. (Clarendon)
Limburger cheese It is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday. (Houston)
Sitting on the sidewalk Any person who sits on a sidewalk may be fined up to $500. (Galveston)
Collegiate football Collegiate football is banned at Lamar University. (Beaumont)
Lewd dress Appearing in public places wearing “lewd dress” is prohibited. (El Paso)
Driving a motor car It is illegal to drive a motor car down Broadway before noon on Sundays. (Galveston)
Throwing confetti It is against the law to throw confetti, rubber balls, feather dusters, whips or quirts (riding crops), and explosive firecrackers of any kind. (Borger)
Idle or loiter anyplace It is illegal to idle or loiter anyplace within the corporate limits of the city for the purpose of flirting or mashing. (Abilene)
For Sale sign on a car It is illegal to place a “for sale” sign on a car if it visible from the street. (Richardson)