Laws should keep us safe, but human silliness and petty bureaucracy often derail the best intentions. For instance, the strangest small-town laws in America prove regulations don't always have to make sense. From protecting elephants in the Deep South to regulating the height of weeds in the Rockies, America's most bizarre state laws confirm the nation's penchant for overreaching Big Brother-ness at the micro level.
Weird laws are nothing new in the United States. Many of these stretch back hundreds of years - they are typically outdated and rarely, if ever, enforced. But these odd laws are worthy of a good laugh.
Belhaven, NC: Your Number Two Could Cost You A Surcharge
Belhaven, NC, sought to add a service charge for residents using the town's water supply. They started including a fee itemized as a "$2 per month, per stool" surcharge. The unusual wording led to confusion, and they've since updated the description to "$2 per toilet." Whew.
Los Angeles, CA: No Dog-Mating Near Churches
LA has a law on the books saying dogs cannot mate within 500 feet of a church. This law is not reserved only for Angeleno canines; several communities in California have this same ordinance. If someone catches dogs in flagrante delicto near a house of worship, the dogs' owners face a fine of up to $500 and/or six months in jail.
Natchez, MS: Don't Let Your Drunken Elephant Onto The City Streets
In 1810 a man named Mr. Texada hosted a live elephant show on his property. To ensure the elephants gave a rip-roarin' performance, he gave them beer beforehand. The result? Drunken elephants in the street. This led Natchez to pass a law specifically prohibiting intoxicated pachyderms on the city streets. Presumably no one has broken this law since, so there isn't need for either enforcement or penalty.
Texarkana, TX: Horses Must Have Taillights
In Texarkana, there is a law stating horses must have functioning taillights when moving through the city at night. Breaking this law can result in a traffic citation. It's likely a safety issue, but how does one install lights on a horse?