Is That Really Illegal?

The study of law can sometimes be methodical and tedious.  Occasionally it is a nice change of pace to take a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the more colorful laws that are on the books in various places.  When it comes to unusual laws, Clint Eastwood’s crusade against Carmel’s now repealed law forbidding the eating of ice cream while standing on the sidewalk comes to mind.  Below is a list of other bizarre laws, most of which are still on the books.  These laws are all courtesy of

California Statewide Laws:

•    Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses.

•    It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.

•    No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.

Local California Laws:

•    In Los Angeles County, you may only throw a frisbee at the beach with the lifeguard’s permission.

•    In Baldwin Park, nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

•    In addition to the ice cream rule mentioned above, in Carmel, a man can’t go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match and women may not wear high heels while in the city limits without a city permit. 

•    In Chico, bowling on the sidewalk is illegal.

•    In Fresno, elementary schools may not host poker tournaments. 

•    In Glendale, it is illegal to jump into a passing car.

•    In Indian Wells, it is illegal for a trumpet player to play his instrument with the intention of luring someone to a store.

•    In Pacific Grove, it is illegal to molest butterflies.

•    In Prunedale, two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house.

•    In Walnut, children may not wear a halloween mask unless they get a special permit from the sheriff.

Foreign Laws:

•    In England, placing a postage stamp that bears the Queen (or King) upside down is considered treason.

•    In Finland, taxi drivers must pay royalties if they play music in their cars for paying customers.

•    In France, between the hours of 8AM and 8PM, 70% of music on the radio must be by French artists.