Texas. Love it or hate it, there are many aspects about Texas that are bigger than life. It’s the only state that was an independent country before it became a state. The flags of different six nations have flown over it at one time or another. For over a century, it was the largest state until Alaska took that title in 1959. Its population is second only to California. The Texas economy is the second largest in the US and would rank number twelve globally if it were still an independent nation. In 2012, Texas exported over $1 quarter trillion in goods which was more than California and New York combined.
In addition, Texas is full of historical sites such as The Alamo and hysterical sights such as the Dallas Cowboys. The cattle have some of the longest horns of any in the world. And Texas has the most oil reserves and the largest number of oil refineries in the country.
And, then there are the Texans – but that’s a story for another time.
Texas has some of the most baffling and off-the-wall laws in the country. Though make sense, many will have you scratching your head and saying, “Only in Texas.”
It is against the law to milk a cow if it’s not yours. And stealing cattle is still a hanging offense. In Temple, a cattle thief can be hanged right on the spot.
Anyone who wants to hold elected office must swear that they believe in a Supreme Being to qualify. That Supreme Being cannot be their mother-in-law.
Speaking of God, the state has implemented legislation to develop ways to control the weather.
It is legal for someone who is blind to go hunting. However, they do need to be accompanied by someone who can see, which is probably a good thing for everyone.
People in Texas are forbidden from selling an eye – their own or anyone else’s.
The Encyclopedia Britannica has been banned in the state because it contains the full recipe for brewing beer.
To easily add additional charges against alleged criminals, a law was passed mandating that a criminal is required to give their victim at least a 24-hour notice that a crime is about to be committed against them. That warning can be issued either verbally or in writing. I wonder how that’s working out?
Many of the most seemingly ludicrous and outdated laws are statutes and regulations passed by local governments.
Here are just some of the strange laws in Texas:
- Galveston – This town is a real Texas hot spot of strange:
- You cannot legally drive a car down Broadway before noon on Sundays.
- “Offensive gestures” are prohibited during special events. However, they are still legal during road rage episodes.
- You need to get the permission of the Director of Parks before you can legally get drunk in a city park. Depending on what you’re drinking, the director may even join you.
- No one is permitted to throw trash out of an airplane or land a plane on the beach.
- It is against the law to inhale fumes from model airplane glue. Not to worry. They still sell spray paint.
- Sitting on the sidewalk can get you a $500 fine.
- Letting your camel freely roam the streets will definitely get you a citation.
- Richardson –
- U-turns are illegal.
- If you put a “For Sale” sign in your car, it is against the law for anyone to see it from the street.
- Harker Heights –
- People driving city owned vehicles are subject to the same driving rules as everyone else. This ruling abruptly ended the Friday trash truck drag races on Vernon Lee Blvd.
- Interrupting a church service by cursing can land you in the local jailhouse.
- Abilene – You cannot loiter within the city for purposes of flirting. You must leave the city if you want to flirt.
- Austin – It is against the law to carry wire cutters on you.
- Borger – You can be arrested for throwing rubber balls, feather dusters, or confetti within city limits. In addition, whips, quirts, and fireworks are also forbidden. And I was just feather dusting my quirt.
- Dallas – If your hobby is collecting vibrators, then Dallas is not the place for you. In addition to the Texas state law that bans the owning of more than six dildos, in Dallas you can be arrested for owning one that looks “too realistic.” I assume the male sponsors of these bills must have felt very “intimidated” for some reason by the fake penises.
- El Paso – City regulations include a requirement that spittoons are required in all stores, markets, banks, churches, hotels, government buildings, and, of course, saloons. Not only are spittoons required, but they must be “of a kind and number to efficiently contain expectorations into them.” They should also be required every time a politician opens his mouth – for both the politicians and those listening.
- Mesquite – It is against the law for children to have unusual haircuts. That legislation was sponsored by the local “See Your Barber as Often as Possible” hair cutters coalition. Their slogan could be – “Texas: where men should look like men.”
- Houston – You cannot legally sell Limburger cheese on Sundays.
- Kingsville – Local laws state that pigs are banned from having sex at the airport. I can’t even begin to imagine….
- Clarendon – Speaking of feather dusters, in this town, no public building can be cleaned with a feather duster.
- Lefors – It is against local regulations to drink more than three swallows of beer while standing up. Once you’ve fallen on the floor, however, there is no limit to how many sips you may take.
- San Antonio – It is against the law for either men or women to flirt using their eyes or hands. On the other hand, it doesn’t say anything about any additional body parts being banned.
- Port Arthur– This city has enacted a law that I personally think should be PASSED throughout the country. It is against the law to emit obnoxious odors on an elevator.So what have we learned? Texas may have the largest reserves of refined, natural, and politician generated gas, but it also has some of the strangest laws on record.
And, boy, are they a gas!