SHERIFF'S CORNER: Strange laws of the U.S., Part III

Sometimes people come up with the strangest things that they think are the law.

Now with social media seeming to be our main mode of communication, there are always those folks (I refer to as "keyboard lawyers") who have to be the first one to post what they think the law is on someone else's post or news feed.

Is it just me, but do you have friends on Facebook that never "like" your posts, but are the first ones to comment when they disagree with you?

Often I get tagged in posts that people want me to respond to on what the law is or to answer a question on a particular issue. Sometimes I answer, and often times I do not.

The reason for this is that you can tell someone exactly what the law is and they still want to disagree and argue with you about it. Even when it's coming from the Sheriff.

Never ceases to amaze me. Hey, I don't make the rules. ... I just enforce them.

This also reminds me of the phrase that I constantly hear from a big fan that states "constitutional sheriff."

Every elected official takes an oath when being sworn into office. That oath states: "I do solemnly swear that I will protect the 'Constitution' of the United States and the 'Constitution' of this state, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Sheriff (i.e., treasurer, clerk, prosecutor, etc.) according to the best of my ability."

I could be wrong, but it seems pretty clear in the oath of office on what my duties are.

Well, it's time again for more weird laws across the nation. In this edition of the "Sheriff's Corner," I cover strange laws of the U.S., Part III.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: It is illegal to carry or pick up seaweed off the beach at night.

NH Rev Stat § 207:48 states: "If any person shall carry away or collect for the purpose of carrying away any seaweed or rockweed from the seashore below high-water mark, between daylight in the evening and daylight in the morning, he shall be guilty of a violation."

NEW JERSEY: Bells are required when a horse pulls a sleigh or sled.

NJ Rev Stat § 39:4-15 states: "No person shall drive a horse attached to a sleigh or sled on a highway unless there are a sufficient number of bells attached to the horse’s harness to give warning of its approach.

NEW MEXICO: You cannot spit in a public building, public property, opera house or where people congregate.

In Deming, New Mexico, Ord. 748, 8-12-1985 states: "It is unlawful for any person to spit or expectorate upon any of the public sidewalks, crosswalks, passes, byways or paths in the city, or upon the floor or steps of the public building, store, hotel, church, opera house, office room, schoolhouse or any other building in the city in which persons are in the habit of frequenting, assembling or congregating."

NEW YORK: You cannot wear a mask in a public place unless you are at a masquerade party. (Must of been prior to COVID fiasco)

NYCL PEN § 240.35 states: "Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities."

NORTH CAROLINA: You cannot drink or sell alcoholic beverages in a room where they are playing bingo or holding a raffle.

NC Gen Stat § 18B-308 states: "It shall be unlawful to sell or consume, or for the owner or other person in charge of the premises to allow the sale or consumption of, any alcoholic beverage in any room while a raffle or bingo game is being conducted."

NORTH DAKOTA: You cannot set off fireworks on New Years Eve when the year changes.

In Devils Lake, North Dakota, 8.20.030 states: "No person shall set off, explode or detonate any fireworks other than during the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. during the dates listed in this chapter."

OHIO: It is illegal to sell dyed chickens or rabbits.

In Akron, Ohio, 92.06 states: "No person shall dye or otherwise color any rabbit or baby poultry, including, but not limited to, chicks and ducklings. No person shall sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, raffle or give away any rabbit or baby poultry which has been dyed or otherwise colored."

OKLAHOMA: You cannot participate or host a bear wrestling or horse tripping event.

21 OK Stat § 21-1700 states: "It is unlawful for any person to:

1. Promote, engage in, or be employed at a bear wrestling exhibition or horse tripping event;

2. Receive money for the admission of another person to any place where bear wrestling or horse tripping will occur;

3. Sell, purchase, possess, or offer a horse for any horse tripping event;

4. Sell, purchase, possess, or train a bear for any bear wrestling exhibition;

5. Subject a bear to alteration in any form for purposes of bear wrestling including, but not limited to, removal of claws or teeth, or severing tendons; or

6. Give any substance to a bear, inject any substance into a bear, or cause a bear to ingest or inhale any substance for the purposes of bear wrestling."

OREGON: Domesticated animals cannot do "the nasty" in public.

In Oregon City, Oregon, 8.08.030 states: "Nuisances affecting morals. The following are declared to be nuisances affecting public morals and decency: ... (B.) All domestic animals in the act of copulation exposed to public view ..."

PENNSYLVANIA: It is unlawful to barter or sell your infant children.

Public Act 179 § 4305 states: "A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree if he deals in humanity, by trading, bartering, buying, selling, or dealing in infant children."

— This information is provided to you for clarification on specific laws, and not legal advice. This is not to be construed as a personal opinion, agreement or disagreement of any specific law. Topics covered are for educational and informational purposes only. As needed, excerpts from other articles are used for reference and/or content. If you have any questions on any specific topic, you may always email me your questions to