Texas is known for being a large state, but it’s also known for having some pretty crazy laws. Although they may seem outdated and strange, they are still in effect. For instance, if you decide to milk your neighbor’s cow, you could end up facing a $10 fine.
Prepare to spend some time in jail if you’re caught adjusting your stockings in Bristol. To avoid any legal trouble in Texas, it’s important to be aware of some of the state’s bizarre laws. Here are 20 strange laws in Texas to keep in mind.
1. Don’t carry wire cutters in Austin
If you’re planning to visit Austin, Texas, or you’re already there, it’s important to know that carrying wire cutters in your pocket is a big no-no. While they may come in handy, it’s strictly prohibited in this area. So, if you want to avoid any trouble, it’s best to leave them at home.
As per trianglerealtyllc.com, the law has its roots in a time when landowners were divided between those who wanted their land to be open and those who wanted to mark their territory with barbed wire. The conflict between the two groups led to incidents where proponents of open ranges would sneak around with wire cutters and cut any barbed wire they came across.
Back in the days before CCTV, identifying the culprit was a challenging task. To simplify the process, the authorities imposed a complete prohibition on carrying wire cutters. Interestingly, even after a couple of hundred years, this ban has not been lifted yet.
2. Don’t dust buildings in Clarendon
If you come across a somewhat shabby building in Clarendon, Texas, it’s best to avoid it altogether. Giving it a quick cleaning with a feather duster may seem like a good idea, but it’s actually illegal to do so.
The reason behind the introduction of the law mandating the use of feather dusters remains a mystery. It’s unclear why it couldn’t be a wash rag instead. However, the good news is that even the authorities seem puzzled by it, so it’s unlikely that you’ll face any serious consequences if you opt for a different cleaning tool. So, feel free to indulge in a bit of light dusting without worrying too much about the type of duster you’re using.
3. Don’t eat your neighbor’s garbage
We’ve all had those late nights where we make our way home from the bar, craving something to absorb all the alcohol in our system. On occasion, we may even come across something appetizing sticking out of our neighbor’s trash bin. However, it is crucial to resist the temptation and not indulge in such behavior. Not only is it unhygienic and potentially harmful to our health, but it’s also illegal. Unless you have received permission from your neighbor, it’s best to steer clear of their garbage. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing serious consequences, including jail time for committing trespassing and theft.
4. Don’t bother with the wedding
Getting married can be quite costly and stressful due to the extensive planning and coordination required. However, in Texas, you have the option to do things differently and keep it simple. Instead of going through all the formalities, Texans can opt for a unique approach where they can declare their partner as their spouse by making a public announcement three times. This Texan way of getting hitched is definitely unconventional but may be a great option for those who want to avoid the hassle and expense of a traditional wedding.
In case you decide to proceed with the wedding ceremony without your fiancee, there’s no need to worry. The proxy marriage law allows for the marriage to be legally binding even if neither the groom nor the bride is physically present during the ceremony.
5. Keep your feet to yourself
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s acceptable to take off your shoes in public if they’re giving you blisters. According to hg.org, some cities in Texas mandate that you purchase a $5 permit before going barefoot in public. Although the process of obtaining a permit remains somewhat of a mystery, if you have one, you may freely display your toes wherever and whenever you choose. However, if you don’t, it’s best to keep your sneakers on at all times.
6. Don’t milk a stranger’s cow
In Texas, it’s not just frowned upon to covet your neighbor’s cow but also illegal to milk them if you don’t own them. The Bible may warn us against coveting our neighbor’s possessions, but in this state, it’s a strict rule. Unless you can provide proof of ownership by showing the necessary papers, purchasing your milk from the grocery store is the only option.
Although you may be tempted to get some milk for your cookies, it’s important to remember that milking a cow without permission is not only impolite but also illegal. It’s worth noting that this law was repealed in 1974, but it still remains a disrespectful act.
7. Keep a spittoon on hand
Unlike other places where spitting in public is either illegal or discouraged, El Paso has a different approach. The city protects the right to spit by law, making it acceptable for people to spit in public without fear of reprimand. It’s an interesting contrast to other locations where spitting is considered impolite or even a health hazard. However, while it may be legal in El Paso, it’s still important to be mindful of others and practice good hygiene when in public spaces.
The authorities are extremely concerned about people’s comfort when it comes to spitting, so much so that they have implemented a legal requirement for all public places, including churches, hotels, halls of assembly, stores, markets, banking rooms, railroad depots, and saloons, to provide spittoons that are sufficient in kind and quantity to efficiently contain expectorations.
8. Keep Sundays cheese-free
Before you indulge in a grilled cheese sandwich, make sure to check the calendar first, especially if it’s a Sunday. It’s important to note that this rule doesn’t necessarily apply to all parts of Texas, but it’s still good to exercise caution in the interest of transparency and supporting the dairy industry.
In Houston, even a small taste of Limburger cheese on a Sunday can land you in trouble with the law. As reported by click2houston.com, the city’s regulations go beyond just cheese – purchasing beer after midnight on a Sunday is also prohibited.
9. Give your victims a heads up
According to lrl.texas.gov, individuals who commit violent crimes against another person or their property without first notifying the victim of their intentions and their rights will now face criminal charges and penalties.
It’s important to be upfront with your intended victim if you’re planning mischievous behavior. It’s only fair to let them know beforehand and clearly communicate your intentions towards them. This way, you can ensure a level of respect and fairness in your actions.
10. Don’t let your eyes wander
Have you ever entertained the idea of selling your eyes? Well, if you have, you might want to reconsider doing it in Texas. The Texas Penal Code Section 48.02 stipulates that attempting to sell your eyes is considered a Class A misdemeanor offense, which carries a punishment of either a $4000 fine or imprisonment. So, if you’re planning to cash in on your eyes, you might want to avoid doing it in the Lone Star State.
Your heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin, and other organs or tissues are all a part of your body. However, before assuming it’s entirely your choice, it’s crucial to understand the state of your body. On the bright side, you have the complete freedom to sell your blood, hair, and even principles if the price is acceptable.
11. Don’t buy the Encyclopedia Britannica
Stick to Google if you’re looking for answers to your questions. Using the Encyclopedia Britannica might land you in trouble. The ban on the entire set of books in Texas is due to one thing – beer.
Texans who abide by the law must refrain from turning their homes into breweries, and even the Encyclopedia Britannica’s recipe for making beer is strictly prohibited. Any individual caught reading through the publication’s pages risks facing severe consequences such as a significant fine or even imprisonment.
12. Don’t drink standing up
You might recall how your mother always reminded you not to talk with your mouth full, but did you know that in LeFors, Texas, it’s deemed quite impolite to consume more than three sips of beer while standing up?
It’s unclear why the law prohibiting standing while drinking was ever established, and it remains a mystery why it hasn’t been repealed. While the likelihood of facing consequences for enjoying a pint while standing is low, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution and take a seat before indulging.
13. Be careful where you shoot a buffalo
As per houston-criminalattorney.com, Texas is not too bothered about your desire to shoot a buffalo, but it does care about the location where you do it. Surprisingly, there exists an active Texas law that explicitly forbids shooting a buffalo from the second floor of a hotel. Although some individuals have raised concerns regarding the validity of this law.
The Texas Legislative Reference Library conducted a thorough search of every piece of Texas legislation to find any reference to shooting buffalos from a hotel room, but they couldn’t find any. Nevertheless, it’s always wise to refrain from engaging in such activities, no matter which floor of the hotel you’re on.
14. Don’t fuss with your stockings
In Dennison or Bristol, Texas, it’s advisable to avoid adjusting your stockings in public. Even if they are slipping down your leg, it’s best not to pull them up, as doing so could result in a year-long sentence in the state penitentiary. While the likelihood of being caught by a police officer is low, it’s better to err on the side of caution and opt for socks instead.
15. Don’t sit on the sidewalk in Galveston
Even though you may feel exhausted, it’s important to resist the temptation of sitting down on the sidewalks of Galveston. The city is strict about keeping the sidewalks clear for pedestrian traffic. In fact, they have implemented a hefty fine of $500 for anyone caught sitting on the sidewalks. If you’re in need of a break, it’s best to find a nearby cafe or seating area instead.
16. Don’t move till they move
This particular law may not be applicable to a lot of individuals, but it surely affects those who operate trains. As per the details provided by stupidlaws.com, the law mandates that in case two trains cross paths at a railroad crossing, both must come to a complete halt and neither can proceed until the other train has passed. The implementation of this law in real life situations can be quite perplexing, but if you happen to be a train driver, it’s important to understand and follow this regulation to avoid any legal complications.
17. Don’t forget your windshield wipers
Driving around town in a car without a windshield may seem like an option, but it is not recommended. However, a more significant offense is driving without windshield wipers, which can lead to a substantial fine and even imprisonment. It seems as though someone missed the memo on how to write in cursive while in school.
18. Mind how you flirt
When it comes to expressing your interest in someone in San Antonia, it’s important to be cautious about how you go about it. Using flirtatious gestures with your eyes or hands could potentially attract unwanted attention from the authorities, as much as from your intended love interest.
19. Praise the lord
According to rhinolawyer.com, in Texas, an individual seeking public office must recognize the existence of a supreme being. However, the law makes it clear that no religious test can be imposed as a requirement for holding an office or public trust in the state. Additionally, individuals cannot be excluded from holding office based on their religious beliefs.
20. Don’t throw trash from an airplane
Although Galveston is a wonderful city, there are some laws that require improvement. Currently, it is against the law to throw trash from an airplane, which seems reasonable. However, the act of throwing trash out of an airplane is quite perplexing and dangerous, so it’s unlikely that this law is frequently broken. Additionally, it’s prohibited to make offensive gestures at public events, drive a motor vehicle on Broadway before noon on Sundays, or consume alcohol in a city park without explicit permission from the parks and recreation director. These laws may seem a little outdated and overly strict, and perhaps they require some revision to better suit modern times.