Weirdest Laws In Missouri

Laws are passed for several reasons. Governments must ensure the safety of the citizens, protect property, and ensure that the rights of the people are being upheld. Yet, if you were to take a closer look at some of the laws passed in this country over the last 200-plus years, you might be shocked at what you'd discover. From needing a permit to feed hogs garbage in Arizona to barring ferrets from hunting in West Virginia, there's no shortage of wacky laws in this country, per Business Insider.

When laws are first written, there's always a reason behind the actions taken by legislatures or local officials. As time goes by, many laws once considered a necessity are stricken from the books. However, every state in the union has more than a handful of bizarre laws and ordinances that are still technically the law of the land. In our nation's heartland, you'll find that Missouri is no exception. As is the case in every other state, the vast majority of weird laws in Missouri are in the form of local ordinances passed by town councils. Here, we'll take a look at some of the oddest ones still on the books in the Show-Me State.

Odd laws in the big cities

In University City, several archaic laws still exist. For example, four women may not rent an apartment together. To combat drug paraphernalia, the Saint Louis suburb also passed a law prohibiting the possession of numerous items used to smoke illegal drugs, including the possession of PVC pipe (via Stupid Laws). 

In neighboring Saint Louis, it is against the law for a milkman to run while they are on duty delivering milk. The state's largest city also bans sitting on a curb while drinking beer from a bucket (via Stupid Laws).

Across the state, in Kansas City, it's against city ordinances to have a bathtub installed if the feet resemble animal paws. Those under the age of 18 are forbidden to purchase cap guns, although they are legally allowed to possess real shotguns (via Only in Your State). If you're a salesperson in Springfield and think you can sell your wares by standing in the street and screaming at cars, guess again. 

Some strange ones in the small towns

In the smaller, rural cities, you can find some of the most archaic and repressive laws known to humankind. For example, it is still against the law to dance in the tiny hamlet of Purdy (via Only in Your State). In Marquette, leaders attempted to fight against brothels by regulating how many unrelated persons could occupy a dwelling. And in Ballwin, you'll be in big trouble if you're caught using any profanity outside your home. 

The northwestern Missouri community of Maryville might win the prize for the most sexist law in the state, per Stupid Laws. Here, it is against the law for women to wear corsets. The reasoning for this law is that "the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male."

In Excelsior Springs, it's unlawful to "worry squirrels." Just in case you're wondering if you'll incur civil or criminal liability for castrating a bull that's been running amok through the streets of your town, let this article assuage your fears. So long as the bull is more than a year old and has been on the loose for three days or longer, you can snip at will, according to Business Insider.  

Laws to protect certain animals

Some laws were well-intentioned and meaning to protect innocent animals. Along with the city of Excelsior Springs protecting squirrels, other municipalities within the state of Missouri have their own ordinances to protect our furry (and sometimes feathered) friends. Liner law outlines how it is illegal to shoot wild rabbits from any motorboat, airplane, or motor vehicle in the city limits of Kansas City. Unless, of course, the hunter is physically handicapped. Then they can apply for a permit that allows them to shoot this game from any vehicle. 

The small town of Perryville made it unlawful for anyone to shoot birds in their community. This weird law not only applies to those who might be tempted to take down a flying creature with a gun, but also prohibits the use of air rifles, stones, or other flying projectiles. 

And in the state of Missouri as a whole, you cannot legally drive around in a car with a bear, unless that bear is secured in a cage (via Only in Your State).

Laws meant to tax

Some of the strangest laws in Missouri have to do with how certain objects (or people) are taxed. For example, there was a law on the books beginning in the early 1820s that required all unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 50 to pay a "Bachelor Tax" to the state government. According to Liner Law, this tax was $1 (roughly $20 today) per year and meant to encourage marriage.

Kansas City passed a law years ago that imposed a tax on hot air balloons. This law was intended for balloons that were tethered, and not being actively flown.

And in University City, be careful how you advertise your used goods for sale. In this community, it is against local law to hold a yard sale in your own front yard. In addition, any yard or garage sales cannot be held for longer than two days (via Stupid Laws).

Don't get the elephant drunk

Now and again, a municipality will clean up their codes of ordinances, making these stranger than fiction laws a fading throwback to yesteryear. But as many are still on the books, maybe don't be surprised if you get a ticket for honking someone else's car horn if you're in University City (via Stupid Laws). One might not be able to plead ignorance of the law if they are caught burning yard waste on a Sunday in Buckner, or installing a clothesline in Columbia.

But for every weird law that has been passed, you can be certain that there was probably an event or set of circumstances that made the leaders of yesterday feel that the law was necessary. With that in mind, it makes one wonder why it was ever made illegal to feed an elephant beer in the town of Natchez (via Bit of Fun).