Weirdest Laws In Wyoming

Wyoming is a geographically large state located in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S. It became the 44th state when it joined the union in 1890, and today is the least populous state in the entire country (via Nations Online). But there are a few things Wyoming natives may be proud to brag about. The state was the first to give women voting rights (via 50 States), it is home to most of Yellowstone National Park, which was the first national park (via National Parks), and it produces the most coal, per theĀ U.S. Energy Information Administration. But like every other state in the U.S., there are some things about Wyoming that might raise a few eyebrows.

Laws are important and are created to ensure the safety of citizens, to maintain order, and most of all, protect our rights. But not every law is created equal. Which brings us to weird laws. Each law is supposed to serve a purpose, but there are many that ostensibly serve none or seem unnecessary. Wyoming falls into this category, similar to the other 49 states.

No hat-blocking views

One of the weirdest laws hailing from the state of Wyoming is probably something of importance if you're a hat aficionado. Per K2 Radio, it is illegal to wear a hat that might obstruct someone's view in a public theater or at a place of amusement. It comes as quite an odd law because Wyoming is referred to as the Cowboy State. And if there is one thing cowboys are known for, it's their distinct hats. A cowboy hat can range in size, but typically it's big, and the brims can definitely be large enough to obstruct a view or two.

Of course, wearing a hat inside a theater, or in an area where people are trying to enjoy amusement or entertainment is rude. But Wyoming took it a step further and banned the act of doing so. And perhaps the concentration of cowboy hat wearers there has likely played a role in the law even coming about, since it is a type of hat that can block someone's view.

No drinking alcohol and skiing

Wyoming is a very popular ski destination, as it is also home to some of the country's best ski resorts (via Travel Wyoming). According to the state's tourism website, they attract skiers near and far, which means that the state sees quite a lot of skiing. So it only makes sense that there may be laws on the books pertaining to the leisure activity that aren't anywhere else. In essence, the state treats skiing like driving.

Though it's not a combination of two things some people might put together, drinking booze and hitting the slopes at some point must've been a common occurrence. Common enough that the state legislature formulated a law to prohibit such from happening.

Per Justia, it is illegal to ski if you are drunk. And you can't even ride an aerial tram if you had several drinks or took any other drug that might cause you to be impaired. You can be fined and jailed if you get caught breaking this law.

Supporting art at a price

A very weird law in Wyoming might come as a hassle if funds are being used to construct a new public building there. The state seems to have implemented a law that supports artists. According to Justia, all new public buildings that will cost more $100,000 to build must set aside 1% of its funds to display art. The law specifically states that the single percentage has to be part of overall construction costs and determined by pre-calculation. The artwork itself also can't be more than $100,000.

If the state spends $99,999.99 on putting up a new building in Wyoming, that single penny keeps it in the clear from the weird law, which is called the Art in Public Buildings Legislation. It passed in 1991, says Wyoming Arts Council, and was created as a beautifying campaign. Early last year, new legislators were trying to do away with the law, per Oil City News.

Photographing in Wyoming

If you're a tourist or plan to visit Wyoming at some point, be careful where you use your camera. The state had a law that prohibited someone from taking photos of rabbits during a certain time period. Per My Country 95.5, the state made it illegal to photograph the tiny mammals between the months of January to April. It was written into law in 1921 and actually excluded all game animals from being photographed. But of course, this law is outdated now and likely had to do with the cameras back then.

Still, there is a law that photographers will need to be wary of, even if they can take a picture of a rabbit now. Apparently, the state's Data Trespass Bill could land someone with a fine or even jail time if they happen to take a pic of something that shows evidence of environmental crime on public or private land, per Pop Photo. But if you have no intentions of sharing any photos you take in Wyoming, you might have nothing to worry about.

Keep your bodily fluids to yourself

Urinating in public is obviously a crime in a lot of states, but in Wyoming, so is spitting. The act of spitting in public is quite common. Oftentimes people have to hock a loogie for health reasons, or for the comfort of getting rid of something else in their mouth. Nevertheless, while it is disgusting, is it disgusting enough to prohibit the act? Wyoming says yes, particularly its capital city, Cheyenne.

The state has made it a punishable offense that can land you with a misdemeanor, per Muni Code. So if you need to hock one out, think twice if you have to do it in a public area such as a public building or space. It was put into a law more than 100 years ago as an effort to curb the spread of contagious illnesses (via KGAB). In 2016, however, some Cheyenne legislators had enough and wanted to legalize spitting because, apparently, the law has never been enforced.