Weirdest Laws In Mississippi

The level of weirdness that you can find when researching the laws of various states and municipalities knows no boundaries. All corners of the United States have their fair share of laws that will leave you scratching your head, and some will make you think about what in the world would have made such laws necessary, to begin with. Whether it's a law in Georgia that allows for you to batter someone for using "fighting words," (via Bixon Law) or one in Kansas that keeps the people from shooting rabbits from motorboats (via Weird Facts), it's easy to see that these weird laws run the gamut of subject matter.

In the state of Mississippi, you might think you'd be hard-pressed to find legal oddities. After all, the South is known for its homespun wisdom and its aversion to government overreach. But if you are thinking that the South is too sensible for any weirdness whatsoever, after reading this article, you'll find that the Magnolia State has plenty of weird laws to call their own.

Don't talk about polygamy

There are plenty of state laws passed by the legislature in Mississippi to keep you scratching your head. According to Only in Your State, you are purportedly allowed to kill your servant. This is an old state law, which is thankfully superseded by state laws prohibiting murder. Mississippi will allow you to keep horses, just like any other state permits. Only here, they must be housed further than 50 feet from any roadway.

Should you plan on marrying a woman, know that it is against state law to do so for the sole purpose of seducing her. So when you say "I do," you'd better be in it for other reasons. Speaking of marriage, polygamy is illegal here, just like in every other state. But reportedly it's against the law to even explain what polygamy is to someone.

Thinking of having more than one child out of wedlock? Two or more children outside of marriage is an offense punishable by a month or more in jail. And just in case you are passing through this state, you should know that vagrancy is punishable by a fine of up to 30 days in jail or a fine of $250. 

Watch that potty mouth

The lawmakers in this state also won't allow for cohabitation. So if you are living with your significant other outside the bonds of marriage, you're possibly breaking the law in Mississippi. If you have sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse, you could face a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail (per Only in Your State). 

Mississippi is home to thousands of churches of all denominations. But don't think about rudely interrupting any church service. A state law ensures that you get fined for your actions. Think before you speak! The use of profanity is a punishable offense, which can result in a fine of up to $100 (via Stupid Laws). 

Another weird law in this state is one that prohibits a man from getting sexually aroused in a public place. Yet another law that could be considered a tad old-fashioned is one that will purportedly punish persons with a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000 for the offense of engaging in "unnatural intercourse."

Control those urges in a bar

While past state officials have been busy passing some strange laws, those in positions of power in local government are certainly giving the legislators a run for their money. You'll find that there are plenty of city and county ordinances that fit the criteria of being "weird."

A local law in the town of Winona reportedly prohibits honking your car horn, lest you scare horses (via Stupid Laws). If you are planning to take your dog for a walk in the community of Temperance, be forewarned that city code requires you to affix a diaper to your pet's body.

For some reason, officials in the town of Ridgeland have passed a law that prohibits sexual intercourse inside a bar or tavern. It makes one wonder why city officials in the community of Hazelhurst passed a law prohibiting the use of an Uzi for fishing. No word on whether you can use a bazooka.

Think before you blare that car horn

The town of Oxford has plenty of weird laws of its own. Here, you are not allowed to spit upon the sidewalks surrounding the town square. Like the town of Winona, you are also supposedly prohibited from honking car horns, and cheering without a valid reason will also get you fined (per Stupid Laws). Officials in Oxford have also passed an ordinance that disallows driving around the town square more than 100 times in a single session. A since repealed law prohibited motor vehicles on the square entirely.

Brandon, Mississippi, won't' allow you to block someone from walking by using a truck to obstruct their driveway. In Columbus, you'll get a larger fine for brandishing a gun in public than you will if you actually discharge it. 

The town of Tylertown prohibits the practice of shaving in the city streets (via Only in Your State). Whether bathing is allowed on these same streets has not been determined. But in the city of Ridgeland, you are not allowed to be nude in public under any circumstances. 

Some laws might need to be changed

Reviewing these laws can lead a person to divide them into two categories. One would be laws that at one time were relevant, but the lack thereof today makes them weird and maybe a little bit humorous to think about. After all, the thought of someone taking a shave in a public street is surely going to get most people to at least crack a smile. 

The second category involves archaic laws that were meant to discriminate against someone's gender, sexual orientation, or racial background. While many such laws have been stricken from the state and local legal codes and others have been successfully challenged in court, some seemingly remain on the books as a glaring reminder of just how unfair our laws can be (via How Stuff Works).

Thankfully, our legal system allows for us to review our codes of law so that they can be changed, bringing them into a modern era that matches our cultural norms and values.