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8 Crazy Laws That Actually Exist In New York City

Rob Grams Rob Grams

8 Crazy Laws That Actually Exist In New York City

You probably like to think of yourself as a law abiding citizen. Who doesn’t? …but what if there are laws you don’t even know you are breaking? New York has thousands of laws on the books that no longer being enforced but are laws nonetheless.

1. It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s face for fun


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The origin of this law seems to be to prevent carnival workers being abused by their bosses. It is illegal to run an event where someone “voluntarily submitting to indignities such as the throwing of balls […] at his head or body.” Also outlawed is the throwing, or “propelling” of knives at someone or making them dance or ride a bicycle without a break for “more than 8 hours.”

2. It is against the law to sell cat or dog hair


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Yes, you’ll be glad to know it is illegal to “import, sell, offer for sale […] transport or otherwise market” dog or cat fur. Shame really, the way my little guy sheds I’d be happy to make a buck or two. The statute is part of the states anti cruelty law but strangely does not cover wild dogs (coyote’s, foxes) or wild cats (Lynx, bobcat) fur.

3. Flirting can result in a $25 fine


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Believe it or not, this is true, and more specifically meant to stop men to turn in the street and look at women  “at a woman in that way.” This is more than likely an edict to help control soliciting or prostitution and clearly is not enforced. One thing is for sure, you can certainly feel better about not having a date for this evening, just blame it on the law makers.

4. No taking selfies with tigers


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It was apparently common practice to allow patrons to get a little too close to the tigers. The law comes after Tinder saw a huge surge of men posting profile pictures of themselves next to tigers and other big cats.  This was enough to galvanizing Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal into action. The law has been in effect since 2014 and comes with a $500 fine.

5. It’s against the law to run a puppet show in a window


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Section 10-114 of the city administrative code forbids the use “any window  … [for] any performance of puppet or other figures.” What is the penalty for such a heinous act? A $25 fine and 30 days in jail. Eat that Jeff Dunham!

6. You may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket


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Is that an ice-cream in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? …oh, you’re please to see me. I won’t pretend I’m not disappointed.

Apparently, in the past, it was illegal to eat ice-cream on a Sunday, so I suppose this was to stop would-be criminals to hide incriminating evidence from the police… either that or this is due to some weird childhood trauma suffered by a NY legislator.

7. It’s illegal for two or more people to congregate while wearing masks in public


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You’d never know it after the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, but it’s actually illegal to congregate in public with two or more people wearing a mask to disguise their identity.

The law has been in force since 1845 to stop farmers, dressed as native Americans, from anonymously attacking the police (Yeah, I feel like i skipped a few pages in the history books too).

8. Adultery is still a crime in NYC


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We all know adultery isn’t the nicest thing to do, but illegal? Adultery is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine. The law took effect on September 1st, 1907 and although it is rarely enforced, about a dozen people have been charged since the 1970’s.

Featured cover image: [huffingtonpost]

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