10 Odd Nevada Laws: Strange Stipulations in the Silver State
When going about your life, you do your best to obey the laws. You don’t run red lights, you don’t shoplift, and you don’t jaywalk. But even if you try your best to be a law-abiding citizen, you could be breaking one of Nevada’s weird laws without knowing it.
- You can’t ride a camel on the highway. In the 1800s, camels transported goods across the deserts of Nevada. Apparently, camel traffic on highways became a problem, and was soon outlawed. However, Nevadans can still ride camels on city streets.
- You can’t hula hoop on Fremont Street. Downtown Las Vegas boasts many street performers. In 2010, the Las Vegas city council deemed hula-hooping in the area illegal, claiming it blocked pedestrian traffic and impacted surrounding businesses.
- If you have a mustache, you can’t kiss a woman in Eureka. In the 1800s and 1900s, various laws prohibited men’s facial hair in the U.S., sometimes for religious reasons. In Eureka, this law is still on the books, though (hopefully) not enforced.
- You can hang someone for shooting your dog. In the 1800s, when Nevada was largely considered the Wild West, dogs were more than pets. They were used primarily for protecting herds of sheep and cattle, and harming a dog led to severe punishment.
- You can’t place benches or seats on streets or sidewalks in Reno, without getting permission first. This law was originally established as an effort to curb populations of homeless people in Reno. However, if there is a strip of grass near a sidewalk it is not technically considered a sidewalk, so you’re fine to place a bench there.
- You can run a red light or stop sign if you are driving the lead car in a funeral procession. Nevada is the only state in the country where this is legal, as it allows police officers to direct traffic in respect of funeral processions.
- You can’t lie down on a sidewalk in Reno. However, there is no law against lying down in the middle of the street. Though you probably wouldn’t want to do that, either.
- You can’t spray paint a shopping cart and keep it in your basement. Once a shopping cart is spray painted, it’s hard to tell where it was stolen from. This law helps prevent shopping cart theft, apparently.
- You can’t pawn your dentures in Las Vegas. Because dentures are considered to be prescripted medical devices, they cannot be sold or auctioned off in any capacity. Not sure why anyone would want used dentures, but there you have it.
- You can’t walk the streets in Elko without wearing a mask. Nowadays, walking down the street in a mask would draw some strange looks. But when the influenza pandemic hit Nevada in 1918, lawmakers had to force citizens to take precautions against the spread of disease.
These laws might seem strange, but they are completely real. Some are even still in effect: they may be too costly to repeal, they may be historically significant, or they may address specific circumstances not covered by conventional law. Luckily, most are not enforced. But play it save, just in case.
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